Arla back on track after Middle East boycott

Two years on from a boycott of its products, Swedish-Danish dairy company Arla Foods has reestablished itself on the Middle Eastern market.

Arla currently enjoys 95 percent of the turnover it had before the boycott began, the company said in a statement.

In Saudia Arabia, however, the company’s largest Middle Eastern market, Arla has only managed to reclaim 83 percent of its previous turnover.

Arla’s stated aim was to have made a full recovery by the end of 2007.

“There were positive developments in the second half of 2007,” said regional manager Finn S Hansen.

“So even though we didn’t quite meet our goals, our ambition remains the same,” he added.

The boycott came about as a result of the publication in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten of caricature of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.


Arla looks to milk UK, German dairy mergers

Swedish-Danish dairy cooperative Arla announced Tuesday it was planning two large European mergers, with Germany's Milch-Union Hocheifel (MUH) and Britain's Milk Link, both cooperatives.

Arla looks to milk UK, German dairy mergers

“Arla Foods is today announcing plans for two major mergers – with Germany’s eighth largest dairy, the cooperative Milch-Union Hocheifel … and with the UK’s fourth largest dairy, the cooperative Milk Link,” Arla said in a statement.

The three cooperatives are set to make a final decision on the mergers on June 26, but the deals will also need clearance from regulatory authorities, it added.

Arla, which will retain its name, said the mergers would allow it to grow from having 8,024 co-op owners in Denmark, Sweden and Germany, to having 12,300 owners in those three countries and also in Britain, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Arla, which raked in 55 billion Danish kroner ($9.4 billion) in sales in 2011, said that if the mergers go through they will “immediately increase Arla’s revenue by 9.0 billion kroner per year.”

The Scandinavian company, which exports products under the brands Arla, Lurpak and Castello to more than 100 countries and which employs more than 17,000 people, said that by 2015 it aimed to “be the UK’s largest dairy company and (to) rank third in Germany.”