Bega Dairy & Drinks
Dairy & drinks manufacturer
One of Australia's largest dairy companies (formerly known as National Foods). Acquired Australian dairy companies Dairy Farmers in 2008, Lactos in 2006, and King Island Dairy in 2002, plus juice company Berri in 2005. Owned by Lion/Kirin from 2007 until 2021, when Bega Cheese took over ownership.

Overall

Owned AUS
Rating C
About the Ratings

Company Ownership

Bega Dairy and Drinks Pty Ltd
AUS
Bega Cheese Ltd
owns 100% of Bega Dairy and Drinks Pty Ltd
AUS
Dairy product manufacturer
Founded in 1899 in the Bega Valley, NSW. Major cheese producer supplied by 500 dairy farms from NSW and VIC. Acquired 70% of Tatura Milk Industries in 2007, and the remaining 30% in 2011. Changed corporate structure from a co-operative to an unlisted public company in 2008, and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in 2011. All Bega branded cheese products are marketed in Australia by Fonterra. Acquired the Vegemite brand and Kraft license from Mondelez Australia in Jan 2017, and the Lion Dairy & Drinks business from Kirin in 2021.

Company Assessment

Bega Dairy and Drinks Pty Ltd
Information
In Dec 2014 the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) issued a $15,000 penalty notice to Lion Dairy & Drinks for breaching the conditions of their Environment Protection Licence at their Wetherill Park premises. On 9 September 2014 wastewater overflowed out of a pit on their premises and into a stormwater drain which serves Canley Vale Road and flows into Prospect Creek.
Source: EPA (2014)
In March 2019 the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) fined Lion-Dairy & Drinks Pty Ltd $15,000 for not operating in a competent manner in an incident resulting in liquid sugar allegedly being discharged into Lion-Dairy & Drink's wastewater treatment plant, at Wetherill Park.
Source: EPA (2019)
In 2018 Lion Dairy & Drinks was one of five major dairy processors that agreed to amend its milk supply agreements after The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found them to be unfair. The ACCC said it had raised concerns with some processors about lengthy notice periods for farmers to terminate their contracts, one-sided termination rights, broad indemnities, and terms that restrict a farmer's ability to lease a farm or sell their cattle.
Source: ACCC (2018)
Bega Cheese Ltd
Praise
World's Most Sustainable Companies of 2024 by TIME and Statista recognises the Top 500 most sustainable companies in the world. From a selection of 5,000 of the world's largest companies, non-sustainable businesses were excluded, and the remaining companies were rated on Commitment & Ratings, Reporting & Transparency, and Environmental & Social Stewardship. This company received a total score of 76/100, ranking 40th overall.
Source: TIME (2024)
This company received a packaging performance level of 4 (Leading) in its 2024 APCO Annual Report. Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is a not-for-profit organisation leading the development of a circular economy for packaging in Australia. Each year, APCO Members are required to submit an APCO Annual Report and Action Plan, which includes an overall performance level from 1 (Getting Started) to 5 (Beyond Best Practice).
Source: APCO (2024)
Modern slavery disclosure is a critical step in mitigating the risk associated with modern slavery practices in companies' operations and supply chains. The quality of the disclosure signals the level of commitments and efforts that the companies have put in managing these risks. In 2021 the Monash Centre for Financial Studies analysed and ranked the disclosure quality of the modern slavery statements submitted by the 300 largest listed companies on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX300). This company's modern slavery disclosure statement received a grade of A.
Criticism
Greenpeace's Reenergise campaign ranks Australia's biggest electricity using companies on their commitments and actions regarding renewable energy use. This company has: not committed to powering their operations by 100% renewable electricity by 2030; not signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) to buy power from a wind or solar project; not invested in on-site solar.
The PalmOil Scan app, produced by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), rates companies on their commitment to sourcing sustainable palm oil. Companies are scored on their use of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO), commitment to sourcing CSPO, on-the-ground conservation action, and membership to the RSPO. Companies can earn a rating of Excellent, Good, Poor or No Commitment. This company is rated "Poor" (retrieved 18 Nov 2023).
Source: WAZA (2023)
This company received an S&P Global ESG Score of 29/100 in the Food Products category of the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual evaluation of companies' sustainability practices (last updated 18 Nov 2022). The rankings are based on an analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, environmental reporting, climate strategy, human rights and labour practices.
Information
In Dec 2015 the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) issued a $15,000 penalty notice to this company for using wet sawdust fuel in its wood-fired boiler at the Lagoon Street premises, leading to a discharge of excessive smoke.
Source: EPA (2016)
Some, but not necessarily all, of this company's spreads are palm oil free. For more details, follow the link to see Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia's list of products which manufacturers have told them are palm oil free or contain segregated certified sustainable palm oil.
This company is a signatory to the Responsible Children's Marketing Initiative (RCMI), which is managed by the Australian Food & Grocery Council and covers products found in retail outlets. Companies that have signed up to the initiative commit to: only advertising healthier choices to children and encouraging a healthy lifestyle through good diet and physical activity; not paying for or seeking product placement television programs, editorial content or interactive games aimed at children, unless the product is a healthier choice; not advertising and marketing to children in Australian schools unless they are asked to by those schools.
Source: AANA (2023)
This company has extensive sustainability claims on its website in two core areas: Farm Sustainability and Factory Sustainability.
In 2014 a former CEO of Bega Cheese pleaded guilty to multiple charges of child sexual abuse on the NSW far south coast. Maurice Van Ryn sexually abused and indecently assaulted six boys at his Tathra home over the past eight years. Van Ryn was CEO of Bega Cheese from 1990 to 2005.
According to data released by the Australian Tax Office in Jan 2022, this company was one of many local and foreign-based companies that paid no tax in Australia in 2019-20. Please note however that companies pay income tax on profits, not revenue (total income). While some companies use tax havens and loopholes to avoid paying their fair share of tax in Australia, other companies that paid no tax have perfectly legitimate reasons.
Source: ATO (2022)

