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​Record number of Arla farmer owners opening their gates for Open Farm Sunday

Press Release   •   May 19, 2016 11:56 BST

Arla Foods, the farmer-owned dairy company and a principal sponsor of Open Farm Sunday 2016, is anticipating a record number of visitors through the gates of its owners’ farms on farming’s national open day, June 5th.

Arla farmer owners are inviting people on to their farms to understand what goes into their favourite dairy products. Last year, 44 Arla farmers were involved welcoming over 37,000 visitors and Arla is demonstrating its commitment this year, with around 60 farms set to take part in 2016, hoping to welcome 50,000 people.

Working closely with organiser LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming), Arla is proudly taking its place amongst top names from across the food and farming sector, supporting the initiative and highlighting the key role it can play in educating the Great British public about day-to-day life on Britain’s farms.

Arla is supporting the project through a media, social media and advocacy programme, seeking to use the opportunity to highlight the vital work that its farmer owners do on a day-to-day basis in providing dairy for the Great British public.

Commenting, Arla farmer owner Roger Hildreth at Curlew Fields Farm in Hessay, North Yorkshire said:

“We are incredibly proud to be part of Open Farm Sunday, a great initiative which highlights the hard work of British farmers. Visitors to our farms will get a better understanding of life on a farm and helping them make a connection with what we produce on farm with their favourite products in the supermarket.

“Even in a challenging time for farming, in particular dairy, farmers are keen to get involved and put on a great day for the visitors and demonstrate what a fantastic farming industry we have in the UK.”

Open Farm Sunday 2016 will take place on 5 June, and will see hundreds of farms across the country opening their gates to welcome the public. Now in its 11th year, the event has seen over 1.6 million people visit a farm, and the event organiser, LEAF, expects a quarter of a million more visitors nationwide this year.

Arla has set up a special Open Farm Sunday page for consumers can find their nearest farm participating in the event: http://www.arlafoods.co.uk/overview/farmer-owned/whats-going-on/openfarmsunday/

Annabel Shackleton, LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday Manager, said:

“Open Farm Sunday unites the whole industry. We are delighted to have been working with most of our sponsors for many years. Their ongoing and long-standing support shows their deep commitment to providing the public with the opportunity to visit a farm, learn more about British agriculture and how it impacts on everyone’s lives.”

“The support demonstrates just how valuable Open Farm Sunday is to the industry and the continuing importance of connecting farmers with consumers. Our thanks goes to each of our sponsors and we look forward to working together with them to ensure the continued success of Open Farm Sunday.”

Arla Foods is a global dairy company and cooperative owned by 12,700 dairy farmers, circa 2,700 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 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, Cravendale, and Lactofree with a turnover of €2.9 billion. As well as being a leading supplier of fresh milk, and 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 and has plans for it to be the first zero carbon site of its kind. The UK business has a team of approximately 3,500 colleagues located at its dairies, distribution centres and head office.