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Happy (Meal) cows: Arla and McDonald’s celebrate 30-year partnership

Press Release   •   Aug 08, 2017 08:00 BST

Working together with McDonald’s, Arla is launching a new co-branded Happy Meal and Arla Organic Milk bottle which will roll-out across McDonald’s UK restaurants.

The new design of the 250ml bottles, which will feature the Arla logo alongside the iconic Golden Arches, will be available in Happy Meals and will be sold in over 1,270 UK McDonald’s restaurants, reaching over 5.5 million customers per year. This marks the latest Arla initiative aimed at making its branded organic milk more accessible to customers.

Arla and McDonald’s have been working together for 30 years, with Arla supplying McDonald’s with organic milk since 2007 for use in its teas, coffees, porridge and Happy Meal milk bottles. This growing partnership means that Arla is expected to supply over 30 million litres of organic milk to the restaurant chain this year.

Arla and McDonald’s also have a long history of partnership on a series of agricultural initiatives, aimed at improving animal welfare, sustainability and farmer resilience. In 2017, McDonald’s was delighted to receive the Compassion in World Farming Good Dairy Commendation for the commitments, made with Arla, on welfare standards around their organic milk supply.

Off the back of their award, Arla is actively working to boost links between McDonald's and Arla farmer owners by identifying a specific group of farmers to work with to ensure that it is continuing to meet the robust welfare criteria for dairy cows.

Jonathan Dixon, Vice President of Food Service, Arla Foods UK, said:

“Arla has been working on a range of initiatives in recent months aimed at making organic milk more accessible to our consumers. We have recently repositioned our branded organic milk as Arla Organic Milk to highlight its free range credentials, and the rollout of the new bottle design for Arla Organic Milk 250ml into McDonald’s restaurants across the country is a great way for us to expand the reach of our products.

“The Compassion in World Farming awards win shows our ongoing commitment to our 30-year partnership with McDonalds and we look forward to working together on a series of new initiatives in the coming months and years. Watch this space!”

Pete Garbutt, McDonald’s UK Agriculture Manager, said:

“Arla has been supplying McDonald’s with organic milk since 2007, and we’re proud that over 30 million litres will be distributed to our restaurants around the country this year.

“Our award-winning partnership with Arla has seen some excellent work take place on animal welfare and sustainability, and it was great to see our work recognised by Compassion in World Farming. I look forward to continuing to work to further improve the sustainability of our dairy supply.”

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Arla Foods is a global dairy company and co-operative owned by 12,000 dairy farmers with circa 2,500 of whom are British.

Dating back to 1881, Arla’s purpose is to secure the highest value for its farmers’ milk, while creating opportunities for their growth. With production facilities in 11 countries and sales offices in a further 30, Arla is the world’s fifth largest dairy company and largest supplier of organic dairy products. Arla has a total of more than 18,000 colleagues and its products are sold under the well-known brands Arla®, Lurpak® and Castello® in more than 100 countries.

Arla Foods UK is the largest dairy company in the country and is home to leading dairy brands Anchor®, Arla Cravendale®, and Arla Lactofree® with a turnover of €2.2 billion. The UK is largest market within the Europe Zone, contributing 35% of the zone’s turnover and also comprises 25% of the Group revenue.

As well as being a leading supplier of fresh milk, number one in butter, spreads and cream, Arla is the UK’s largest cheese manufacturer. It has also built the world’s largest fresh milk facility located at Aylesbury that later this year will become the first net zero carbon site of its kind. The UK business has a team of approximately 3,500 colleagues located at its dairies, creameries, distribution centres and head office.