Europe’s biggest dairy company, Scandinavian Arla Foods will close 19 of its 70 dairies in Sweden and Denmark over the next five years. Eleven dairies are in Denmark and the remaining eight in Sweden. The closures affect 1050 staff. The management revealed the news yesterday, after voting through a new strategy and structure plan for the next five years.

Arla Foods, which has an annual turnover of DKr37bn (US$4.3bn), employs 18,600 staff in Denmark and Sweden. On a brighter note, the plans also include “extraordinary investments” in both new and existing dairy plants, which will create some 350 new jobs.

By Penny Leese, correspondent