Dairy

Bega chases honey

By Country News

Bega Cheese has been buying up shares in Capilano Honey, but executive chairman Barry Irvin says there has been no decision to try to acquire the whole company.

In September, Bega announced it had bought about five per cent of the Australian honey maker and in October moved its stake to about 15 per cent.

Speaking at the recent Bega Cheese annual meeting, Mr Irvin said Bega’s interest would be logical to anyone who walked down the aisle of a supermarket.

‘‘If you wander down the supermarket aisle, as you turn the corner and enter the spread section, you come to Vegemite, peanut butter, as you move a little further down you may pass jam and you probably recognise that category has struggled in recent times ... Then you will come to honey,’’ he told shareholders.

‘‘We already have significant capability in that spreads section.

‘‘We have Australia’s most iconic brand in Vegemite, having good success with Bega Peanut Butter and with all the capability that this business has could easily adopt a strong brand in honey that is considered healthy for consumers and is a growing category with consumers.

‘‘We would see this as synergistic to us.

‘‘We are considering our options. This is not a spur-of-the-moment investment.

‘‘It’s something we have been thinking about for some time.’’