GMO free for Arla Foods
Farmers for Arla Foods in Central Europe have decided to completely switch their milk production to GMO-free feeding. This decision applies to all Arla farmers in Germany as well as the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. The milk from this region is largely processed and marketed in Germany.
In the future, all Arla farmers in this region will only be able to deliver milk from cows that are fed without genetically modified feed (GMO-free). The full conversion will take place by the end of 2019 and will start shortly.
Arla Foods is thus responding to the growing demand of retailers and consumers in Germany for foodstuffs made from non-GMO production.
Currently, 61% of Arla Foods milk produced in Germany comes from GMO-free feeding. After the conversion it will be six billion kilograms of milk in all seven European countries where Arla farmers produce milk.
“For the success of our co-operative it is critical that we respond to consumer and trade needs and develop our business to deliver high quality, innovative dairy products. GMO-free feeding is becoming standard on the German market. Therefore I am pleased that the elected representatives of our 2,900 members in Central Europe have agreed to completely switch to GMO-free feeding,” says Manfred Graff of Northern Eifel, a German supervisory board member at Arla Foods amba.
The Arla plant in northern Upahl (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) and the supplying farmers of that region have already completely changed their milk production as of spring 2018. For the farmers this means that they only use animal feed that is not genetically modified for their cows. In practice, farmers often switch from traditional feed to other means such as non-GM soya or rapeseed. For GMO-free production they receive from Arla Foods a surcharge of €0.01/kg milk. This surcharge will be paid during the changeover phase.
“With the decision made, to in the future only use GMO-free feed, our farmers show once again that they consistently align the cooperative to the needs of our customers and respond to corresponding market changes. In Germany the demand for these dairy products is growing steadily and trade and consumers are willing to pay more. In other European countries we also see potential for GMO-free in the medium term. Thanks to the decision of our farmers, we can also offer corresponding products with our retail customers in other European markets. I’m impressed by how determinedly the farmers have embarked on this path,” says Markus Mühleisen, Germany’s head of Arla Foods.
According to the analysts at Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft, around 54% of milk produced in Germany currently is from GMO-free production, with a sharp rise in in the past two years. German consumers are also in favour of GMO-free. For example, in a survey conducted by opinion polling agency Forsa in spring 2017, 77% of consumers surveyed said that they wanted milk and dairy products from GMO-free manufacturing.