Blue River Dairy

Our StoryWho we are

Blue River has been built on a culture of innovation, collaboration and genuine care for our customers, team and community.

Blue River has been built on a culture of innovation, collaboration and genuine care for our customers, team and community.

Our Vision

Brd values main

Our Vision

To create better nutrition for a better life.
Read about our values
We care
our values

We care

We respect our team and community, treating everyone with compassion and kindness. We recognise every individual in our team is a core contributor to our success, and we prioritise their personal wellness to help them be the best they can be in all aspects of their lives.

We are innovative
our values

We are innovative

We are constantly working to find new and better ways of doing things. This includes new techniques and developments that improve the welfare of our team and our customers. Sharing new ideas and challenging the accepted way of doing things are actions that are highly valued at Blue River, forming the basis of our culture of innovation and progression.

We are partners
our values

We are partners

We work together with our team, suppliers, customers and community. We value communication and loyalty, seeking to understand and utilise the strengths of every individual as we collaborate to deliver products we can all be proud of.

We take responsibililty
our values

We take responsibility

Every member of our team is accountable to consistently deliver products of the highest quality. As a company we place utmost importance on protecting our customers by maintaining stringent quality and hygiene standards. Protecting our team is also a priority, with health, safety and wellbeing being core to our company culture.

To create better nutrition for a better life.
We care
We care

We respect our team and community, treating everyone with compassion and kindness. We recognise every individual in our team is a core contributor to our success, and we prioritise their personal wellness to help them be the best they can be in all aspects of their lives.

We are innovative
We are innovative

We are constantly working to find new and better ways of doing things. This includes new techniques and developments that improve the welfare of our team and our customers. Sharing new ideas and challenging the accepted way of doing things are actions that are highly valued at Blue River, forming the basis of our culture of innovation and progression.

We are partners
We are partners

We work together with our team, suppliers, customers and community. We value communication and loyalty, seeking to understand and utilise the strengths of every individual as we collaborate to deliver products we can all be proud of.

We take responsibililty
We take responsibility

Every member of our team is accountable to consistently deliver products of the highest quality. As a company we place utmost importance on protecting our customers by maintaining stringent quality and hygiene standards. Protecting our team is also a priority, with health, safety and wellbeing being core to our company culture.

Our People

The Blue River team is a diverse group of talented individuals, united by their commitment to creating products that make a real difference to the lives of our customers.

Robert Boekhout
Robert Boekhout
General Manager

Robert’s focus is building culture, capability and enabling people to flourish. He believes our people are the driving force behind the company’s success.

Joining the company in 2015, Robert brought extensive experience in the dairy industry. He previously spent nine years at Fonterra in quality, technical, project management and commercial roles.

Robert is a member of the Institute of Directors and has significant involvement in the local community; with contributions including presenting at the Southland Business Chamber’s leadership academy and sitting on the board of trustees of Woodlands Full Primary School.

Robert describes his three children as his purpose and joy, and when he’s not spending time with them he is usually found running or mountain biking.

Suzii Chen
Suzii Chen
Director / Commercial Manager

As a director, Suzii represents the owners of Blue River Dairy. Day-to-day she focuses primarily on the commercial operations of the business, while also working as a link between the China and New Zealand teams. Suzii joined the New Zealand team in 2015, bringing with her a passion for the dairy nutritional products industry.

She has enjoyed learning the culture and adapting to the different working and living environments here. When she’s not at the office she enjoys reading, mountain biking and going to the dance studio for a spin.

Paul Jackson
Paul Jackson
Operations and Continuous Improvement Manager

Paul oversees the moving parts of the business, including stores, IT, maintenance and operations. He has a focus on process improvement, to optimise the quality of our products, and led the design and build of our new factory.

Paul joined the team in 2018; his prior experience included working for seven years as an operations manager for a stock food importer. Known for his good humour, Paul is also an outdoor aficionado, and spends his weekends mountain biking, fishing and diving.

Gareth Lyness
Gareth Lyness
Sales and Supply Chain Manager

Gareth oversees the planning, procurement, marketing, export and logistics functions to get the right materials to the right place, at the right time. Before joining Blue River in 2015, he spent 15 years working in Taiwan, the UK and Australia in marketing management roles.

Gareth is actively involved in the local business community as the Chairperson of the Export Southland Trust Committee. He has a passion for gardening, cooking and family time with his wife and two children.

Janina Bautista-Santos
Janina Bautista-Santos
Innovation and Compliance Manager

Janina leads the quality and technical team to ensure Blue River products meet the highest standards to protect our customers, while also leading research into new opportunities for product development.

She joined the Blue River team in 2015, bringing with her experience working in quality, optimisation and new product development for some of the largest food manufacturers in the Philippines.

Outside of work, Janina enjoys cooking, camping, outdoor activities and family time with her young son.

Abbigail Surridge
Abbigail Surridge
People and Capability Manager

Abbigail heads up the human resources team, empowering our people to perform at their best.

With previous experience in accounts and administrative roles, Abbigail first joined Blue River as an accounts assistant in 2018. She then spearheaded the establishment of our HR department, strategically supporting the growth of the company.

Abbigail is a chartered member of HRNZ and was a finalist for the Emerging HR Practitioner in the 2022 NZ HR awards. When she’s not at work she can often be found walking her dog on the beach in Riverton.

