New Zealand-based Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy co-operative, posted its first-ever annual loss this month. The company revealed a $130 million loss in 2017 to 2018—compared to a $500 million profit in 2016 to 2017—and admitted it misled farmers with over-optimistic financial forecasts. Fonterra is a collective that buys dairy milk and products from New Zealand farmers and then sells it to foreign companies, and this is its first profit loss in its 17-year existence. Meanwhile, this year, plant-based milk sales rose by 9 percent to $1.6 billion and the sector now comprises 13 percent of total milk sales in the United States. Substantial sales growth also occurred in other dairy-free alternatives categories, such as cheese (43 percent) and yogurt (55 percent). With decreasing dairy milk sales, dairy companies across the globe are investing in the vegan market: Dean Foods, the second-largest dairy company in the United States, recently became a majority stakeholder in vegan food brand Good Karma; New York-based Elmhurst Dairy shuttered operations and relaunched as plant-based milk brand Elmhurst Milked; and Massachusetts dairy operation Carter & Stevens Farm converted a portion of its operations to a beer brewery.
The VegNews Mega Birthday Sale ends July 31 at midnight! Get the BEST vegan recipes, travel, celebrity interviews, product picks, and so much more inside every issue of VegNews Magazine—at a special birthday price. Find out why VegNews is the world’s #1 plant-based magazine by subscribing today!