European dairy giant Arla Foods has announced a new push in innovation and development with the launch of a new organisation and the appointment of a senior vice president dedicated to the area.

Its new Product and Innovation organisation will bring together current product management and research and development functions, which includes new product development.

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The Denmark-headquartered cooperative said that, going forward, the new organisation will be responsible for all product-related activities, which encompasses research and technology development, product development and management of all product and packaging changes.

Hanne Søndergaard, executive vice president and CMO, said: “The new set-up will enable closer collaboration with our commercial zones, markets and supply chain, ensuring that we are driving our global innovation and product agendas from the strongest possible position to maximise the value of our products.

“With the aim for half of our growth to come from innovation, it’s a key element of our strategy and an essential element in our mission to create the highest possible value for the milk supplied by our cooperative owners.” 

She said the idea is to be more experimental, faster to market and to roll out successes with speed. 

Heading up the new organisation from 1 April will be Lars Dalsgaard, who is appointed as SVP, product and innovation. With 35 years of experience in Arla including six years in the UK, Dalsgaard is said to have been instrumental in developing Arla’s footprint both in cheese, ingredients and in the UK. He is currently head of global supply chain manufacturing for cheese, butter and powder.

Søndergaard said: “Lars has the perfect combination of skills, expertise and experience within the business and is passionate about taking both our innovation and product agendas to the next level.”