Growing demand for pizza in emerging countries is behind the plan to increase mozzarella production

Growing demand for pizza in emerging countries is behind the plan to increase mozzarella production

Danish dairy giant Arla Foods has announced plans to expand its domestic Branderup plant to increase mozzarella production.

The cooperative said it needs to more than double its production output to more than 500 million litres of milk annually at the Southern Jutland site.

The initial cost for the expansion work is likely to be around DKK600m (US$88.9m).

Arla said plans for new production lines have been drawn up and work will start on the plant's expansion early next year. New technology to aid the production process will also be introduced.

Some 91 million kilos of mozzarella will be produced annually at the Branderup site after the extra capacity is added.

Sami Naffakh, Arla's executive vice president of supply chain, said: "The expansion of Branderup Dairy is a happy news for Arla. An expansion of this size helps cement our status as one of the world's leading producers of mozzarella cheese and allows us to expand our position as a supplier of quality mozzarella to consumers and the foodservice industry in Europe, Asia, the US and the Middle East."

Arla said it will be taking on 25 additional employees after capacity is increased.

The dairy's mozzarella production in Denmark is concentrated on the Branderup and Rødkærsbro sites. From there, cheeses are shipped worldwide to 100 countries on all continents.

Arla said demand for mozzarella is growing partly due to the fact that developing countries are demanding more cheese for fast-food products such as pizza.