Nordic Dairy Congress postponed

It is with regret that the organizers behind the Nordic Dairy Congress must announce to further postpone the upcoming congress due to the Corona pandemic.

The organizers have carefully considered the best alternative dates for the congress and the conclusion is that the congress will be held May 18th – 20th 2022. The location will remain unchanged, Malmö in Sweden, Hotel Clarion Malmö Live. On May 18th the congress will start with a visit and presentations at Tetra Pak’s head office and production site in Lund. Tetra Pak is the Gold Sponsor for the NDC 2022.

Some minor adjustments regarding dinners and scheduling of the days are expected but overall, the programme will remain pretty much the same. Of course, some needs for updating of content, speakers and timeframes could be relevant but with more than one year ahead to the NDC 2022 the adjusted programme will be released in due time.

The congress is open for sign up via www.nordicdairycongress.com and the early bird is reopened.

AAK plans to close Belgium factory

AAK has entered formal negotiations regarding closure of its plant in Merksem, Belgium. The closure is expected to cause non-recurring costs of SEK 304 million.

The production site in Merksem, Belgium, which employs approximately 100 people, is predominantly a bakery fats plant, mainly producing margarines and shortenings for the industrial market in continental Europe. The proposed consolidation implies a transfer of production from Merksem to AAK’s sites in Hull, United Kingdom and Zaandijk, the Netherlands, after which the site in Merksem would be closed.

– The proposed production consolidation would optimize our Bakery segment in line with our portfolio strategy, Johan Westman, President and CEO, AAK Group, says in a press release and adds:

– We will maintain our strong presence in the European industrial bakery market and continue to support our customers with the same high level of dedication and service.

The restructuring is expected to cause non-recurring costs of SEK 304 million, for which a provision will be made in the second quarter. SEK 203 million of this is a non-cash flow impact. A closure of the site in Merksem would lead to annual cost reductions and productivity gains of approximately SEK 51 million, expected to reach full run rate by the end of 2022.

More information and further comments will be provided in connection with the release of AAK’s interim report for the second quarter on July 16, 2021.

Read more HERE

Norrmejerier sells its subsidiary company Lincargo

Tempcon Group AB acquires the transport company Lincargo AB from Norrmejerier as the dairy wants to focus on its core business.

– There is a very large potential in Lincargo which we as a dairy cannot exchange while we focus on our core business. It feels very good that Lincargo now has a new, long-term, owner who specializes in refrigerated transports and who can continue to develop the company in a sustainable way, Daniel Edblom, acting CEO, Norrmejerier says in a press release.

Norrmejerier has signed a long-term agreement with Lincargo / Tempcon to ensure that Norrland’s dairy products will continue to reach customers and consumers in the future.

– The sale of Lincargo is completely in line with our strategy towards 2030 to ensure our farmers a continuously good milk price, says Daniel Edblom, acting CEO, Norrmejerier.

The Tempcon Group will operate Lincargo as a subsidiary, which means that the local presence and existing relationships with customers and employees are maintained and developed. Norrmejerier’s employees in Lincargo have received an offer to accompany Lincargo to Tempcon Group. This involves a total of about 40 positions in Luleå, Umeå and Lycksele. The deal also includes the terminal / property in Lycksele.

Read more HERE

Skånemejerier supports in helping unaccompanied minors

Skånemejerier donates surplus products to ‘Ensamkommandes förbund ‘to provide healthy food to their meeting place ’Otto’.

Skånemejerier has started a collaboration with Ensamkommandes förbund (The Association of Unaccompanied Minors) in Malmö, where Skånemejerier contributes with dairy products and juice.

The Association’s meeting place in Malmö is aimed at newly arrived children and young people up to the age of 25. The activity works to break loneliness and help create friendship between participants. It offers homework help, social and legal advice, sponsorship and a variety of leisure activities for those without a family in Sweden. At the same time, the young people are offered both snacks and dinner to gain additional strength in everyday life.

– Collaborating with Ensamkommandes förbund is important to us. The association makes a big difference for new Swedes, and it feels meaningful and preventive from a socially perspective that our products contribute as a nutritious supplement for someone who needs a little extra energy, Jeanette Flodqvist, Sustainability Manager at Skånemejerier, says in a press release.

