Arla Foods UK
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|Wholly owned subsidiary|
|Headquarters||Leeds, United Kingdom|
|Products||Dairy products – Lurpak, Cravendale, Lactofree|
Number of employees
The company was created by the 1980 merger of the British dairy group Express Dairies and the British subsidiary of Arla Foods, a Swedish-Danish dairy production co-operative, jointly owned by Swedish and Danish farmers. The parent company Arla Foods amba initially held a 51% stake, but acquired the rest of the company's shares in April 2007. In Britain, Arla supplies milk to retailers and produces many household brands such as Lurpak, Anchor Butter, Cravendale, Lactofree and Castello.
The company name Arla is an archaic Swedish term for saying "early (in the morning)". Arla was originally chosen as the name of the Swedish company as Stora arla gård, "Great Arla Farm" in County Västmanland, Sweden, was one of the early founding members of today's cooperative.
History of parent
Arla Foods was formed as the result of the merger of Swedish dairy cooperative Arla and the Danish dairy company MD Foods in 2000. Swedish Arla derived from an early dairy producing cooperative, originally called Mjölkcentralen, MC, founded in 1926 in Stockholm. Danish MD Foods was the result of the 1999 merger of Kløver Mælk and MD Foods. MD originally stood for Mejeriselskabet Danmark. In 2000 Arla and MD Foods merged and the new company was headquartered in Aarhus, Denmark.
Arla Foods is today owned by approximately 10,600 milk producers in Denmark and Sweden.
Arla is the UK's second largest supplier of fresh milk and cream, producing over 2.2 billion litres of milk every year. It produces two premium milk brands — Cravendale filtered milk, which undergoes a filtration process to remove bacteria before pasteurization; and Lactofree milk, from which lactose is removed, making it suitable for most lactose intolerant people. Following the success of Lactofree milk, Arla introduced a range of Lactose free products, including cheese and yoghurt.
As well as fresh milk, Arla now produces in the UK both the Lurpak and Anchor butter brands. This was not widely publicised by the company, even though the brands had been established over decades as brands for butter imported from Denmark and from New Zealand respectively. Other products include fromage frais, yoghurts and the blue cheeses Rosenborg and Danish Blue. The firm also produces fruit juice.
In January 2009 Arla Foods UK ceased production at the Manchester dairy.
The company also operates the world's largest milk processing plant in Aylesbury which was opened on 24 May 2014.
According to the BBC, farmers are paid less than supermarkets that buy directly, per pint of milk.
- "Arla Foods amba acquires full ownership of UK subsidiary" (Press release). Arla Foods UK. 5 April 2007. Archived from the original on 16 July 2007. Retrieved 2008-05-01.