Arla protests against fine from the competition authorities

Arla has been fined by the Swedish competition authorities for more than DKK 1 million SEK. Arla considers the fine to be unfair, as the company has notified the case on its own and thus used the rules of safe-conduct.

Arla has, according to the Swedish Competition Authority, exchanged prices with a competing company in connection with a municipal tender for the supply of dairy products. This happened four years ago and has now resulted in a fine.

From Arla’s point of view the story is not as simple. In a press release the company explains:

’When Arla 2018 discovered that an error had been committed by an individual employee in a price negotiation, Arla contacted the Swedish Competition Authority in accordance with the rules for the so-called remission-program. The error did not result in any financial gain for Arla and the intention of the remission program is that companies that discover and report these errors to the Swedish Competition Authority should not be fined.

Arla was transparent and submitted documents to the Swedish Competition Authority, which is now used against Arla. Arla opposes the Swedish Competition Authority and considers, that it is against the intention with the remission process. The Swedish Competition Authority’s actions may also abstain other companies from being as transparent as Arla’.

Read Arla’s argumentation HERE

Read the press release from the Swedish Competition Authority HERE

 

Skånemejerier respond to mold accusations from the media

Aftonbladet and Viafree’s program 200 seconds today have a report from Skånemejerier. Filmed with a hidden camera the media reveals that the dairy is planing mold from its cheeses, before repackaging. Skånemejerier responds promptly with a press release.

In the press release Skånemejerier states:

”Due to today’s report in Aftonbladet, we want to answer the questions about Skånemejerier’s, ICA’s and Lidl’s household cheese, which is produced at our facility in Kristianstad. We want to emphasize that our production processes are based on the National Food Administration’s regulations, and that you as a consumer can feel safe with our products. The pictures in the report show pallets of household cheese with large amounts of mold. This is cheese that is to be discarded, but in the report, it appears as being subject to repackaging. This is not true. It is important to emphasize that with large amounts of mold, the cheese is discarded.”

In the press release Sånemejerier also explains, that in rare cases there may be mold on their household cheese that is noticed in the quality control. ”Most of this cheese is discarded, but some have been repackaged after removing small dots of surface mold”. Read the whole explanation HERE

Danone invests SEK 140 million in its factory in Skåne

Danone wants to increase the production of plant-based products in Sweden. Therefore, the global company now invest in its current factory in Lunnarp — also to make the production more sustainable.

 

– We are very pleased that we get more capacity at Danone’s factory in Skåne. Sustainability is a central focus area for Danone and the plant aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. The investment allows us to invest even more, and I look forward seeing the results of our investments where we combine sustainability, and local product innovation with Danone’s global expertise, John Sjöblom, CEO of Danone in the Nordics says according to ood-supply.se.

Österlenmejeriet is Danone’s factory based in Lunnarp, outside Tomelilla in Skåne. Here they also produce the brand ProViva, a popular probiotic fruit drink, which Danone bought from Skånemejerier in 2010.

The expansion of the factory is expected to be finished in May 2021, and Danone’s goal is that the facility will become a hub for plant-based products in Sweden. Read more HERE

DeLaval expands Hamra Farm with new state-of-the-art barn

DeLaval is investing in the future of dairy farming by developing its own high-tech farm, Hamra Farm with a new state-of-the-art barn, including new milking robots and increased focus on animal welfare.

-The new barns are built with animal welfare as the top priority. The new modern technology will not only increase efficiency but ensure the best possible care for our animals, Joakim Rosengren, DeLaval President & CEO, says.

Hamra Farm is a commercially driven farm located near the DeLaval headquarters, south of Stockholm in Sweden. In addition, Hamra Farm is a showcase farm for customers and other key people in the dairy value chain, with about 3,000 visitors every year.

The plan is to almost double the number of milking cows, from 260 to 550. The farm will utilise some of today’s most innovative milking solutions, including four milking robots ─ DeLaval VMS™ V300. The development plan also includes modernised barns for calves and heifers and updated visitor areas, all located in the existing farm area. It is expected to be ready in 2022.

Read more HERE

Four out of ten Swedish teenagers eat special diets

40 percent of Swedish teenagers say they are on special diets. The corresponding numbers in Denmark are 23 percent and 30 percent in Finland.

A new Nordic study conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Arla, shows that Scandinavian teenagers – and especially the Swedes – challenge ordinary food habits and choose special diets instead. For example, eating vegetarian, vegan or gluten- and lactose-free food.

It is especially the girls who are on special diets. In Sweden 46 percent of the girls in the study say they follow a certain diet. But even though many teenagers state that they eat a special diet, they do not always live up to it. For example, one-third of those who described themselves as vegetarians also said they had eaten chicken last week. This leads to the conclusion, that the diet in many cases is a choice of lifestyle rather than strict guidelines for what to eat.

Elin Boll, Ph.D. and nutritionist at Arla Sweden, says that many of the Swedish teenagers are influenced by their parents who also choose new food habits, but many teenagers also get their inspiration through friends and influencers.

