Dawn Meats has announced that it is selling its interest in Elivia, the French processor in which it had a minority shareholding with Terrena, a farmer-owned co-op which will now have 100% of the shares.

Terrena has 20,117 farmer members and its combined business interests give the co-op annual sales of €5.4bn and 12,336 employees.

This ends the joint venture which commenced in 2015 when Dawn bought into the second-largest meat processor in France, which has annual sales of €930m, produces 162,000t of meat and employs 2,575 people.

The business is spread over 14 sites, with 10 of these concentrated in the northwest of France.


It is concentrated on beef processing, slaughtering 413,300 head of cattle, along with 21,000 veal calves and 22,220 lambs in the company’s most recent data.

Dawn Meats CEO Niall Browne said the reason for the exit was that “our vision for the French market and our ambition for the future strategic direction of Elivia is not aligned with that of our partner Terrena”.

Elivia was a loss-making business when Dawn became involved, but has moved into profitability in recent years, with the latest accounts for 2021 showing an operating result of €18.2m.

Dawn had acquired an option to increase its stake in the business to 70%, but while this was rolled over, it was never exercised.