The majority of Arla Foods Milk Partnership (AFMP) farmers have signed up to become co-owners of European farmer-owned co-op Arla Foods amba. Eighty-five per cent of AFMP farmers signed up to join the co-op ahead of the 15 November deadline.
The offer has since been extended to all dairy farmers. Full co-operative membership will commence for both groups on 1 January 2014.
Jonathan Ovens, chairman of AFMP, said the response from AFMP farmers had made its vision to become full owners of Arla a reality: "The farmer board is absolutely delighted that so many members have committed to becoming co-owners," he said. "This says that members and the board have the same vision to share in the success of Europe’s largest dairy co-operative and demonstrates democracy in action, with each of the 1,300 AFMP members being given a choice of contracts.
"Arla is a business owned by farmers for the benefit of farmers and from 1 January 2014 they will get the security of a milk price, determined by European and world markets."
AFMP members who chose not to become co-owners have, in the main, signed a direct supply contract with the Arla business in the UK and will receive a milk price linked to the UK market.