Arla Foods today (11 July) announced the launch of a new product in the UK – Arla Farmers Milk – which the firm said would give consumers the opportunity “to pay a little extra on each bottle to help Arla farmers”.

The launch from the farmer-owned dairy company is based on research that almost two thirds of consumers (63%) said they would pay more for dairy products if they knew the extra money would go to farmers, Arla said.

Arla Farmers Milk will be officially launched at the Great Yorkshire Show in the UK tomorrow and will be available in Asda stores the same day in a four-pint format, with both semi-skimmed and whole milk options at an RSP of GBP1.20 (US$1.55).

Arla said: “Asda’s brand four-pint milk RSP is 95 pence and the extra 25p for Arla Farmers Milk will be returned directly to Arla farmers. “In line with Arla’s cooperative’s principles, this extra money will be shared amongst its 12,700 farmer owners.”

Arla Foods amba farmer board director Jonathan Ovens said: “The launch of this new milk is a great boost to our dairy farmers. People want to know more about where their food comes from and who benefits and are willing to pay more if they know it goes directly to the farmers that produce it. As we’re part of a cooperative, the money we receive goes back to the farmers who supply our milk.”

Ovens said: “With farmgate milk prices much lower than we would like, we thank Asda for the continued support of our cooperative principles and also for providing an opportunity for their shoppers to give something back to Arla dairy farmers.”

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Asda’s senior director for sustainable business Chris Brown said: “Launching Arla Farmers Milk in Asda provides our shoppers with the perfect opportunity to help farmers in these challenging times. It offers them the choice to pay that little extra for their milk knowing it will go back to the farmers and is another example of how Asda is supporting the dairy industry.”

Arla Foods is a global dairy company and cooperative owned by 12,700 dairy farmers, around 2,700 of whom are British. Arla Foods UK is the largest dairy company in the country and is home to leading dairy brands including Anchor, Cravendale, and Lactofree with a turnover of EUR2.9bn (US$3.2bn). 

Last month, the UK’s biggest trade union, Unite, threatened Arla Foods with legal action over the company’s plans to close its fresh milk processing production facilities at its Hatfield Peverel dairy in Essex, England.

Earlier this month, Arla Foods unveiled a new addition to its portfolio of its UK lactose-free dairy range – Arla Lactofree Natural Yogurt. The diary giant said the new product was part of its efforts to target the 15% of the UK population who are thought to be lactose intolerant