Following lengthy analysis, Arla and MD Foods have agreed to name their proposed new joint company, "Arla Foods amba", while retaining the MD colours. The analysis concluded that in most respects the Arla name had a stronger impact than "MD Foods" or any combination of the two names in international markets, not least in view of the fact that the letters MD stand for "Mejeriselskabet Danmark" (The Dairy Company Denmark) and, therefore, represent the Group's local origin.
Arla's "Red Cow" will continue as the Group's trademark for milk in Sweden, where the name and the cow rank among the local market's best known brands. In the domestic Danish market, MD Foods operates a large number of strong brands for individual products.
Dating back to 1881 when one of Sweden's first co-operative dairies was founded on Stora Arla Farm, the name "Arla" literally means "early." Six year later, in 1887, a new dairy, Mjölkcentralen, was built in Stockholm on a site where Arla's current headquarters is located. Following a series of mergers, Mjölkcentralen in 1975 decided to change its name to Arla.