Arla expands ownership base

Arla expands ownership base

Arla Foods has almost doubled its number of UK-based farmer owners, the European dairy co-operative revealed today (6 January).

The company said the move would enable it to source an additional 300m litres of milk from co-operative members. Arla suggested it is a further step in the group's drive to secure its milk supply ahead of the abolition of European dairy quotas in 2015.

"One of the key strategic objectives of  roadmap was to secure our milk supply and we have achieved this objective," Ash Amirahmadi, head of milk and member services, said.

The co-operative also indicated it has re-opened recruitment to secure a further 300m litres of UK milk in 2014.

Johnnie Russell, British farmer director at Arla, said membership of Arla will enable UK farmers to benefit from access to world markets when European milk quotas are abolished next year. "With quota abolition next year, which is likely to result in a huge upsurge in European milk production, it is essential that a farmer is able to benefit from the returns from world markets. I believe that Arla is the only UK business that has a  strategy in place whereby we can access world markets to tap into a broader marketplace for our products, which in turn deliver a higher return."

Arla is owned by 13,500 members across Denmark, Germany, the UK, Belgium, Luxembourg and Sweden.