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Blue River Dairy Ranked Number One In Business Growth

Southland-based nutritional products manufacturer Blue River Dairy has taken out the top spot on Deloitte’s 2021 Master of Growth Index.

The rankings for the Deloitte Fast 50 and Master of Growth Index were released on October 28. The accolades recognise businesses that have shown significant growth over the past either three (Fast 50) or five years (Master of Growth). The Master of Growth Index, made up of the 20 fastest growing established businesses, is determined by revenue growth percentage.

Blue River Dairy has reached a staggering 1502% growth since 2017 – the highest percentage in the Index’s history and more than twice the growth of previous winners.

Blue River Dairy developed the world’s first sheep milk nutrition products using exclusively sheep milk protein and today manufactures nutritional products using milks from three different species—sheep, goat and cow.

General manager Robert Boekhout said taking out number one on the Index was an honour that recognised the efforts of Blue River’s global team and the business’s sustained growth during the past five years – beyond the world-wide turmoil of the past 12 months.

“We’re honoured to be at the top and it’s a success we share with others because making our way there hasn’t been in isolation,” he said.

“This award recognises not just our team’s effort but also the supplier partnerships and relationships we have developed along the journey.”

To be eligible for the Deloitte Master of Growth, entrants must be a New Zealand registered business and trading for a minimum of five years’, have revenue of $5 million or above in FY17 and submit independently prepared financial statements for FY17 and FY21.

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Blue River Dairy has featured in the top 10 of the Deloitte Fast 50 Index for past three years running (2017-2019), with no Fast 50 held in 2020. It entered the Master of Growth Index for the first time in 2021.

Blue River Dairy began 18 years ago as a manufacturer of sheep milk products, producing, among other products, award-winning sheep milk cheeses. In 2015, Blue River Dairy was purchased by the Chen family and began a rapid journey of growth, culminating in 2021 by being recognised as the biggest sheep milk nutrition brand in China. It is part of the wider Blue River Group stretching across New Zealand, Europe and China.

Blue River Dairy’s sustained success begins with great products. It has been a leading innovator in the nutrition milk powder space, offering a wide range of premium quality dairy products for different dietary requirements.

Adaptability and playing to its strengths have long been part of Blue River Dairy’s ability to be nimble. In the business’s duration, it has evolved from producing boutique sheep milk cheese, to identifying early, the volume, value and market demand for premium nutritional products.

As a business, Blue River Dairy has placed an intentional focus on its people and culture to ensure it is a workplace where everyone is respected and valued.

“Blue River has grown immensely as a business, and that’s down to the dedicated people that make up our team, all of whom we’re appreciative of,” Boekhout said.

In recent years Blue River Dairy has recognised that the needs of the market are changing, forward focusing on developing nutrition to support consumers at each stage of life.

“We believe in better nutrition for a better life, through all stages of life. The opportunities here are global; we’re excited for the future of our innovative company,” Boekhout said.

Blue River has been built around being agile, having a clear vision and being resilient when facing change.

“Because we’re flexible we’re able to quickly innovate and stay ahead of market changes. Our company culture is one where fresh ideas and approaches are not only encouraged, they’re part of our DNA as a business.”

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