Cravendale maker Arla Foods pours £72m into its United Kingdom dairies

To meet this growing demand, it is investing 190 million euros in the coming three years to expand a production site in Germany, which makes milk powder and ultra-pasteurized (UHT) milk for markets outside Europe.

Arla said 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 US.

The business employs about 100 people but with seasonal hikes can rise to 150 people. This investment is nearly double the investment of a year ago and, with the exception of building the Aylesbury dairy, it is the biggest annual investment for Arla in the UK.

He said the investment was nearly double that of a year ago.

Arla Foods UK managing director Tomas Pietrangeli said: "Arla is the biggest dairy company in the UK, owned by 11,200 farmers across Europe. We see these investments as essential to the future of our business", Hantoft said.

Arla Foods has about 3,500 colleagues at its dairies, creameries, distribution centres and head office in the UK. "Our ambition is to create an even stronger foundation for our farmer-owners and our future business growth". The investments 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's carbon net zero site in Aylesbury will see the biggest proportion of United Kingdom spend with an investment of €38.4 million as it becomes the United Kingdom home to the production of Arla's lactose-free dairy products. It is expected to be ready for production in 2021.

With its subsidiary Arla Foods Ingredients, the company has taken a by-product once cast aside from cheese production and is now leading the way in whey with high-quality value-added whey protein ingredients for food industry customers around the world. The company will invest in expanded and improved production capacity as well as innovative technology. £5.5 million will be used to upgrade processing facilities at Arla's Lockerbie plant in Scotland.

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