As DairyReporter announced in August, Fonterra has invested €7.1m ($8.2m) in Rokiškio, securing a supply line of high-value whey ingredients while opening up product options across Europe and the Middle East.
Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings said the investment consolidates Fonterra's current long-term supply relationship with Rokiškio, and would benefit both companies.
"Our ability to access high-value whey protein ingredients is increasingly important as demand grows, especially in Eastern and Western European, Middle Eastern and North African markets,” Spierings said.
“Rokiškio is also a highly respected cheese producer and this also opens up further opportunities for us to satisfy customer demand in these markets.”
Rokiškio Sūris chairman, Dalius Trumpa said Rokiškio’s contract manufacturing for Fonterra played a role in the company's capacity expansions and upgrades in 2014 and 2016.
"We have worked closely as commercial partners for five years and over this time we have built a strong relationship,” Trumpa said.
He said Fonterra's investment opens up export opportunities to generate more value from the local milk pool.
"By welcoming Fonterra as a shareholder, future growth can be accelerated by entering new markets and investing in new technologies."
Rokiškio, headquartered in the small town of Rokiškis, close to the Latvian border, has three factories in Lithuania and makes cheese, butter, whey protein and milk powders. It also has subsidiaries in Latvia.
It produces more than 30,000 tons of cheese each year, and exports to both Eastern and Western markets, as well as producing a wide range of fresh dairy products for the Baltic region.