European dairy group Arla Foods aims to triple the size of its business in sub-Saharan Africa over the next two years.
By 2017, the company intends to generate sales on DKK2bn (US$317.7m) in the region, up from the DKK650m it currently turns over. Arla is targeting sales of powdered and UHT milk which, it said, is in “high” demand among the growing urban middle class.
“Today Arla sells products in Nigeria and the Ivory Coast, but Arla’s strategic focus is also directed at markets like Ghana, Senegal, Congo as well as other markets in east Africa,” the company said.
As part of its growth plans in the region, Arla has been in dialogue with Action Aid, an NGO working to promote economic development in Africa. As part of this process, the company will update its human rights policy in its code of conduct in order to comply with the United Nations Guiding Principals and OECD guidelines on human rights by July this year.
“More and more African consumers demand types of dairy products that cannot always be produced locally in adequate volumes. We offer good nutrition through our powdered milk products, and simultaneously we want to ensure that our business does not have any negative effects on local farmers,” said executive vice president Finn Hansen, who is head of Arla’s international business.