Arla Foods’ merger with Belgian EGM Walhorn reinforces Arla Foods’ status as the world’s most multinational farmer-owned dairy company.
As of this week, the Netherlands becomes the seventh European country in which Arla Foods has farmer owners, taking the total number of cooperative owners to approximately 13,500.
“We have continuously managed to attract more farmer owners and to work together across borders because we stand united for one thing – securing our future as dairy farmers and expand our opportunities to develop. Being an Arla Foods farmer owner means having the guarantee that, no matter the country in which we are based, our milk will be turned into high quality products sold all over the world. And the more farmers we are, the more milk we produce, and the stronger we become together in serving the world great dairy products,” says Åke Hantoft, farmer owner and Chairman of the Board of Directors in Arla Foods.
Farmers want to set a high pace
Arla Foods’ farmer-owned heritage goes back more than 100 years and through the cooperative model, farmers have kept the influence over what the company does. For every farmer, owning the company has meant holding the opportunity to secure the development of their farm, explains Peder Tuborgh, CEO of Arla Foods:
“Our dairy farmers can and want to set the pace, which has been high for many years – they want to ensure that profit is returned to their farms and into the company, as investments into our global dairy business. We do this together as one big multinational team of dairy farmers and employees. This mindset has created the global Arla of today.”
Arla Foods’ cross-border cooperation between dairy farmers started back in 2000, when Swedish dairy cooperative Arla merged with the Danish dairy company MD Foods. In 2011 Arla Foods merged with Hansa Milch in Germany and in 2012 with Milch-Union Hocheifel (MUH) in Germany and Milk Link in the UK. In 2013, AMCo UK members joined as Arla Foods’ co-owners too.
- In 2014, Arla Foods expects the milk intake from farmer owners to be approx. 11.4 billion kilo-grammes, or 92 per cent of the total expected milk intake for this year (12.4 billion kilogrammes)
- Arla Foods has farmer owners in seven European countries: Sweden (3356), Denmark (3156), UK (2956), Germany (2763), Belgium (955), Luxembourg (236), Netherlands (52)
- EGM Walhorn is a dairy cooperative owned by 795 milk producers in Belgium (426), Germany (317) and the Netherlands (52)
- In 2013, Arla Foods’ worldwide sales of dairy products totalled 9.9 billion Euros
- Arla Foods’ core markets are the UK, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands