Lewis Road Creamery sold to Southern Pastures

The idea for the business started at founder Peter Cullinane's kitchen table.
The idea for the business started at founder Peter Cullinane's kitchen table. Photo credit: Facebook / Lewis Road Creamery

Southern Pastures announced on Thursday it was set to take full ownership of Lewis Road Creamery.

The agricultural investment fund has been slowly increasing its stake in Lewis Road over the past three years and will now take 100 percent ownership of the company.

Lewis Road Creamery founder Peter Cullinane said building the business had been "an incredible journey that started with a simple idea at my kitchen table".

"To now see the brand mature safely in the hands of investors who are farmers of such integrity and quality is a fantastic conclusion," he said.

Cullinane will step down from his roles at the company, while general manager Nicola O’Rourke will continue to manage the day-to-day running of the business.

"Peter has created an amazing brand and we're proud to take on the responsibility of building on it to produce the best premium dairy products New Zealand has to offer," said Prem Maan, Southern Pastures executive chairman and Lewis Road board member.

Southern Pastures currently owns and operates 20 farms in Waikato and Canterbury. It produces milk under a stringent independently certified 10 Star Certified Values Program which stipulates grass-fed, free-range, climate-change mitigation, human welfare, animal welfare, GMO-free, palm products free, growth hormones free, antibiotic stewardship, and environmental sustainability requirements.

Maan said the company was aiming to eventually produce carbon-neutral dairy products.

"We're convinced that farming can be a powerful tool for environmental good in addition to providing economic returns. We have a long-term vision to produce carbon-neutral dairy in New Zealand and we see Lewis Road Creamery as part of that grass-to-glass journey."

Earlier this year the fund also took full ownership of NZ Grass Fed Milk Products LP, previously a joint venture with Westland Milk Products.