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Brief History

Brief History

Bega Cheese History

1899
1899

Butter factory established

1900
1900

Butter factory officially opened

1920
1920

Original co-op store was purchased

1924
1924

Butter factory built on present site

1944
1944

Name changed to The Bega Co-operative Society Ltd.

1949
1949

Erection of new Department Store

1954
1954

Commencement of milk receivals, town milk deliveries and cheese manufacture

1956
1956

Commencement of milk powder production

1960
1960

Opening of Canberra branch

1966
1966

Implementation of bulk milk collection and refrigerated farm milk vats

1969
1969

New cheese factory commissioned

1971
1971

Commenced manufacture of Kameruka brand cheese

1972
1972

Amalgamation with A.B.C. cheese society at Tilba

1975
1975

Opening of Queanbeyan branch

1976
1976

The Co-operative and its farmers participated in a successful campaign to gain access to a fair share of the NSW market for fresh milk

1981
1981

New Farm Supply Store opened in North Bega

1982
1982

Despatch tankers conversion from 13,500 litre to 22,500 litre capacity completed

1983
1983

Doubled capacity of Bega Cheese factory. Upgraded milk packaging in Bega and closed Queanbeyan factory

1984
1984

Use of factory-derived cheese starter commenced. Department Store closed and Arcade commenced. New Tetra Pak milk cartoning equipment installed

1985
1985

Redevelopment of Canberra factory completed. Arrangements made with large Victorian Co-operative, Bonlac, for them to market Bega Cheese in states other than NSW and the ACT.

1986
1986

Commenced packing milk in 2 litre plastic bottles. Sawdust-fired boiler commissioned

1987
1987

Bodalla Co-operative ceased operation and the thirteen farms supplying Bodalla transferred their supply to Bega 1990

1990
1990

Specialty cheese production commenced, these cheeses being marketing as the “Kameruka Selection”

1992
1992

Alfomatic cheddaring equipment and block forming towers installed in the cheese factory

1994
1994

Tourist facility, recreating the original butter factory, built. Erection commenced of the Spray-Drying Plant and controlled Temperature cheese storage. Milk processing business servicing Cooma and the Snowy Mountains acquired. Commenced cheese export to a number of countries

1995
1995

Spray-Drying plant. A group of East Gippsland farmers commenced supplying milk to Bega and formed the Green Valley Co-operative

1996
1996

The society’s fresh milk packaging and distribution activities in the South East of NSW, including Capitol Chilled Foods, were placed in a joint venture with Dairy Farmers Co-operative to from Capital Chilled Foods (Australia) Pty Ltd. 75% owned by Dairy Farmers and 25% owned by Bega

1998
1998

The cheese cutting, packaging and processing plant was constructed and commissioned in Ridge Street, Bega. This state of the art plant services the domestic and international markets for value added Bega Cheese consumer products.The cutting, packaging and processing unit was officially opened in October by the then Premier of New South, Bob Carr. The string cheese plant was commissioned at Bega, and Bega Stringers launched nationally into the domestic market.

1999
1999

Bega Cheese celebrated one hundred years as a dairy co-operative, 1899 to 1999.

2001
2001

In April 2001, the marketing function in Australia for the Bega brand was franchised to Bonland Dairies Ltd. a joint venture between Bonlac and the New Zealand Dairy Board. This arrangement saw the business of Bonlac’s Melbourne cheese cutting and packaging operations transferred to Bega during 2001/2002.In July of 2001, Bega Cheese commissioned its cheese shredding plant.

2002
2002

Work completed on the transfer of business from Bonlac, effectively increasing the throughput of the Bega plant to 40,000 metric tonnes of product per annum. Bega Cheese also commissioned its processed cheddar cheese canning line, adding this function to the growing capabilities of the Bega operations to service both domestic and international demand.

2007
2007

Bega Cheese acquired a 70% stake in the Victorian based dairy company, Tatura Milk Industries, in April 2007. Tatura Milk manufactures cream cheese, powders, infant formula and nutraceuticals. Executive Chairman of Bega Cheese, Barry Irvin, is also Chairman of Tatura Milk Industries.

2008
2008

The Bega Co-operative Society Limited changes corporate structure from a co-operative, to become an unlisted public company, known as Bega Cheese Limited.

2008

Bega Cheese acquired the Coburg cheddar and mozzarella manufacturing location, capable of producing 10,000 mt of bulk product.

2009
2009

Bega Cheese acquired the ex Kraft, Strathmerton based, cheese processing plant with circa 75,000 mt of processed cheese capacity.

2010
2010

Bega Cheese Acquired 15% stake in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Company.

2011
2011

On August 19 2011 Bega Cheese became a listed company on the ASX.

2011

In December 2011 Bega Cheese purchased the remaining 30% of Tatura Milk Industries.

2014
2014

Commissioned New Tatura Milk Canning Facility at Derrimut

2017
2017

Bega Cheese acquires most of Mondelez’s international’s grocery business in Australia and new Zealand

2017

Bega Cheese Acquires Peanut Company of Australia

2018
2018

Bega Cheese completes purchase of Koroit facility