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Two new joint-ventures to start up in West Africa

Press Release   •   Aug 31, 2015 09:02 BST

Arla continues its expansion in Africa through two new joint-ventures in Nigeria and Senegal. Two strong local partners, Tolaram in Nigeria and Attieh Group in Senegal, will provide the distribution backbone that will help Arla grow and develop its business in West Africa.

Arla is now taking its next steps in West Africa with the announcement of two new joint venture companies in Senegal and Nigeria. The move is part of Arla’s strategy to develop new markets outside the EU to ensure that Arla can create as much value as possible from the farmer-owners’ milk.

The two new joint ventures is another step towards fulfilling Arla’s ambition in sub-Saharan Africa, where Arla aims to grow its annual revenue from approx. 90 million euro to approx. 460 million euro in 2020. This is to be achieved initially through sales of powdered milk and liquid milk, which is in high demand among the rapidly growing middle class in and around the big cities, and eventually also butter and cheese.

“With the improved living standards, families are increasingly demanding safe and affordable nutrition. West Africa faces a milk deficit, which gives Arla an opportunity to provide milk powder and other dairy products that meet the consumers’ needs. We are here to build a long-term business, and that requires strong local partners. We are therefore pleased to join with two experienced partners in Senegal and Nigeria,” says Steen Hadsbjerg, head of Arla’s business region in Sub Saharan Africa.

Arla’s powdered milk products in Africa are sold under the Arla Dano® brand.

Nigeria a crucial market for Arla in Africa
In Nigeria Arla already has an established business with annual revenue of approx. 80 million euro, but so far it has been based on various distribution agreements. Now, by placing all its current and future business in the new joint venture company with Tolaram Group, Arla expects to grow its revenue to 240 million euro by 2020.

“Nigeria is one of the biggest markets for dairy products in Africa. For Arla to succeed in Africa we must succeed in Nigeria. The population is growing at a rate of two to three per cent per year, and people are young, ambitious and increasingly well educated. This makes Nigeria a perfect market for Arla’s Africa strategy, and we expect the new joint venture to start up its sales in the market in September,” says Steen Hadsbjerg.

The new joint venture in Nigeria will carry the name TG Arla Dairy Products LFTZ Entreprise and is owned 50 per cent by Arla Foods and 50 per cent by Tolaram Group. The company will handle packaging, marketing, sales and distribution of Arla products in Nigeria. Mads Burmester has been appointed as managing director of the company.

Starting up in Senegal
Arla does not have any sales today in Senegal, but by forming a joint venture company with the Attieh Group, Arla expects to build annual revenue of 32 million euro by 2020.

The new joint venture company in Senegal is called Arla Senegal S.A. and is owned 75 per cent by Arla Foods and 25 per cent by Attieh Group. The joint venture will handle packaging, marketing, sales and distribution of Arla products in Senegal, and is expected to be operational before the end of this year.

Responsible approach to growth
As Arla Foods continues to expand its presence and business in African markets, it is essential to the long-term success of Arla’s business that the company’s growth must be achieved in a responsible way that does not bring unintentional consequences for the local farming industry and its related communities.

For that reason Arla has conducted an in-depth “Assessment of the Potential for Human Rights Impact related to the Market Effects of Milk Powder Export”. Arla is also introducing due diligence procedures complying with the UNGPs and the OECD guidelines, ensuring that Arla is well placed to manage the human rights impacts of its global business activities in accordance with international human rights guidelines.

Human Rights Assessments have been conducted in regards to the new joint ventures in Nigeria and Senegal. The full reports will be published on arla.com in early October this year, however already now you can read summaries of each report.

Click here to read the Human Rights Assessment summaries concerning Nigeria and Senegal (or visit Arla Foods global website by clicking here to find related documents)

Facts – about Tolaram Group, Nigeria
-Tolaram Group is a leading distributor of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and a producer of noodle products and food oils. Largest independent FMCG distributor in West Africa with access to more than 500,000 retailers.
-Established in 1948, Tolaram Group has 9,500 employees and 1 billion USD in revenue.

Facts – about Attieh Group, Senegal
-The “Attieh Group” is a conglomerate in Senegal. The Groups agriculture company “AGROLINE” is a leading distribution and packaging company with an established a wide network of distributors and supermarkets in Senegal.
-Established in 2004, Attieh Group has more than 650 employees of which 130 are employed in AGROLINE. The Group has more than 80 million EUR in revenue.

Arla Foods is a global dairy company and co-operative owned by dairy farmers, circa 3,000 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 sixth 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, Cravendale, and Lactofree. It has a turnover of £2.3 billion. As well as being number one in fresh liquid milk, 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.