Arla back on track after Middle East boycott

Two years on from a boycott of its products, Swedish-Danish dairy company Arla Foods has reestablished itself on the Middle Eastern market.

Arla currently enjoys 95 percent of the turnover it had before the boycott began, the company said in a statement.

In Saudia Arabia, however, the company’s largest Middle Eastern market, Arla has only managed to reclaim 83 percent of its previous turnover.

Arla’s stated aim was to have made a full recovery by the end of 2007.

“There were positive developments in the second half of 2007,” said regional manager Finn S Hansen.

“So even though we didn’t quite meet our goals, our ambition remains the same,” he added.

The boycott came about as a result of the publication in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten of caricature of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.


Danish company to scrap plastic caps from millions of organic milk cartons

Dairy giant Arla is to stop using plastic screw tops on its one-litre organic milk cartons.

Danish company to scrap plastic caps from millions of organic milk cartons
Photo: Andrew Kelly/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The decision by the company is part of an effort to reduce CO2 emissions, it said in a statement.

Much of Arla’s packaging – including the one-litre organic milk cartons – is already produced from renewable materials such as plants and trees.

By dropping the plastic caps, the company says it can reduce the CO2 footprint of each carton by 30 percent.

Consumers buy 74 million cartons a year of the product from which the plastic packaging component is set to be removed. Each individual plastic cap is responsible for emissions of 10 grams of CO2, according to Arla.

As such the emissions saving on the caps could reach 740 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. The figures are based on emissions measured during the period October 2019 to September 2020.

Arla has previously declared its ambition to achieve CO2-neutral operations by 2050.

READ ALSO: Danish dairy giant wants CO2-neutral milk production by 2050

“We and our farmers have an ambitious target of becoming CO2 neutral, and we are reducing are emissions on an ongoing basis,” Arla Denmark country director Helle Müller Petersen said in the statement.

“Part of that work is to reduce the CO2 emissions from our packaging, for example by reducing the use of plastic,” Petersen added.

“It’s therefore an active choice for us to remove the screw top from the organic milk,” she said.