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World’s largest fresh milk dairy is officially opened by Secretary of State

Press Release   •   May 28, 2014 12:00 BST

Today, the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, The Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, officially opened Arla’s £150 million fresh milk processing facility located in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, with a capacity to produce 1.5 million bottles a day. 

The dairy, which is the most technologically advanced and efficient of its kind, has the potential to process up to 240,000 litres of milk per hour and one billion litres a year, supplied by around 900 British farmers, the majority of whom are owners of Arla. 

The dairy is also setting new environmental standards on a global scale and has a plan to be the first zero carbon facility of its kind.  It has already achieved zero waste to landfill and will utilise cutting edge renewable energy opportunities. 

Aylesbury represents a significant investment in the UK and is the largest single investment that Arla has made.  It will employ up to 700 people, delivering £20 million in wages, much of which will support the local and regional economy.  It also supports over 90 apprentices from the area.

Arla is a global dairy company and a cooperative owned by 12,600 dairy farmers, circa 2,800 of whom are British.  Arla is the largest dairy company in the UK and is home to leading dairy brands Anchor, Cravendale and Lurpak.  It processes 3.5 billion litres of milk a year from British farms into a full range of dairy products. 

Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, said: “Britain’s dairy industry contributes £3.7 billion to our economy and Arla’s new facility, the world’s largest fresh milk dairy, is powering economic growth by creating 700 regional jobs, including 90 apprenticeships.  This is a major investment. 

He continues: “Our long-term economic plan is working and we want more businesses to invest in the UK.”

Peter Lauritzen, CEO, Arla Foods UK, said:  “The size and scale of our new dairy reinforces Arla’s leadership within the UK dairy industry and we have drawn a line in the sand when it comes to next generation fresh milk processing.  Aylesbury has taken advantage of previously untapped technologies and an investment of this scale sends a compelling message to our farmer owners, customers and employees that we have made a long-term commitment to the UK.” 

David Christensen¹, British farmer owner and an Arla amba Board of Representative, said: “By having the most technologically-advanced milk processing facility in the world on our door step gives Arla a significant advantage in terms of being more efficient in converting raw milk into the finished product.  As an owner of Arla this gives me the confidence to invest in my own business, knowing that the demand for my milk will be on-going.”

Arla Foods is a global dairy company and co-operative owned by 12,600 dairy farmers circa 2,800 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 processes 3.5 billion litres of milk a year and has a turnover of £2.2 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 4,000 colleagues located at its dairies, distribution centres and head office.