Arla Foods has announced a £243m investment plan for the coming year to boost its production capacity and environmental credentials.

The European co-op will inject £83m into making products for global markets like Russia, China and the Middle East, as it plans to double its non-EU exports by 2017.

It will also spend £14m on cutting energy use and carbon emissions across its 67 processing sites.

In the UK, Arla will spend £9m on a new cheese packing facility at its Oswestry plant.

Other major investments include:

  • £58m on a new plant near near Vium, Denmark, to make value-added lactose ingredients particularly in demand in Asia;
  • £14m at Pronsfeld dairy in Germany, which exports UHT milk and milk powder to Asia and Africa;
  • And more than £10m on quark production at its site in Upahl, Germany.

“Our sales on the growth markets outside the EU are growing at a fast pace and we must prepare ourselves to meet the rapidly growing demand in years to come,” said Arla Foods vice-CEO Povl Krogsgaard.

“The target set in our climate strategy in Arla is to reduce our overall CO² emissions by 25% by 2020.

“Our production plays a key role in the efforts to reach that target and therefore we are investing in new state-of-the-art heating pumps and water-saving equipment.”

See also Arla raises February milk price