Skånemejerier has an ambition to become Sweden’s most sustainable dairy, and works with four priority areas: climate, animal care, health and relationships. To reduce food waste for example, Skånemejerier already donate surplus products to the Skåne’s Stadsmission, which carries out charity projects in the region.

Read more HERE

The pandemic led to more baking, cooking and snacking

One in four Swedes has changed their eating habits during the pandemic. A survey from Arla shows that many young people states that they eat more unhealthily and snack more often.

During the pandemic, the traffic on Arla’s recipe site har increased by 33 percent, which corresponds to almost 12 million more visitors compared with the previous year. Chocolate chip cookies (photo) are one of the many sweet recipes that increased the most during the pandemic.

– The traffic on Arla.se has increased in the past year, and several of the recipes that were at the top even before having increased the most. It is clear that home baking has been popular during the pandemic, but we have also seen a large increase when it comes to cooking, which we view positively as it indicates that more and more people are cooking from scratch. On the other hand, we are concerned that unhealthy eating habits will gain a foothold even after the pandemic, especially among young people, Karin Granlund, responsible for food inspiration, Arla says in a press release.

The trend shown on Arla.se is confirmed in a survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Arla.

3,500 people were asked, and many of the young people stated that they had been snacking more (25 percent) and 14 percent said, that they had been eating more unhealthily.

In the same survey, parents with children living at home were asked how often they talk to their children about the importance of good eating habits. 24 percent answered that they rarely or never talk to their children about the importance of good eating habits.

Read more about the survey HERE – and see the most popular recipes during the pandemic.

Krister Zackari will be the new CEO of Norrmejerier

Norrmejerier’s has appointed a new CEO after Anders Fredriksson. Krister Zackari (photo) will be the new leader.

– Krister Zackari has a long experience of leading large organizations and companies in the food industry. He also has experience from leading in economic associations, which is a little different compared to other types of companies and that is a strength, says Göran Olofsson, Norrmejerier’s chairman of the board in a press release and adds:

– He greatly appreciates our northern origins, something that is important to us. We are very happy to have the opportunity to work with Krister Zackari.

Krister Zackari was born and raised in Sundsvall and has roots in Norrbotten and Tornedalen. He has previously been CEO of Lantmännen Cerealia and CEO of Kraft Foods / Mondelez in both Sweden and the Nordic countries.

– I have a strong commitment and driving force. I always try to do better today than yesterday — and to do it together with good people makes me happy, and therefore I am very happy to start at Norrmejerier, Krister Zackari says.

Anders Fredriksson ended his assignment as CEO on 11 June. Krister Zackari takes office on 16 August 2021.

Read more HERE

Arla and BroGas inaugurate new bioenergy plant on Gotland

On Friday 18 June, the inauguration of an energy plant will take place near Visby in Gotland. The investment is the largest climate initiative on Gotland.

The new plant operates on residual products from forestry, but many Arla-farms already  deliver manure to Broga’s biogas plant in Visby — and receive in return biofertilizer for their fields. The new energy plant means that the dairy in Visby Arla’s will be the first completely fossil-free dairy for milk powder production. And through the new plant, biogas will also be released for use in public transport and for other vehicles on Gotland.

The new energy plant is seen as an important part of the work towards Gotland’s vision of being completely self-sufficient in green energy.

At the inauguration, which takes place both digitally and at the dairy in Visby, Minister of Rural Affairs Jennie Nilsson, Governor Anders Flanking, Arla Sweden’s CEO Kai Gyllström, dairy manager Magnus Dahlbom, and vd Magnus Ahlsten, BroGas.

Read more HERE

Find farmhouse dairies in Sweden and other countries

New homepage with map over farmhouse and artisan dairies in Sweden and 16 other European countries.

FACEnetwork (farmhouse cheesemakers) is present in 17 countries. In Sweden represented by the organisation Sverige’s Gårdsmejerister. On 1st of June the network launched an online guide to European small-scale dairies.

So, when the time comes, when tourists again will travel across European borders, you might find inspiration for the holiday planning on the homepage. Or just take on a virtual trip on the site.

By a click on a digital map, you can find farmhouse dairies and cheesemakers all over Europe. The homepage also has information on cheesemaking and a section with recipes from the different countries.

