Organic milk products: Slow start for organic exports to US
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- 15 August 2002
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A little over a year after the first order for organic cheese to the US market, sales remain modest.
With 16 tons organic Havarti and Danish Blue sold since the launch of the range last year, sales have been somewhat disappointing.
”However, we shouldn’t forget that our speciality products are competing in a premium market,” said Marketing Manager, Jens Kauffmann, Arla Foods USA. ”In effect, this means that organic cheese constitutes a niche within a niche.”
Arla Foods’ cheese and butter exports to America total 10,000 tons annually and the Group is the market leader within Havarti and Danish Blue – a fact which contributed to the launch of the two organic versions.
As is the case in Denmark, however, organic cheese in the US accounts for only a small part of sales of organic milk products. Instead, liquid milk, yoghurt and vegetables are the driving force in the organic milk products market which has developed slowly in the US.
”Although, in principle, US consumers favour organic products, they find it difficult to distinguish between products labelled ”organic” and those carrying the label ”natural” (GM free),” explains Jens Kauffmann. ”Moreover, only a few supermarket chains have decided to go for organic products.”
Jens Kauffmann, however, remains confident of the future for organic milk and cheese particularly since Arla Foods recently struck a deal for organic Havarti and Danish Blue in bulk.
The potential for launching other organic cheese types is currently being examined.
Arla Foods is an international dairy company owned by 9,700 farmers from Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Arla Foods is one of the leading players in the international dairy arena with well-known brands like Arla®, Lurpak®, Puck® and Castello®. Arla Foods is focused on providing good dairy nourishment from sustainable farming and operations and is also the world's largest manufacturer of organic dairy products.