Arla Foods' decision to stop producing emmental cheese is due to the company's need to divert more milk into mozzarella production, the Danish group said today (8 June).

The company wants to focus on more "strategic" products, including milk powder and a range of other cheese products like feta and mozzarella.

The company is set to expand its capacity to produce mozzarella at its Rødkærsbro Dairy in central Denmark. "We cover perhaps the most pizzas in Europe," the Arla spokesperson told just-food. "Melted cheese seems to be still very much in demand."

The decision to quit emmental production led Arla to announce earlier today that it will close its Aars Dairy in northern Denmark.

The spokesperson said recent reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy had put pressure on the price of cheese on the continent and reduced the money Arla could make from emmental.

Some 70 jobs look to be under threat from the closure but the spokesperson the affected workers being found jobs in Arla dairies nearby.

The spokesperson said the company also believes milk powder prices will continue to remain high. "There has been a very season in Australia and New Zealand, which has led to lower production of milk. We see the trend in milk powder prices to continue two years from now."