Robert Boekhout
Robert Boekhout
General Manager

Robert’s focus is building culture, capability and enabling people to flourish. He believes our people are the driving force behind the company’s success.

Joining the company in 2015, Robert brought extensive experience in the dairy industry. He previously spent nine years at Fonterra in quality, technical, project management and commercial roles.

Robert is a member of the Institute of Directors and has significant involvement in the local community; with contributions including presenting at the Southland Business Chamber’s leadership academy and sitting on the board of trustees of Woodlands Full Primary School.

Robert describes his three children as his purpose and joy, and when he’s not spending time with them he is usually found running or mountain biking.

Suzii Chen
Suzii Chen
Director / Commercial Manager

As a director, Suzii represents the owners of Blue River Dairy. Day-to-day she focuses primarily on the commercial operations of the business, while also working as a link between the China and New Zealand teams. Suzii joined the New Zealand team in 2015, bringing with her a passion for the dairy nutritional products industry.

She has enjoyed learning the culture and adapting to the different working and living environments here. When she’s not at the office she enjoys reading, mountain biking and going to the dance studio for a spin.

Paul Jackson
Paul Jackson
Operations and Continuous Improvement Manager

Paul oversees the moving parts of the business, including stores, IT, maintenance and operations. He has a focus on process improvement, to optimise the quality of our products, and led the design and build of our new factory.

Paul joined the team in 2018; his prior experience included working for seven years as an operations manager for a stock food importer. Known for his good humour, Paul is also an outdoor aficionado, and spends his weekends mountain biking, fishing and diving.

Gareth Lyness
Gareth Lyness
Sales and Supply Chain Manager

Gareth oversees the planning, procurement, marketing, export and logistics functions to get the right materials to the right place, at the right time. Before joining Blue River in 2015, he spent 15 years working in Taiwan, the UK and Australia in marketing management roles.

Gareth is actively involved in the local business community as the Chairperson of the Export Southland Trust Committee. He has a passion for gardening, cooking and family time with his wife and two children.

Janina Bautista-Santos
Janina Bautista-Santos
Innovation and Compliance Manager

Janina leads the quality and technical team to ensure Blue River products meet the highest standards to protect our customers, while also leading research into new opportunities for product development.

She joined the Blue River team in 2015, bringing with her experience working in quality, optimisation and new product development for some of the largest food manufacturers in the Philippines.

Outside of work, Janina enjoys cooking, camping, outdoor activities and family time with her young son.

Abbigail Surridge
Abbigail Surridge
People and Capability Manager

Abbigail heads up the human resources team, empowering our people to perform at their best.

With previous experience in accounts and administrative roles, Abbigail first joined Blue River as an accounts assistant in 2018. She then spearheaded the establishment of our HR department, strategically supporting the growth of the company.

Abbigail is a chartered member of HRNZ and was a finalist for the Emerging HR Practitioner in the 2022 NZ HR awards. When she’s not at work she can often be found walking her dog on the beach in Riverton.

Brd history main

Our history

A pioneer in the manufacture and export of nutritional products from sheep milk, Blue River has forged a world-class business from the southernmost city in the world.
where it all started

2003

Blue River was founded, growing into an award winning sheep milk cheese manufacturer.

Brd history cheese

2015

Blue River was purchased by the Chen family of Changsha, China and became the first manufacturing plant in the world to export sheep milk infant formula.

History freight

2016

The joining of sister company Alimenta, based in Sardinia, to the Blue River Group, gave access to the world's largest sheep whey producers, to ensure supply of the highest quality ingredients.

Brd history alimenta

2017

With the launch of infant and toddler nutrition formulations using cow and goat milk, Blue River became the only plant in the world at the time to manufacture formulas for infants and toddlers using milks from three different species - sheep, cow and goat.

China products range

2020

The Blue River FSANZ range of infant and toddler nutrition formulations were launched, to be sold in New Zealand and China.

New Zealand products rage

2021

Blue River was recognised as the Master of Growth at the Deloitte Awards, celebrating 1,502% revenue growth over the past 5 years.

Master of growth

Our history

where it all started
Brd history cheese
2003

Blue River was founded, growing into an award winning sheep milk cheese manufacturer.

History freight
2015

Blue River was purchased by the Chen family of Changsha, China and became the first manufacturing plant in the world to export sheep milk infant formula.

Brd history alimenta
2016

The joining of sister company Alimenta, based in Sardinia, to the Blue River Group, gave access to the world's largest sheep whey producers, to ensure supply of the highest quality ingredients.

China products range
2017

With the launch of infant and toddler nutrition formulations using cow and goat milk, Blue River became the only plant in the world at the time to manufacture formulas for infants and toddlers using milks from three different species - sheep, cow and goat.

New Zealand products rage
2020

The Blue River FSANZ range of infant and toddler nutrition formulations were launched, to be sold in New Zealand and China.

Master of growth
2021

Blue River was recognised as the Master of Growth at the Deloitte Awards, celebrating 1,502% revenue growth over the past 5 years.

Awards

The success of Blue River has been recognised with multiple awards. From company growth to exporting and workplace wellbeing, our unique strengths have been acclaimed.

Deloitte Fast 50 2021
Brdaward fast50 2
Brdaward ww2019
Brdaward fast50 3
Brdaward ea2016