Company Details

Type:
Wholly-owned subsidiary

Contact Details

Address:
737 Bourke St, Docklands, VIC, 3008, Australia
Phone:
03 9188 8000
Freecall:
1800 677 852
Website:
www.begacheese.com.au/dairy-and-drinks

Products / Brands

Bega Dairy & Drinks
Australian Grown Juice & Fruit Drinks
Berri Cordial
Berri Juice & Fruit Drinks
Big M Flavoured Milk
Bornhoffen Yoghurt
Classic Flavoured Milk
Daily Juice Iced Tea
Daily Juice Juice & Fruit Drinks
Dairy Farmers Cream
Dairy Farmers Custard & Desserts
Dairy Farmers Cheese
Dairy Farmers Flavoured Milk
Dairy Farmers Milk
Dairy Farmers Yoghurt
Dare Flavoured Milk
Divine Classic Custard & Desserts
Farmers Union Milk
Farmers Union Yoghurt
Farmers Union Flavoured Milk
Fruche Custard & Desserts
Good Sport Flavoured Milk
Heart Active Milk
Just Juice Juice & Fruit Drinks
Kyneton Soft Drinks
Liberte Yoghurt
Masters Flavoured Milk
Masters (WA) Milk
Mildura Juice & Fruit Drinks
Moove Flavoured Milk
Nourish Juice & Fruit Drinks
Prima Juice & Fruit Drinks
Pura Cream
Pura Flavoured Milk
Pura Milk
Quelch Ice Blocks
Summit Bottled Water
The Complete Dairy Milk
The Culture Co Probiotic Milk/Kefir
The Juice Brothers Juice & Fruit Drinks
Yogo Custard & Desserts
Yogo Yoghurt
Yoplait Yoghurt
Yopliat Custard & Desserts
Yoplus Yoghurt
Zooper Dooper Ice Blocks