New business unit, head for Arla Asia

Arla Foods is integrating its markets in China and South East Asia in a new regional market called Business Unit Asia. The regional office will be placed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as of 1 March 2015. As the world’s fastest growing economic region with a raw milk deficit and a total population of 2.3 billion people, Asia holds great potential for dairy export, in particular for family nutrition products, the company says. China is a strategic growth market for Arla, while South East Asia (SEA) has been identified as a region, which could potentially become a new strategic growth market. The expectation is that revenue for the region will exceed €1 billion Euro within the next five years.

“In close cooperation with our partner Mengniu, we have developed our market in China. We have gained important experience and insight, which will be levers to accelerate our expansion in Asia. We have strengthened our presence in several SEA countries and it’s time to move the senior management and main leadership functions to the region,” says executive vice president Finn Hansen, head of Arla Foods’ business group, Consumer International.

The new Business Unit Asia management will be based in a regional office in Kuala Lumpur and will be setting the strategy for all retail and food service activities in Asia. The unit will cover the Chinese retail sales through the partnership with Mengniu Dairy China as well as the SEA market. During 2014, Arla has established or strengthened the country management in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Philippines, and these as well as the management in Japan and South Korea and distributor sales in SEA will all report to the regional office.

Jesper Colding has appointed as senior vice president as of 1 March to head Arla’s Business Unit Asia. Colding is currently holding a position in the executive management of Mengniu Dairy China as vice president for Marketing. From 2009 to 2012, Jesper Colding was senior vice president in Global Categories in Arla with responsibility for cheese and the BSM category. Earlier in his career, he was based in Malaysia as associate director in P&G with sales and marketing responsibility for Malaysia and Singapore.

Current head of Arla’s Business Unit China, Frede Juulsen, will take up a new role in Arla, which includes responsibility for TPM (Third Party Manufacturing), global infant milk formula and the supply chain in Consumer International.

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