Arla to invest in Aylesbury facility

Arla has earmarked £33m for expanding and improving its Aylesbury production facility

Under its plans to invest in new, expanded, improved production capacity and innovative technology, Arla will pour £33m into their production site at Aylesbury. The decision by the company was approved by Arla Foods’ board of directors at a meeting in London this week. The board of the company mainly consists of elected farmer owners.

The Chair of Arla Foods, Åke Hantoft, underlined that all investments by Arla Foods are made to secure long-term growth and profit opportunities for the company’s 11,200 farmer owners across Europe, adding that Arla has a history of good investments for sustained growth. Hantoft further said that the board of directors has decided to increase investments with this plan because the company has identified new projects and investments with short and long term potential for significant return. Hantoft added that the business growth these investments will create for the company will generate growth opportunities for its farmer owners, adding that the company sees these investments as essential to the future of its business.

The investment by Arla into its mega dairy at Aylesbury confirms its commitment to sustainable business as the company will use the site for its lactose-free products and alternative packaging. The investment in Aylesbury will provide new facilities for the production of new product packaging. Arla intends to explore alternatives to plastic and has already committed to use 100 per cent recyclable plastic by 2020 and 50 per cent recycled plastic in its plastic milk bottles.

Apart from this, Arla will use £5.5 million (€6.34 million) to upgrade processing facilities at its Lockerbie plant in Scotland, which takes its recent investment in Scotland to over £44 million and includes the installation of an anaerobic digester to offset Lockerbie’s carbon footprint. The remaindering £32.5 million (€37.2 million) will be split across Arla’s sites in Melton Mowbray, Llandyrnog, Malpas, Oakthorpe, Stourton, Settle, Oswestry and Trevarrian which includes non-site specific investments to drive growth for the farmers which own it and capitalise on increasing demand for dairy.

Managing Director, Arla Foods UK, Tomas Pietrangeli said that Arla is the biggest dairy company in the UK, owned by 11,200 farmers across Europe. He said that this investment is almost double the investment of last year and, with the exception of building the Aylesbury dairy, it is the biggest annual investment for Arla in the UK. Pietrangeli added that while milk prices remain volatile and Brexit brings both uncertainty and opportunity, Arla farmers in the UK and across Europe are committed to continually investing in its UK business to maintain pace with the demand for nature’s original superfood and the consumer choice it creates.

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