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Update on Argentina

Press Release   •   Dec 21, 2001 12:35 CET

Arla Foods’ staff in Argentina report that they have not yet felt any serious effects of the unrest. The country is experiencing the worst violent protests in the country for years and a state of emergency has been declared.

Arla Foods and Arla Foods Ingredients both have offices in the capital Buenos Aires and Arla Foods Ingredients is currently building a whey protein factory in La Porteña, 600 km north west of the capital.

Arla Foods’ two offices are placed in the north of Buenos Aires and the riots in the capital have not spread to the area.

”The situation is generally tense,” reports Jens Jørgen Hjortshøj, Director of Arla Foods’ Argentinean subsidiary ”The riots started on Wednesday afternoon and right now no-one really knows what’s going on. There are many questions, but few answers.”

”The worst riots have taken place in the poorest suburbs south of the capital while the demonstrations have mainly been in the city centre,” explains Jens Jørgen Hjortshøj.

The riots have, however, meant that sale and distribution of Arla Foods’ products have been suspended until further notice.

”The supermarkets are closed so there’s no reason to send the distribution lorries out,” says Hjortshøj.

From the building site at La Porteña, 600 km north west of Buenos Aires, where Arla Foods Ingredients is currently building a whey protein factory, Factory Director Finn Simonsen reports that the situation is normal:

”The site has around 275 workers and all turned up for work this morning. Most of the building materials have arrived at the site, but one consignment is currently with Customs and it could well be that it will take some time to get it through.”

Finn Simonsen is the only Danish Arla Foods employee in La Porteña. The Danish supplier, APV, however, has a staff of seven working on the project.

Arla Foods has seconded four Danes to Argentina in addition to the local workforce of 20. No employees are expected to be called back because of the unrest.