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Industry Dairy products
Predecessor la société Besnier
Founded 1933; 83 years ago (1933)
Founder André Besnier
Headquarters Laval, Mayenne, France
Key people
Emmanuel Besnier, CEO
Products Cheese, butter, milk
Revenue 16 billion euros
Owner Besnier family via Belgium-based holding company BSA International SA
Number of employees

Lactalis is a multi-national dairy products corporation, owned by the Besnier family and based in Laval, Mayenne, France. It is the largest dairy products group in the world, and is the second largest food products group in France, behind Danone.[1] It owns brands such as Galbani, Société, Bridel, Président, Rachel's Organic and Valmont.[2]


André Besnier started a small cheese-making company in 1933 and launched its Président brand of Camembert in 1968. In 1990, it acquired Group Bridel (2,300 employees, 10 factories, 4th largest French dairy group) with presence in 60 countries. In 1992, it acquired United States cheese company Sorrento. In 1999, la société Besnier became le groupe Lactalis owned by Belgium-based holding company BSA International SA. In 2006, they bought Italian group Galbani and, in 2008, bought Swiss-based cheese maker Baer. In 2011, they bought Italian group Parmalat out of bankruptcy. In 2013, the Sorrento and Precious brands in the US were renamed Galbani, and the Sorrento Lactalis division was renamed Lactalis American Group.

In 2007, the French INAO (Institut National des Appellations d'Origine), which administers AOC (L'appellation d'origine contrôlée) designations for French food products, refused to permit Lactalis and the dairy cooperative, Isigny-Sainte-Mère, to sell pasteurized Camembert as "true Camembert". These two companies, as of 2007, represented between 80 and 90 percent of Normandy Camembert sales.[3]

In May 2015, Lactalis acquired an 80% stake in Turkish dairy Ak Gida, a subsidiary of Yildiz Holding.[4][5][6][7]


Owned by the family controlled Belgium-based holding company BSA International SA, Lactalis in 2008 had global revenues of 9.35 billion euros, 5.6 billion euros (60%) outside France.[citation needed] Lactalis employs 38,000 persons. According to the company's website, Lactalis has 16,500 employees outside France, at 44 production sites.[8] Lactalis USA is located in New York City.


The group operates in eight divisions:

  • Lactalis cheeses with President - Rouy - Lepetit - Bridélight - Galbani - Rondelé - Munster's Little Friends
  • Lactalis Butter & Creams with President - Bridélice - Bridélight - Primrose
  • Lactel with Awakening - Day after day - Morning Light
  • Lactalis AOC with Pochat - Istara - Beulet - Salakis - Lanquetot - Roquefort Société - Golden Ball - Lou Pérac - The Ruby - Raguin - The Stone Bridge
  • Lactalis consumption AFH with President - Society - Bridel - Locatelli
  • Lactalis industry with BBA - Calciane - Prolacta
  • Tendriade Veal with Tendriade - Eurovo - Voréal
  • Lactalis International with President - Sorrento - Valbreso - Galbani - Sorrento - Locatelli - Invernizzi
  • LNUF with The Milkmaid - Yoco - Flanby - Sveltesse - Vienna - Greek Yogurt - Kremly - BA - Fold

Lactalis owns 198 industrial sites in 55 countries. 17 of these countries are USA, Poland, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Scotland, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland, Croatia, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Australia and as of 2011 Canada and South Africa. Lactalis mostly produces yoghurt, butter and cheese and powder milk, baby formula and milk drinks.

See also[edit]