Arla is Cream of the 2015 dairy trade awards

Milk processor Arla Foods UK is the winner of the Silver Cup, the top award at the 2015 Cream Awards. The Silver Cup award, sponsored by the Merial brand Eprinex, is the culmination of the annual dairy industry trade awards organised by Grove House Publishing, home of the Farm Business stable of titles.

The Cream Awards judges decided that the farmer-controlled business was a clear winner this year. They were particularly impressed by the co-operative’s largescale investment in the UK dairy industry, its unrivalled talent for brand building and marketing and its work to educate consumers about the dairy industry, the technologies used and how milk is made.

As well as being a proactive force in driving consumer dairy brands, the judges found Arla to have shown its long-term commitment to the dairy sector at a time of crisis. They concluded that its highly ambitious expansion and huge investment in dairy capacity shows that there will be a bright future for dairying.

“The investment Arla Foods has made in British dairying is most welcome during these tough times,” stated NFU president Meurig Raymond, opening the Cream Awards ceremony and dinner at the National Motorcycle Museum last week. “The company’s support and confidence is great for the long term outlook for the industry and I am delighted they won such a prestigious award.”

For Arla Foods, member services director Graham Wilkinson said: “It is a privilege for Arla to receive this prestigious Cream Award, in recognition of our contribution to the UK Dairy Industry. As a farmer-owned cooperative we have been able to invest in the long-term future of the business, by delivering innovative new products, building a first class brand portfolio and building world class facilities, which all help to build the confidence of Arla’s farmer owners.”

Arla Foods has established itself as the dominant player in UK dairy manufacturing and marketing, in the decade since the Denmark-based co-operative first entered the UK milk sector. It now handles 3.2 billion litres of UK milk each year from 3,000 farmer suppliers – over 20% of the national output. It is the leading supplier of fresh liquid milk, cream, butter and spreads and dairy ingredients, as well as being the country’s largest cheese manufacturer.

In 2013, Arla Foods opened the world’s biggest dairy plant near Aylesbury. The £150 million investment allows the company to process up to 1bn litres of milk each year at a site ideally located between the major south west milk field and the UK’s capital and south east population centres. The plant is fully sustainable and is designed to release zero carbon emissions when operating at full capacity.

The co-operative’s key dairy brands include Arla and Cravendale liquid milk and Anchor and Lurpak butter and cheese. But it has also developed into other areas including fromage frais, yoghurt, flavoured milks and milk protein foods. It is always looking for new uses for its milk, such as the recent introduction of milk for those with lactose intolerance.

Arla is active in communicating the nutritional and wider benefits of milk and raising the profile of the dairy sector by highlighting its role in maintaining a countryside that is both beautiful to visit and economically viable. The business is a great supporter of the Open Farm Sunday initiative to get people to visit working farms, and the Aylesbury dairy recently featured on the BBC’s documentary series showing how some of the UK’s favourite foods are made. Arla is unrolling its new farmer-owned product marque across all its products and delivery vehicles to underline that Arla dairy products are responsibly sourced from a farmer-owned business.

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