Arla has also invested in the UK for lactose-free milk

Arla has also invested in the UK for lactose-free milk

European dairy giant Arla Foods has invested SEK80m (US$8.1m) in a plant in Sweden to export lactose-free dairy products to the UK.

Located in the city of Jönköping in Småland province, Arla said the investment will double shipments of dairy products to the UK, with 30 million litres of fresh milk, valued at SEK250m, to be sourced from local farmers annually and converted into lactose-free milk.

"The dairy market is becoming increasingly specialised and demand, for example, of lactose-free products is growing around Europe," said Patrik Hansson, the director of Arla Sweden. "This requires investment, and I am obviously pleased that we are able to make these investments in our dairies around Sweden. This ensures the provision of our Arla Farmers milk."

Denmark-headquartered Arla said production has already started, and the first shipments to the UK have been made.

Helena Södervall, Arla's dairy manager in Jönköping, added: "We will produce about 100,000 litres of lactose-free milk per day, with a longer shelf life, six days a week" for the UK market.

In January, Arla said it planned to spend GBP25m ($32.8m) to develop an existing UK site for the manufacture of lactose-free milk products in the North Yorkshire town of Settle in northern England to reduce exports from Denmark, and to provide a local source of production.