Arla recognised as industry leader in prestigious awards
Dairy cooperative, Arla Foods, has been awarded the John Beckett Memorial Cup at the British Dairying Cream Awards 2021. The accolade which is given to the winner of the award for Overall Dairy Company of the Year is widely acknowledged as the most esteemed in the industry, taking into consideration production, operations and welfare across the nation’s top dairy businesses.
Arla is home to some of the nation’s best-loved dairy brands, including Cravendale and Lurpak, and has succeeded in the continuous delivery of quality produce over a turbulent year, while simultaneously pushing forward with innovation in the sustainability and welfare space.
Arla was unanimously declared the worthy winner of the major industry award, judge Nicholas Saphir, Chairman of AHDB, explained “This is a richly deserved award that recognises the significant leadership that Arla has taken in not only supporting their membership in addressing the major changes that lie ahead, but also in working with others in the industry to help coordinate an industry-wide response to the particular challenges of this extremely difficult year.”
Throughout 2020, the UK food industry faced significant challenges, particularly when it came to the consistent supply of core goods. Arla rose to these challenges to ensure it delivered stability for its own farmers and the industry as a whole. The business quickly adjusted and adapted, successfully responding to changing circumstances governed by the pandemic and the changing political and social landscape driven by Brexit.
Despite these major events and the uncertainty they brought, by building on initiatives established over recent years the cooperative continued to deliver success in its sustainability efforts, supply chain systems and performed robustly in the dairy aisle.
The standard-setting Arla UK 360 Programme, led the way with on-farm innovation with a real focus on sustainability and animal welfare, such as its Every Calf Has A Value initiative and, and the full-scale roll-out of Climate Checks on every farm marks the launch of the largest agriculture sustainability data-set.
Colleagues and farmers also pulled together to ensure no milk collections were missed through Covid-related sickness, as additional staff and owners were trained to operate milk testing units on tankers and new processes were introduced at key sites.
Workers’ mental health was also a key consideration, whether they were site, office or farm based. The cooperative’s partnership with ASDA, borne out through the exclusive ‘Farmers’ Milk’, also saw a boost in investment to support the Farming Community Network, ensuring every farmer in the UK has access to emotional and practical support during turbulent times.
Commenting on the win, Alice Swift, Director of Agriculture at Arla said “Every single Arla farmer should be as proud as I am that we have all won this award. What we are delivering as a cooperative is not easy. Whether it’s helping to evolve farm business through R500, delivering to new standards in our ArlaGarden or Arla UK 360 programmes or embracing the data and information from climate checks, every aspect is developed to drive more profitable farm businesses and brands that consumers love. We are stretching boundaries, we are asking a lot of our farmers and we’re running at pace to ensure our milk price stays competitive. But fundamentally it is the passion, time and efforts of our owners that are helping Arla make a difference in dairy and I am so pleased they have been recognised here for the work they do.”