Arla Foods has announced the acquisition of the Wisconsin-based White Clover Dairy for an undisclosed sum. The dairy has produced feta and havarti cheeses for Arla since 1998.

Through the acquisition, Arla also obtains production of added value gouda and edam, which sell at a premium and dovetail well with the company's current range, the company said.

In a statement released yesterday (26 January) the company said: "The acquisition of the dairy with its 170 employees will provide Arla with the capacity for future expansion at a time when access to locally produced speciality cheese is a natural part of Arla's long-term strategy for the US."

Although production will initially amount to 5,000 tonnes of cheese, this can be increased to 15,000 tonnes.

The move follows in the footsteps of the company's 2004 purchase of Canadian speciality cheese producer, National Cheese Company. "As the Canadian operations have more than met our expectations, we are keen to repeat the success in the US," says Finn S. Hansen, executive director of the overseas division.