Dairy cooperative Arla Foods plans to invest €527 million ($657m) globally, with €82m ($102m) going into the UK as part of a long-term growth strategy.
The decision to increase the investments of the company was approved at a meeting in
London this week by the board of directors, which consists mainly of elected farmer owners. The Danish business will now be investing in new, expanded and improved production capacities.
The chair of Arla Foods, Åke Hantoft, said: “All investments by Arla Foods are made to
secure long-term growth and profit opportunities for the company’s 11,200 farmer owners
across Europe: Arla has a history of good investments for sustained growth. The board of
directors has decided to increase our investments with this plan, because we have identified new projects and investments with short and long term potential for significant return. The business growth these investments will create for our company will generate growth opportunities for our farmer owners. We see these investments as essential to the future of our business.”
The UK is Arla’s biggest single market and in total, ten of its 12 sites across the country
will receive investment for upgrades. The business’ site in Aylesbury will see the biggest
proportion of UK spend with an investment of €38.4m ($47.8m). it will now become the UK
home to the production of Arla’s Lactose free dairy products using milk from UK farmers in
the south east and the midlands.
Tomas Pietrangeli, managing director of Arla Foods UK, said: “Arla is the biggest dairy
company in the UK, owned by 11,200 farmers across Europe. This investment is almost
double the investment of last year and, with the exception of building the Aylesbury dairy, it is the biggest annual investment for Arla in the UK. While milk prices remain volatile and
Brexit brings both uncertainty and opportunity, Arla farmers in the UK and across Europe
are committed to continually investing in our UK business to maintain pace with the
demand for nature’s original superfood, and the consumer choice it creates.”