Daily Newsletter

19 March 2024

Daily Newsletter

19 March 2024

Arla Foods invests in UK mozzarella production

The dairy cooperative claimed the move is its “largest ever investment into the UK”.

Henry Mathieu March 19 2024

Arla Foods is set to invest €210m ($227.6m) in mozzarella cheese production at one of its UK dairy sites.

The dairy cooperative claimed the project is its “largest ever investment into the UK”.

The Taw Valley creamery, based in Devon in south-west England, will have new technology to “meet demands from customers, who need their mozzarella to brown, melt or stretch in a certain way”.

Arla added the technology includes several patents and brings down the maturing process from 14 days to one.

Executive vice-president and COO Peter Giørtz-Carlsen said: “Our mozzarella business has seen double-digit growth over the past five years and we have strong relationships with key customers, particularly in global foodservice, and it’s from that very solid starting point we are announcing the investment today.

“But we also know that we have to work hard to maintain that position amongst the global leaders in the category and deliver on our strategy. This investment allows us to stay among the leaders within mozzarella, serve our customers even better and at the same time improve profitability for our farmer owners’ milk.”

The majority of the mozzarella produced at the Taw Valley site will be exported to global foodservice customers, according to Arla.

“With this investment, Taw Valley will become a state-of-the-art cheese production site and combined with our strong channel understanding in the global mozzarella category, we are strengthening further our business”, said executive vice president and head of supply chain David Boulanger.

“This is a prime example of how we at Arla Foods constantly innovate in our process capabilities, improve our efficiency and drive product superiority in order to deliver our strategic ambitions, create growth and ultimately secure value for our farmer owners.”

Construction is expected to be finalised in 2026 with the first products from the new facility ready the following year. The investment will not impact Arla Foods’ two other mozzarella production sites in Denmark, the cooperative confirmed.

In January, Arla announced it was looking for a buyer for a cheese-making facility in the UK.

The company put its Melton Mowbray creamery, known locally as Tuxford and Tebbutt, up for sale.

The plant in Leicestershire in England’s East Midlands employs around 60 people, the company said in a statement.

Last month, Arla said its brands were boosted by returning consumers in the second half of 2023 but it reported flat sales for the year as a whole.

Reporting its 2023 results on 20 February, the farmer-owned cooperative said consumer sentiment improved throughout the year and it expects that positive momentum to continue in 2024.

CEO Peder Tuborgh, speaking in a post-results press conference, said: “The second half of the year was different to the first. The consumer market is in much better balance and we have seen significant growth in our brands come back again.”

The Lurpak, Castello and Arla brands owner reported 2023 revenues of €13.7bn, roughly the same level as its 2022 figure of €13.8bn.

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