Arla announces ‘roadmap to co-ownership’

AROUND 1,600 British dairy farmers could become co-owners of Arla Foods amba, under proposals unveiled last week.


The Board of Directors and the board of Milk Partnership Limited (MPL) – Arla Foods Milk Partnership’s (AFMP) investment company of which all AFMP farmers are members – have announced the a ‘roadmap to co-ownership’ proposal.


Under the proposal, MPL will become a corporate member and co-owner of Arla Foods amba, from 1 January 2014. Farmers who elect to join will receive the same membership rights as the company’s existing 12,250 farmer owners, including Arla Milk Link farmers.


All existing suppliers of AFMP, Arla direct, and Arla Milk Link direct will be invited to take up the offer of ownership. AFMP farmers not wishing to take up the offer will have the option to transfer to an Arla direct contract. If the offer is undersubscribed it will be opened up to other dairy farmers.


From January 1, MPL farmers will receive the Arla Foods performance price, which includes the amba standard litre price, plus a supplementary (13th) payment, and will benefit from individual consolidation and collective (common) consolidation.


Speaking about the ownership proposal, Jonathan Ovens, chairman of MPL and AFMP, said: “I’m delighted that we have agreed the terms of the roadmap which offer circa 1,600 farmers the benefit of joining a major European cooperative that consistently pays one of the highest milk prices and a share of the profits.


“This move takes our ambition to the next level by providing the security of a milk price determined by European and world markets, from a well-balanced, well-invested, farmer-owned business, which has access to the global marketplace and operates across all dairy categories.


“Quite simply, Arla Foods amba is owned by farmers and run for the benefit of farmers. There is a natural alignment of our interests with the existing dairy farmers’ owners. I will be joining and I hope that fellow members will choose to join too,” he added.