Arla Foods amba is an international cooperative based in Viby, Denmark, and the largest producer of dairy products in Scandinavia. Arla Foods was formed as the result of a merger between the Swedish dairy cooperative Arla and the Danish dairy company MD Foods on 17 April 2000. The name Arla derives from the same word as the English word “early” and is an archaic Swedish term for “early (in the morning)”.
Arla Foods is the fourth largest dairy company in the world with respect to milk volume, seventh with respect to turnover. At the start of 2016, 12,500 farmers across Western Europe and Scandinavia owned the cooperative.
Arla Foods has three minor brands: Arla, Lurpak and Castello cheeses that are sold worldwide. The Arla Brand is both a co operative brand and a brand across all product categories. The Lurpak brand of butter and spreads is owned by the Danish Dairy Board, and Castello is a cheese brand including blue cheese and yellow cheeses.[
Arla Foods incorporates Arla Foods Ingredients, a former division established as an independent subsidiary in 2011. The company develops and manufactures milk based ingredients, primarily functional and nutritional milk proteins, bioactive phospholipids, minerals, permeate and lactose for the food industry.
The head office is located in Denmark. Arla Foods Ingredients has one wholly owned production plant in Denmark, with joint venture production at facilities in Argentina and Germany. In March 2011, Arla Foods and DMK formed the joint venture company ArNoCo GmbH & Co. KG, to produce whey proteins for the food industry.