Dairy farmers own Arla Foods
Circa 12,000 dairy farmers in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the UK, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium are joint owners of Arla Foods. The cooperative operates a democratic structure with one vote for each member.
In Denmark and Sweden farmer owners are individual members of Arla Foods amba. Outside of Denmark and Sweden farmers are corporate members. There are four company members: Hansa Arla Milch eG (Former Hansa Milch Mecklenburg-Holstein eG), MUH Arla eG (former Milch Union Hocheifel eG), UK Arla Farmers (former Milk Link Limited and Arla Foods Milk Partnership) and Walhorn.
Farmers in each country have their own method of ensuring their opinion is heard.
The Board of Representatives
The Arla Foods Board of Representatives is the company’s supreme body comprising 179 cooperative members and 12 representatives elected from the employees of Arla Foods. The 179 cooperative members come from Arla’s seven farmer owner countries: 82 from Denmark, 56 from Sweden, 20 from the UK, 15 from Germany, 4 from Belgium, 1 from Luxenbourg and 1 from the Netherlands. The Board of Representatives meets three times a year: in February, May and October.
The Board of Directors
The Board of Directors consists of 18 members of whom 6 are from Denmark, 4 members from Sweden, 1 from Hansa Milch, 1 from MUH, 1 from EAGM Walhorn and 2 from UKAF. A further 3 members are employee representatives.
Areas of responsibility
The Board of Representatives and the Board of Directors make decisions relating to long-term strategic direction of the business. The Board of Representatives decides on the allocation of the profits for the year. The Board of Directors responsibilities are to monitor the company’s activities and asset management, to maintain the accounts satisfactorily and to appoint the Management Board (CEO and Vice CEOs). The Executive Management Team (EMT) is responsible for Arla Foods’ day-to-day business operations and for preparing strategies and planning the future dairy structure.