Dairy firm Arla Foods to pay £252m to help farmers affected by drought


Dairy firm Arla Foods will distribute all £252 million of its annual profit to farmers following last summer’s drought across Europe.

The company, home to brands including Anchor and Cravendale, usually only pays part of its profit to farmers, but it is making an exception this year as the industry struggles to pick up the pieces after a hot summer in 2018.

Arla Foods chairman Jan Toft Norgaard said: “As a farmer-owned dairy company we care deeply about the livelihood of our farmers and we see how many of our colleagues have been affected by the drought last summer.

“We have this exceptional opportunity to help them without putting our company Arla at risk and I am proud that we have proposed to do so.”

Arla announced the move last year but is paying out the cash now as it revealed its full-year figures.

They show that group revenue nudged up from 10.3 billion euros (£8.9 billion) to 10.4 billion euros (£9 billion), helped by a wider range of dairy products.

In the UK, its largest market, Arla saw revenues top £2 billion for the first time, rising 3.3% to hit £2.01 billion compared with £1.94 billion the previous year.

However, the firm also flagged “major challenges”, such as volatility in the global milk market and “ongoing uncertainty” brought about by Brexit.