Mark Patterson, Primary Industries Spokesperson
New Zealand First has today expressed its disappointment over the acquisition of iconic Kiwi brand Tip Top by Froneri, a European company owned in part by Swiss multinational Nestlé.
Founded in New Zealand more than 80 years ago, Tip Top is one of New Zealand’s most recognisable and trusted brands.
“If we are to build a value-added future for our economy, keeping the ownership of brands like Tip Top in Kiwi hands is critical,” says New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson.
Tip Top was acquired by Australian company Peters & Browne’s Foods in 1997, bought back by Fonterra in 2001, only to now return to foreign hands less than two decades later.
“Tip Top produces some 40 million litres of ice cream per year, helping capture value from New Zealand milk for New Zealanders. Now, those returns will disappear overseas,” says Mr Patterson.
“The sale also exposes the state of Fonterra’s underlying debt position following its acquisition of troubled Chinese food manufacturer Beingmate, now unable to provide the investment and focused ownership required for the brand’s continued success.
“The sale of Tip Top follows the foreign acquisition of other significant New Zealand companies capturing value-added opportunities, such as Silver Fern Farms. With Westland Milk also under offer from a foreign multinational, this is an alarming trend that New Zealand First will continue to oppose,” says Mr Patterson.