Milk Link and Arla members approve merger

More than 99% of votes cast by Milk Link’s farmer owners support the proposed merger with Arla Foods amba.

The merger of the two dairy co-operatives, which was initially proposed on 22 May, will now go ahead, subject to regulatory authority approvals.

The Milk Link member vote saw a turnout of 83%, with 5,560, or 99.5%, voting in favour of the merger and just 26 members against.

Arla Foods amba’s board of representatives also voted 97% in favour in a simultaneous vote, with just five members voting against the merger.

The merger will create the largest player in the UK dairy market, processing more than 3bn litres of milk a year and with a combined turnover of more than £2bn.

It will mean 1,600 British Milk Link members will become part owners of one of Europe’s largest dairy co-operatives, alongside Arla’s existing Danish, Swedish and German farmers.

“The resounding vote in favour of the proposal by Milk Link’s members gives a very strong mandate for the merger and provides real momentum for the growth and development of the merged business going forward,” said Milk Link chief executive Neil Kennedy.

Milk Link has held 34 member roadshows across the country to explain the benefits of the merger to members, which have had a positive response, said Mr Kennedy.

“Overall, we firmly believe the merger will create a strong platform for a sustainable future for Milk Link members and the long-term growth of a vibrant British dairy industry.”

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