Benna is one of Malta’s most iconic household names, but there is a lot about the brand that you probably don’t know. To start with, the brand belongs to Malta Dairy Products Ltd – a subsidiary of Koperattiva Produtturi tal-Ħalib Ltd. KPH Group, a leading cooperative committed to the development of the local milk sector, beef processing and distribution, animal feeds and farm support services and supplies, making it another pillar of the local economy and food sector.
The cooperative has been established since 1958, but the history of how dairy has evolved in Malta dates back far longer. For instance, May 1938 saw the official inauguration and opening of the Milk Centre in Hamrun, which went on to become the Milk Marketing Undertaking (MMU) in 1943. It was around that time that the sale and distribution of pasteurised goat milk started in Valletta, Floriana, Sliema, and Hamrun, all in special electrically driven vans. Then, after the Second World War, cow’s milk started to be pasteurised and sold too, just like goats’ milk was – just with different caps. This led us towards another important milestone in 1957, when the whole of Malta was closed for the sale of raw milk. Then, after fast-forwarding to the mid-80s, 1986 was the historical year when the decision was taken to became owned by local herdsmen.
The MMU transferred its obligations and responsibilities to the newly-formed private company Malta Dairy Products Ltd and, two years later, the brand name Benna was introduced on the products – just as we know it now.
Today, Benna processes, packs and distributes fresh milk and milk products that have originated solely from cows across the Maltese islands. To achieve this, fresh milk is delivered daily from around 57 farms in Malta and 31 in Gozo. The milk is not sterilised but pasteurised, thus retaining its fresh taste and quality. No matter what the brand has trail-blazed its path and now stands as the number one choice for fresh ingredients – both across the catering industry and for direct consumers.
Faced with today’s challenges, it is sad to see the normally-buzzing island so quiet and empty. MDP has had to adapt fast to ensure that the people continue to be served fresh Benna products daily, and the company has kept its daily distribution going to supermarkets, and has even started a home delivery service for those who cannot get out in these challenging times.
From the farm to the table, no matter the circumstances, MDP’s ability to adapt and react to customers’ needs ensures that, come what may, there will always be fresh milk delivered daily wherever you are in Malta.
And finally, like so many companies across our islands, Benna is doing what it can to support the community in the face of the Coronavirus crisis. This includes gladly donating its fresh products to those on the frontline of keeping Malta safe, including Feeding Heroes, the Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Directorate, the National Blood Transfusion Unit, and the Ministry for Health.