The merger had made the business the UK’s largest dairy company, with leading positions in milk, cheese, butter and spreads, said the firm.
Fresh milk, butter and spreads
Peter Lauritzen, the firm’s UK ceo, said: “Arla UK has a compelling dairy offer and we are very much focused on growing our business and building on our No 1 position in fresh milk, butter and spreads as well as cheese. We focused on integrating the Milk Link business into Arla during 2013 and we are already seeing good commercial progress as a result of this.”
A key aim was to build its cheddar and speciality cheese business, after winning “the biggest cheese contract in its history”, he added. From April 2014, Arla Foods will supply 30,000t of cheddar to its retail customer Asda, boosting cheese production by 50%.
Exclusive partnership with Starbucks
The business had also signed an exclusive partnership with Starbucks to supply 30M litres of Cravendale a year to all its 700 stores in the UK and Northern Ireland. Arla’s cooperative status was a key factor in winning the contract, it said.
Lauritzen said last year’s decision to make Arla Foods Milk Partnership (AFMP) farmers co-owners of Arla Foods amba, had boosted its British farmer owners to a total of about 2,800.
Arla planned to significantly boost production this year at its new fresh milk dairy in Aylesbury. “Built to schedule and budget, it will be the world’s largest and most environmentally advanced dairy of its kind …” claimed the co-op.
Meanwhile, the group’s total turnover reached £8.4bn last year, up by 16.6% on 2012.
Arla Foods total profit climbed to £250M compared with £207M the previous year.