September 6/Cumbria, England/Press Release -- Fonterra and U.K.-based dairy farmer co-operative First Milk have announced a strategic joint venture to produce premium whey proteins for Fonterra’s food ingredients business in Europe.

Whey protein, which is popular with bodybuilders and athletes due to its muscle-building properties, is produced at First Milk’s Lake District creamery in Cumbria, England.

Fonterra says the joint venture is the first step in realizing its goal of local European sourcing to meet the nutrition ingredient demand of European customers.

Koert Liekelema, Fonterra Europe’s managing director, said, “We are delighted to announce this joint venture. First Milk shares the co-operative heritage and spirit with us and we look forward to using our combined consumer insights and innovative mind-sets to produce products which help European consumers live healthier lives.

“This deal underpins Fonterra’s strategic focus on premium dairy ingredients. Furthermore, we are very pleased to be working with First Milk, enabling Fonterra to offer customized, premium whey protein ingredients to the major food and beverages companies in Europe.”

From the September 6, 2011,Prepared Foods' Daily News.