UK – Arla Foods, the farmer-owned dairy cooperative has announced a plan to invest US$655.8 million in 2018 as it continues to deliver on its 2020 growth ambition.

The executive management’s decision to significantly increase the investments of the company was approved by Arla Foods’ board of directors, which consisted mainly of elected farmer owners.

Chairman of Arla Foods Åke Hantoft underlined that all investments by Arla Foods were made to secure long-term growth and profit opportunities for the company’s 11,200 farmer owners across Europe.

“Arla has a history of good investments for sustained growth.

The board of directors has decided to increase our investments with this plan, because we have identified new projects and investments with short and long term potential for significant return.

The business growth these investments will create for our company will generate growth opportunities for our farmer owners.

We see these investments as essential to the future of our business,” says Åke Hantoft.

Arla, which now operates in 120 countries word wide has focused its investment in four key areas; meeting the growing demand for dairy, healthy and natural products that match consumer lifestyles, leading the way in Whey and sustainable food production that considers the future of our planet.

50% of the investments in 2018 are targeted projects aimed at growing Arla Foods’ sales outside Europe, where the company’s fastest growing strategic growth markets are Middle East and North Africa, China and Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the United States.

“This investment plan is a growth plan aimed at expanding our positions in key dairy categories and geographic markets where Arla is already a key player.

Our ambition is to create an even stronger foundation for our farmer owners and our future business growth,” said Peder Tuborgh, CEO, Arla Foods.

These investments plans strongly feature in Arla Foods investments plans.

The investments also come as Arla Foods continues to deliver on the major food trends influencing consumer demand for health dairy products as part of a natural and balanced diet.

Arla plans to use its experience from its Scandinavian markets and US$70 million investment to lay the foundations for the production of Lactofree products at its Aylesbury site in the UK, since it led the way in Lactofree dairy production.