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Latvijas Piens (Latvian milk), is a dairy that since February 2017 has been owned by German parent company Fude + Serrahn Milchprodukte – the German company's first overseas acquisition.

“It was a big step for our German owners to buy this small but very cute factory,” says Ramona Kalnina, LP's sales director as we drive past the flags from the dairy production facility towards a famous Jelgava landmark, “It was built just six years ago, everything is brand new and even in Germany not all factories look as good, so they saw the potential to develop their business here in the Baltic region. But even if the owners are German and much of our business goes to export, we still have a major influence on the local dairy situation.”

Located right in the middle of Latvia, Jelgava was the former capital of the independent Duchy of Courland and was known in German as Mitau, becoming an important center of trade and even of publishing books in the German language in the 18th century.

“It's all about the raw material – milk. We are the second biggest milk processors in the country, using 280 tonnes per day, which means our farmers can keep their milk here in Latvia and not necessarily sell it to the big processors in Lithuania or Estonia. We depend upon the farmers for quality because the better the milk, the better the cheese we can produce. Last year we took in 80,000 tonnes. And that's very significant for our farmers,” says Ramona.

The new owners have kept the local Trikata brand alive, which has a hundred-year history and is renowned for quality cheese throughout Latvia. The most popular product line domestically is Tilsiter-style cheese, with around 90% of LP's cheese production going to export.

“Trikata is in the north of Latvia and that's where the know-how originally comes from, but Jelgava was decided upon for our production because, being the center of Latvia, it can take in milk from all directions,” says Ramona.

The three secrets of LP's success, according to Ramona are “Unique products, quality, and efficiency. The new owners helped us improve efficiency and optimise our production.”

Export Markets

Finland, Germany, Italy

Ramona Kalniņa


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