Dairy giant Arla Foods is to move more of its staff into international markets as part of a revamp of its management structure.

The Danish firm said it wanted to get “closer to consumers and customers” and would have more employees working in key markets including Germany, Russia and the US.

Production will be unaffected but some 35 employees working in Arla’s office in the Danish capital of Copenhagen will lose their jobs.

“Our ambition is to significantly increase our turnover and grow through increased market shares and acquisitions and by focusing on five product categories in eight selected markets,” said executive director Tim Ørting Jørgensen.

Arla will also pay more attention to reviving sales in the Middle East, where the company is facing a second consumer boycott in three years.

Arla has been caught up in a revival of a boycott first seen two years ago when Muslim countries protested against the Danish publication of a cartoon depicting the prophet Mohammed.

The row flared up again in February after several Danish newspapers reprinted the cartoon in a show of solidarity with the cartoonist, who had been the victim of a failed murder attempt.

Arla plans to install a “new and experienced team” in the Middle East to run its businesses in the region.

Finn S. Hansen, who will lead the team, said: “We believe in a profitable future in the Middle East where we have strong quality brands for which consumers are willing to pay a premium.

“But we must also accept that the Middle East is no longer the same stable market as it once was. This is why we’re adjusting our business model to face up to any future fluctuations. Simplification and focus are the key words for the new strategic focus in the region.”