There's a lot going on in the Australasian food and beverage sector, over and above Fonterra's efforts to streamline its operations.

Among other things, Fonterra is looking a the possible sale of it Tip Top business, in order to get the co-op back to basics.

Across the Tasman, the Australian Newspaper this week said expectations are growing that Singapore's Wilmar International will go to full control of Goodman Fielder by buying the remaining 50 per cent that it does not already own from Hong Kong's First Pacific.

Wilmar and First Pacific paid about A$1.3 billion for Goodman Fielder nearly four years ago.


Goodman Fielder has a substantial operation in New Zealand - running 13 manufacturing sites and employing 1800 people.

The local operation produces a wide range of dairy, baked and grocery items for Kiwis. The company also exports Meadow Fresh UHT milk.

Neither Wilmar nor First Pacific responded to Herald requests for comment.

Staying with Aussie developments, Japan's Kirin Holdings Co. said it is reviewing options including a possible sale of its substantial Australian dairy business.

Various corporate initiatives have coincided with tough times for Australian dairy farmers, who have struggled with drought and a difficult local consumer market, which is dominated by Coles and Woolworths.

Early this year, Canadian dairy giant snapped up Fonterra's Australian equivalent - Murray Goulburn - after the co-op suffered near crippling losses last year.

This month, the Australian Federal Court ordered former Murray Goulburn managing director Gary Helou to pay A$200,000 in penalties for being knowingly concerned in Murray Goulburn's false or misleading claims about the farmgate milk price it expected to pay dairy farmers during the 2015-16 milk season.

As part of the resolution of the proceedings, Helou gave an undertaking to the court that he would not be involved in the dairy industry for three years.