New owner for organic yoghurt firm

A Welsh company famed for its range of organic yoghurts has been sold to a French firm after weeks of speculation about its future.

Rachel’s, which started life on a farm near Aberystwyth and uses milk supplied by Welsh milk co-operative Calon Wen, has been sold by American-owned Dean Foods to Groupe Lactalis.

Former owners Dean Foods said it remained “business as usual” at Rachel’s, which is understood to employ about 140 people.

A spokeswoman for Dean Foods said the terms of the agreement would not be disclosed. “Rachel’s is a premium yoghurt brand which carries with it a rich history and strong brand equity as the second-largest organic dairy brand in the UK,” she said.

“This transaction allows Dean Foods to grow the core elements of its portfolio that will yield the greatest return for shareholders. It remains business as usual at Rachel’s at this time.”

Rachel’s, which originated at Brynllys Farm, Borth, is one of the largest private-sector employers in Aberystwyth. Production now takes place at a purpose-built factory in the town.

Ceredigion AM Elin Jones welcomed the sale but is seeking an early meeting with the new owners.

“I will now be looking for an early meeting with the new owners to establish their plans for continued yoghurt production at the Aberystwyth site. My expectation at this point is that the new company is committed to Aberystwyth and Wales,” she said.