Arla’s sales in the Middle East come to a standstill

Published:
30 January 2006
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Production for the area seriously threatened

The boycott of Danish products in the Middle East is now almost total. All Arla’s customers in the region have cancelled their orders and sales have come to a standstill in almost all markets. Arla’s warehouses are full, and further products sent before the boycott started are on their way from Denmark. Within the next few days, Arla will decide whether to suspend production for the Middle East. This is primarily centred at Bislev and Holstebro dairies and Akafa.
“Once sales in the Middle East have come to a standstill, this inevitably has consequences for the production,” says Jens Refslund, Director of Arla’s Production Division. “A decision about what we do next will be taken within the next few days. After that, staff will be informed.”

As at 11am on Sunday, the situation, according to Arla’s staff in the Middle East, was as follows:

Saudi Arabia: The boycott of Danish products is the main story in the Saudi media. The key topic is a Danish survey which shows that 79% of the Danish population believe that no apology for the cartoons in Jyllands-Posten is due. There are also calls for clarification from the Danish Government. Arla’s importers have cancelled all orders. Arla’s dairy in Saudi Arabia, Danya, is trying to establish contact with retailers, but sales have come to a complete standstill.

Kuwait: The matter has been given wide coverage in the Sunday newspapers. Arla’s sales have ceased completely and it is believed that products have been removed from shelves in around 33% of stores.

Qatar: The issue occupies many column inches. Danish products have been removed from the shelves in almost all supermarkets. Sales have come to a standstill.

Bahrain: The issue has reached Bahrain, where four or five supermarkets have removed Danish products from their shelves. Sales have stopped.

The Emirates: The issue is taking up much media space, particularly the survey which shows that 79% of Danes believe that no apology is due. Danish products have been removed from the shelves in at least six supermarket chains and it is expected that Arla’s products will be removed everywhere within a relatively short time.

Arla Foods is an international dairy company owned by 9,900 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.

Press contact

Arla Group Press Office
Arla Group Press Office (journalists/media only) pressoffice@arlafoods.com +4591310310
Åse Andersson
Åse Andersson Head of Media Press contact for Arla Foods in Denmark aasan@arlafoods.com +45 91 310 310 +45 89 38 10 00
Carina Østergaard
Carina Østergaard Corporate Communication Manager Press contact for Arla Foods International caoes@arlafoods.com +45 91 31 16 01 +45 89 38 10 00