Land O'Lakes is making a couple of big moves.
The Arden Hills-based organization – which is the second biggest member-owner cooperative in the U.S. – is close to buying 50 percent of a South African distributor. That would be Land O'Lakes' first investment in the continent, Bloomberg reports.
The goal, CEO Chris Policinski told the news organization, is to use that as a springboard to eventually do more things in Africa.
Just last week, Land O'Lakes completed the first step of a merger with Iowa-based United Suppliers, Inc., the hope being to "support a competitive system of independent agricultural retailers."
After 8 decades, a new ad agency
The second move involves Land O'Lakes' advertising.
Adweek reports Land O'Lakes is leaving Minneapolis agency Mithun – which its worked with for 80 years. The Martin Agency will now handle media planning and buying and creative development for the organization.
Adweek notes Land O'Lakes is the United States' most popular butter brand, but only spent about $8.1 million in advertising last year – down from about $20 million in 2013.
More on Land O'Lakes
Land O'Lakes says it has 9,000 employees, with 3,200 direct producer-members and 1,000 member-cooperatives. The co-op handles about 12 billion pounds of milk each year, and does business in more than 50 countries.
It recorded revenue of $15 billion in fiscal year 2014, and returned $184 million to members during that time.