Seattle-based Darigold has announced organizational changes designed to accelerate the long-term transformational strategy of the Northwest farmer-owned cooperative’s global ingredients business. In 2018, Darigold finalized a 10-year transformation and growth strategy which included a substantial series of capital investments, including the construction of a new large-scale global ingredients plant.
The addition of new leadership talent will drive organizational effectiveness and focus against the execution of this strategy and capital investment. This announcement marks another milestone in the Northwest Dairy Association (NDA) member-owners’ quest to bring sustainable dairy from the Northwest to the rest of the world – at the highest levels of quality and performance.
Grant Kadavy will transition from his current role as COO to become Darigold’s chief growth and risk officer. Kadavy will spend the vast majority of his time spearheading a business-wide effort to launch the new plant and seamlessly integrate new products, services and processes into the rest of the company’s network and functions.
Effective Nov. 1, Joe Coote will join Darigold as president of global ingredients. Coote is an accomplished leader in the global marketplace with 28 years of experience that includes more than 11 years with Fonterra.
“Joe will be instrumental in leading the development and execution of our global ingredients business,” said Stan Ryan, president and CEO of Darigold. “His leadership profile and experience are uniquely suited to both our team culture and our business goals. We could not be more thrilled to have him on board to continue our expansion in the global marketplace and increased focus on customers.”
Coote brings deep know-how in supply chain leadership spanning multiple segments, geographies and functions from companies like PwC and Coles. Most recently, Coote led large commercial organizations as part of Fonterra’s senior team across international regions. His experience with Fonterra, the world’s largest exporter of dairy products, includes serving as director of global supply chain and director of global optimization in New Zealand, director of supply chain and operations APEMA in Singapore and president of the America’s based in Chicago.
The role of president of global ingredients is new to Darigold. Coote will assume all operating responsibilities of the global ingredients business as well as oversee the corporate-wide global supply chain functions which both formerly fell under Kadavy as COO.
Duane Naluai has been promoted to president of consumer products. His formal responsibilities remain unchanged. Naluai formerly reported to Kadavy as COO and will now report directly to the CEO.
A new plant, and a new person leading the build,
Matthew Sagendorf has joined Darigold to lead the construction and start-up of a new large-scale global ingredients plant. Sagendorf brings more than 20 years of experience in engineering and growth projects, with a specific background in greenfield and brownfield investments, as well as expertise in managing the construction and expansion of consumer production facilities. He will oversee and manage all onsite planning and construction at the new plant as well as start-up and commissioning.
Sagendorf is a seasoned senior executive and comes to Darigold from Berner Food & Beverage. Over the past 15 years, he has managed sizeable engineering and construction projects at companies like Hearthside Food, Conagra and Kraft Foods.
The selection of a location for the plant is ongoing and will be announced in 2021 along with more specifics about the intended final products for commercialization.
More to come
Darigold continues to search for a new head of engineering to partner on designing the new plant and lead other enterprise-wide engineering projects. The company hopes to complete that search this fall and announce a hire by early 2021.
I-5 corridor distribution capacity modernization
Darigold is also streamlining its international distribution capabilities to complement production investments. The company has signed a lease for just over 284,000 square-feet of warehouse space in the existing Prologis Emerald Gateway, south of Boeing Field and near the Port of Seattle.
“The primary goal of this operation is to streamline our logistics processes to better serve our expanding global customer base,” said Chris Stockwell, leader of the global supply chain for Darigold. “With increased warehouse capacity closer to Seattle and Tacoma ports, it will be easier to manage our global container business and it will enhance our partnerships with international shippers.”
Fulfilling long-term commitment
The new plant and the new warehouse will not only have positive customer impacts, but there will be substantial improvements to the environmental footprint of enterprise-wide operations – a major step toward achieving the company’s previously announced goal to become carbon-neutral by 2050 in keeping with U.S. dairy’s nationwide net-zero initiative. Darigold and the Northwest Dairy Association are founding members and signatories of the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment, which affirms its multi-generational stewardship principles to protect and take care of communities, animals and the environment.
“By creating new senior level positions, investing in the co-op’s largest capital project to date, doubling down on sustainability and streamlining distribution networks, Darigold is continuing to reinforce its commitment to be a leading global ingredients provider,” said Allan Huttema, chairman of NDA. “At the end of the day, Darigold’s and NDA’s priority is to support our farmer-owners. We want to grow for the long term and serve our customers with the best possible products created as efficiently and sustainably as possible.”
Darigold is the marketing and processing subsidiary of Northwest Dairy Association (NDA), which is owned by nearly 400 dairy farm families in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Darigold handles approximately 10 billion pounds of milk annually. Darigold produces a full line of dairy-based products for retail, foodservice, commodity and specialty markets, and is one of the largest U.S. dairy processors.