History

Arla Landmarks

The Arla history dates back to 1881 when the first dairies in Denmark and Sweden were founded.

Over the years, additional cooperative dairies were founded. After The Second World War, there were 1,650 dairies in Denmark and the number continued to grow until the 1960s when the idea of creating nationwide dairies was suggested. From then on, mergers and acquisitions among dairies was part of the daily life in both Denmark and Sweden.

In 2000, the Danish MD Foods and the Swedish Arla economist Förening decided to merge. This was the first large cross-national merger in the Nordic dairy industry.

Landmarks in Arla history from 2000 and forward:

  • 2004 - Arla acquired National Cheese Company in Canada and become a producer and distributor of cheese in Canada.
  • 2005 - Arla and the Chinese dairy company China Mengniu started a partnership in producing milk powder for the Chinese market.
  • 2006 - Arla purchased the American dairy White Clover in Wisconsin.
  • 2006 - Arla purchased the privately owned dairy, Tholstrup Cheese, adding the Castello brand to the Arla porfolio. Also in 2006, Arla announced the purchase of the privately owned Finnish dairy Ingman Foods Oy Ab.
  • 2007 - Merger between Arla and Express Dairies in the UK. The merger created the UK's leading supplier of dairy products under the name of Arla Foods UK.
  • 2007 - Arla Foods establishes new joint venture with Artis in Russia creating the new Russian company Arla Foods Artis LCC.
  • 2009 - Arla purchased the Dutch dairy Friesland Fresh Foods in Nijkerk, changing its name to Arla Foods BV.
  • 2010 - Shareholders of Westbury Dairies Ltd announced joint venture with Arla Foods UK.
  • 2011 - Merger between Arla and Hansa-Milch eG from Germany - 670 active German farmers became cooperative owners of Arla Foods a.m.b.a.
  • 2011 - EU’s competition authorities gave the go-ahead for Arla Foods’ acquisition of Allgäuland-Käsereien in Southern Germany.
  • 2012 - Arla merged with the German dairy company Milch-union Hocheifel MUH and British Milk Link. The mergers meant Arla Foods grew from 8,024 cooperative owners in Denmark, Sweden and Germany to 12,300 cooperative owners in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the UK.
  • 2012 - Arla signed agreements with China’s leading dairy company, China Mengniu Dairy Company Ltd., and with the leading food and beverage company in China, COFCO Corporation.