Arla seeks new members for extra 300m litres

European dairy co-operative Arla Foods amba wants to sign up another 300m litres of British milk, after 1,300 UK farmers became full members this year.

Farmers who were supplying Arla directly or through the Arla Foods Milk Partnership (AFMP) were told in August they could become co-owners of the 13,500-member European network.

Eighty-five percent of AFMP members, along with direct Arla suppliers and new recruits supplying 230m litres of milk, signed up during the autumn.

Their milk price will be set by European and world markets from 1 January 2014.

Now Arla wants to add 300m litres of milk from new farmer-owner recruits to the 3bn litres it draws already from the UK.

“We have been working towards becoming co-owners of Arla Foods amba for the past 10 years and we have now realised our vision,” said Jonathan Ovens, chairman of the newly formed Arla Milk Cooperative.

“Arla is committed to delivering a sustainable future for its farmers and by taking the ownership route we are receiving the leading milk price.”

Currently 2,800 farmer-owners supply 95% of Arla UK’s milk pool and are part of a network that includes Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Sweden.

“For years UK farmers have looked on enviously at the apparent disparity between this country and mainland European milk prices,” said Mansel Raymond, chairman of the NFU’s dairy body.

“It’s good news that Arla has reopened its recruitment window so British dairy farmers who wish to join Europe’s largest dairy co-operative will have the opportunity to be part of this successful business.”

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