Arla details Settle factory development in Lactofree move

The initial shift in production of the brand from Denmark and Sweden to the UK as part of a new £25m investment was revealed by The Grocer in January last year.   

Arla confirmed on 22 July that the new jobs would be created in frontline roles, with half of them already being filled by people from the local area and a further 25 to be recruited over the next two to three years.

A significant proportion of the investment would also be ploughed into new production equipment, filling lines, packaging facilities and a new energy centre, which would improve the overall efficiency of the site, the company said.

Production capacity to double

Settle’s production capacity would double because of the investment and the Yorkshire site, which previously mainly produced UHT milk would produce its full range of lactose-free milk products, Arla said.

The dairy cooperative said it had shifted its LactoFree operations to North Yorkshire as demand for free from dairy products continued to rise in the UK. According to figures from retail analyst Kantar, the free from dairy category was worth just £392.6m in 2017, had almost doubled in value to £756.1m as of April 2021 and was set to double again by 2026.

“We are particularly pleased to start the production of our Lactofree ranges in Settle, where we’ve had a presence for more than 40 years,”​ Arla UK’s managing director Ash Amirahmadi said.

Arla part of biochar project to combat carbon emissions

Meanwhle, a consortium of eight organisations, including Arla Foods UK, has been awarded funding as a part of the government’s Direct Air Capture and Greenhouse Gas Removal Technologies competition​.