Sverige’s Gårdsmejerister and colleges in other counties have built up associations to collaborate, exchange, consult, training etc. Together these organisations form a European Network (FACEnetwork).
Read more HERE

Feed from new factory shall reduce burps from cows

Sweden-based start-up Volta Greentech raises 1.7 million Euro to fight burps from cows — and is now eying to build the world’s largest algae factory in Lysekil. 

Volta Greentech is producing a feed material for cows that eliminates up to 80 percent of their methane emissions. To enable commercial production, the company has built a land-based algae production prototype in Lysekil, Sweden. The new capital contribution will be invested into establishing its pilot facility during 2021, preparing for a large-scale factory supplying enough seaweed to eliminate a significant portion of methane emissions from Swedish cattle. Among others Skånemejerier has participated in the development.

– There are more than one billion cows on the planet, and the emissions from these continue to increase. Despite that, there are no widespread solutions to decrease the emissions, and research in the field is progressing far too slow. However, we are now on track to implement a solution that can reduce a large part of the emissions, and it feels exciting that such competent investors want to join our journey, says Fredrik Åkerman, the university dropout who is today CEO and co-founder at Volta Greentech in a press release.

5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from one single source: methane from cows’ burps and farts. Volta Greentechs goal is to fight those gasses. And as the company is now building the world’s first commercial land-based red algae farm on Sweden’s west coast. The company’s laboratory at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, the mechanisms for increasing the algae’s methane reducing abilities are under development. Read more HERE

New faces on the board of Mejeritekniskt Forum

Gina Kylin was elected new chairman and Richard Löfgren new treasurer, as Bengt Palmquist and Pehr-Eric Persson departed after many years of faithful duty.

On 28 May Mejeritekniskt Forum held the annual general meeting (Board meeting) for its 200 members. On that occasion, chairman Bengt Palmqvist presented his last report, as he did not stand for re-election. Instead, Gina Kylin, former employee at Arla, was elected new chairman. Also, treasurer Pehr-Eric Persson did not want re-election and was replaced by Richard Löfgren from Skånemejerier. As the Board meeting was held online with 27 participants, the two departing members had to settle for virtual applause for many years of faithful service to Swedish dairy production.

Members of the new Board is:

  • Chairman Gina Kylin, Arla / pensioner – newly elected
  • Vice President Maria Glantz, LTH- President NMR
  • Secretary John Lea, Norrmejerier
  • Treasurer, Richard Löfgren, Skånemejerier – newly elected for 2 years
  • Member Lars Bergman, Norrmejerier
  • Member Staffan Eklöw, Grådö dairy – newly elected for 2 years
  • Member Magnus Dahlblom, Arla – newly elected for 2 years
  • Deputy Håkan Andersson, Kemikalia
  • Deputy Jonas Edén, Tetra Pak
  • Deputy Rickard Karlsson, Norrmejerier

The annual report will soon be available.

Overgrowth is the biggest threat to biodiversity

Farms with open and varied landscapes accommodate most plant and bird species. This is stated in a new report from Norrmejerier.

– The report shows that milk production where cows are allowed to graze in fields with varied landscapes benefits many plants and animals. If we are to slow down the climate crisis and safeguard biological diversity, we must ensure that the agricultural landscapes are kept open, Anna-Karin Karlsson, Norrmejerier’s sustainability director, says in a press release.

In order to increase knowledge about the biological diversity Norrmejerier has commissioned the environmental consulting company Ecogain to take stock of the flora and fauna on eight of its farms in Norrbotten, Västerbotten, Jämtland and Jämtland. Västernorrland County. The results show that the species richness is greatest on natural pastures that have not been plowed or fertilized. Up to 54 different plant species and 41 different bird species were identified on these soils, compared with overgrown areas that only housed about twenty plant species.

The management of roadsides and ditches as well as the proximity to lakes and other water also have a positive effect on species richness. In environments with open ditches and watercourses, such as pastures that provide feed for grazing cows, a remarkably large diversity of birds was discovered.

– A large biodiversity can slow down the effects of the climate crisis. Our dairy farmers keep the landscapes open and also contribute to a long-term sustainable and vibrant Norrland by creating jobs and maintaining the domestic food supply, Anna-Karin Karlsson says.

The report “Normejerier & biological diversity. A knowledge base about plants and birds on Norrland’s dairy farms” is part of Norrmejerier’s sustainability program that aims to meet the UN’s global sustainability goals. Read more HERE