At a press conference last week in Athens, Arla Foods and the Greek food company, Delta, announced discussions about a joint-venture between Arla Foods Hellas and Athens-based Delta Selections. The new company in which Delta will hold a 40% stake and Arla Foods 60 %, will operate as Arla Foods Hellas S.A.
Delta Selections produces Greek feta based on sheep and goats' milk and has a capacity of approx. 5,000 tons per year. With 65 employees, the company will be one of the largest feta producers in Greece meaning that Arla Foods Hellas will not only be the largest importer of dairy products in Greece, but will also become a significant local producer. The move will also enable Arla Foods to include original Greek feta in its international portfolio of speciality cheese.
At the press conference Greek journalists expressed surprise that a Danish company will now be able to produce what the Greeks call "genuine" feta cheese.
"We supply products that consumers want to have," replied the head of Delta Holding Sakis Yannakakos. "They decide which products we can sell."
While some believe that Greece has now lost the feta battle, Yannakakos disagrees.
"On the contrary. The joint-venture will give us a large, international partner able to sell our Greek feta, also outside Greece."
The new company, Arla Foods Hellas S.A., will have a total turnover of approx. GRD 26 billion or DKK 580 million.
At the press conference in Athens – from left, Managing Director Dimitris Daskalopoulos, Delta Holding, Group Managing Director Sakis Yannakakos, Delta Holding and Group Executive Director Andreas Lundby, Arla Foods.