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World’s largest organic dairy producer brings organic milk to Middle East

Children from Dubai experience what it’s like to milk a cow at the Arla Organic Pop-Up Farm

Children from Dubai experience what it’s like to milk a cow at the Arla Organic Pop-Up Farm

Arla Organic Milk is now available in leading retailers across the UAE

It’s not surprising if you have’nt heard of Arla Foods, but look carefully at that packet of Lurpak butter or that jar of Puck – and that’s the name behind these household brands.

And now, Arla Foods, the world’s largest producer of organic dairy products, has launched its first branded organic milk in the Middle East, the company’s biggest strategic growth market outside Europe, marking a significant milestone in its growth plans.

The launch of Arla organic milk here forms part of the farmer-owned company’s ambitious business strategy, which is to become the number one organic dairy brand in the Middle East and North Africa by 2020. Arla also has plans to expand into Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in 2018.

“We see a growing appetite for organic products in the Middle East, and are responding to this consumer demand with the first of many organic product launches in the region,” said Rasmus Malmbak Kjeldsen, senior vice president of Arla’s regional operations.

Learning about the various stages of organic milk production

Learning about the various stages of organic milk production

“We have noted a trend towards organic, especially in fruit and vegetables. Now we are seeing this unfold into dedicated organic shops, cafés and restaurants. By launching Arla Organic milk in the UAE first, we look to tap into this growing trend and gather crucial information about organic consumers, which we can utilise as we enter neighbouring markets,” added Kjeldsen.

In celebration of the launch of the milk, and to coincide with World School Milk Day, Arla recently hosted an interactive pop-up farm event in Dubai, offering primary school children a unique opportunity to learn more about organic farming.

During the event, Ann-Camilla Kjaempe, Category Director for Arla Foods MENA, told The Great Food Club that Arla is wholly committed to sustainable practices. For example, since 2005, Arla’s total climate impact has apparently decreased by 12.4 per cent –  despite increased production.

A key point in the company’s regional strategy is price. “Arla’s vision is to make organic products more accessible for consumers in the MENA region. Arla organic milk is one of the more affordable organic milks currently available in the UAE. The RRP is AED2 for 200ml and AED9  for a litre, but prices may vary across retailers,” said the Categhory Director. “Our aim as the world’s biggest organic dairy producer is to meet the modern consumer’s demands, champion organic and help make organic products accessible and affordable for all,” she declared.

Arla Farmer, Torben Sønderby, shares the secrets of organic milk farming with Dubai kids

Arla Farmer, Torben Sønderby, shares the secrets of organic milk farming with Dubai kids

Meet the farmer

Arla Farmer, Torben Sønderby, comes from Denmark, where he and his family run an organic farm with 220 cattle on 275 hectares. He taled to The Great Food Club at the milk launch.

How is the milk organic? What qualifies it to be labelled organic?

The cows have to be on grass. It’s also allowed to have them in the barn at all times of the year, where it is not possible to have them on green grass. Also, we are not using any pesticides, and that means the feed we are giving the cows is 100% organic. We do not use artificial fertilisers, only natural fertilisers, and we consider animal welfare, especially by having a bed for each cow.

Where is it produced?

In the North of Europe, in Denmark. Here we have special weather, where we get a lot of rain that is good for the grass, and good temperatures for making a lot of grass. This is the main component of feed for the cows. So it is a great area for organic farming.

What are the differences between your organic milk and conventional milk?

It’s the way we produce it, as we were talking about, we feed them 100% organic grass.

What pasteurisation process does it go through? Is it UHT milk?

Yes it’s long-life UHT milk. The only thing we do with the milk is heating it to about 104 degrees for four to six seconds, and then cool it down again. It is just a normal process, very easy to do.

You don’t give the cows any hormones?

That’s right. We do not, it’s not allowed in our country to give any hormones. We can’t use any preservatives in feeding the cows, either.

 

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