How New Zealand Genetics Make Milk in Brazil
New Zealander Craig Bell, co-founder of premium Brazil-based milk company Leitíssimo, likens his product to a time machine. “We have a lot of consumers who told us that ‘this stuff actually tastes nice, this stuff reminds me of my uncle or my granddad or my father’,” he tells the Financial Times.
Bell set up Leitíssimo with his business partner, Simon Wallace, a fellow New Zealander and a son of dairy farmers. After starting from scratch shortly after the turn of the century, Leitíssimo has grown rapidly to produce 24m litres of UHT milk a year, FT reports.
Leitíssimo was rated 455th in the Financial Times ranking of the fastest-growing companies in the Americas. Revenues were $15.7m in 2018 up from $9.5m in 2015 and Bell, a chemical engineer by training, forecasts that number to top $18.1m in 2020. “We’ve been expanding as fast as the organic growth of our herd allows us to,” he says.
Genetics has played a crucial role and the company has imported semen “exclusively” from New Zealand, Bell says. After several generations produced via artificial insemination, Leitíssimo has created a herd of Kiwicross cows in Brazil.
“We’ve had a pathway to effectively getting New Zealand cows into Brazil without having to import them,” Bell says.
Original article by Andres Schipani, Financial Times, May 12, 2020.