– Many young people seek information about diet and health, which is positive as long as the information channels are correct. If you exclude parts of the diet, you must be careful, that you are not going to lack certain nutrients, Elin Boll says.

The survey took place in July / July 2020. 1500 teenagers, representatively selected in Sweden, Denmark and Finland, participated in the online survey. Read more HERE

New report: The organic growth has stopped

After many years of shortages of Swedish organic raw materials, the situation has reversed. In general, there is a surplus in the market, concludes a report made by Agrovektor on behalf of the Swedish Board of Agriculture.

The status report draws a picture of the situation concerning Swedish Organic Raw Material before, now and in the future. A summary picture of the next half year is continuous surplus of raw materials – especially when it comes to cereals, meat and milk.

The report takes a view over the different branches during the last few years. In the case of milk, 3,000 new organic dairy cows were included in the system in the most recent recruitment period in 2017/2018. But the market has been declining in organic dairy since 2018. In 2019, the index was negative, a development that continued during the first half of 2020. As a result, the KRAV supplement to dairy farmers has fallen by about 40 percent during the year. The private dairies have stated that they like to see producers switch to conventional production.

The reports general advice to farmers who consider changing to organic production over the next 12 months, that there are currently no market arguments in favour of a change.

Find the report HERE

 

Arla launches digital outlet to stop food wasting

Arla is ready with a new initiative towards food wasting. At the same time a new survey shows that the Swedes are good at using their senses instead of ”best-before-date”. This contributes to less waste of food.

In Sweden, 30-35% of all food produced is thrown away. To reduce food waste, Arla is opening a digital outlet where dairy products with a short shelf life are sold to reduced prices. The sale will take place on a new site, targeted at restaurants and shops.

Milk, yoghurt and other dairy products are fresh products with a best-before-date-label. But to reduce food wasting in the consumer link Arla – two years ago – launched the label ”often well after” to mark that, for example, the yoghurt has a significantly longer shelf life than what the best-before date states. A new survey conducted by Arla shows that Swedes are good at using their senses instead of the best-before-date to determine if the product is fresh.67 pct. say that they use their senses of sight, smell and taste. Read more HERE

New  research on animals’ role in future food production

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has received MSEK 48 for a new collaborative centre that will strengthen Sweden’s future food system.

The centre will identify and develop the role of animals for increased food production, sustainability and competitiveness.

– It will be very exciting to take a holistic approach to the role of animals, Sigrid Agenäs, professor at SLU, says.

– Food production must increase in Sweden, but at the same time become more sustainable, and the role of animals is important, she adds.

The new centre will work from a regional perspective and develop best practice to produce food in different parts of Sweden. What is ”best” will be determined by a number of different sustainability factors.

In a first phase, the researchers will study food production from grazing animals — mainly ruminants.

Read more about the new collaborative centre HERE

‘Västerbottensost’ hits the News feed twice in a week

This Thursday, one of the dairy news was, that Västerbottensost – again – has been ranked as one of the strongest brands in Sweden. But Västerbottensost also hit the News feed last Thursday with the story about a new packing that can reduce the usage of plastic.

 

Norrmejerier has an ambitious plan to reduce the amount of plastic in its packaging. First step is to reduce the size of the bags for grated Västerbottensost. This will reduce the annually amount of plastic with 1.5 tonnes.

– We continuously optimize the packaging. Now we are able to take a step in the right direction by doing something as simple as reducing the size of the bag. The challenge ahead will be to replace today’s plastic packaging with other more sustainable materials, while we at the same time fulfil the standards for food safety, Lina Jonsson Product Manager for Västerbottensost, said last week.

This week it was her college Maria Forsner, Brand Manager for Västerbottensost, that was quoted in the medias — because Västerbottensost was ranked as number eight among the strongest bands in Sweden

– It is fantastic that Västerbottensost gets such a fine placement among Sweden’s strongest brands. We are incredibly grateful and humbled that we have been on YouGov’s list for several years. It inspires us to continue our dedicated work in Burträsk with this unique cheese, Maria Forsner said.

Read more about the ranking HERE – and more about the new packaging HERE

Locally food have a high score in Norrland’s municipalities

Which criteria are the most important when your municipality purchases food? This question Norrmejerier asked in a recent survey, and the answer from the municipalities was: Locally produced.

Last week this newsletter could tell about Grådö Dairy in Dalarna, that had received a large order from seven municipalities in its local area. A new survey from Norrmejerier shows that also municipalities in Norrland find locally produced foods important when they purchase for schools, preschools, nursing homes e.g.

– The public sector can make a major contribution to a stable food production in Sweden – with more jobs and a prosperous nature. Therefore it is good that so many municipalities say that want the food to be locally produced, Anna-Karin Karlsson, sustainability director at Norrmejerier, says.

In the survey 70 per cent of the responsible purchasers — in all municipalities in Jämtland, Norrbotten, Västerbotten and Västernorrland — answer that one of the three most important criteria when the municipality buys food is that the goods are produced in the same or nearby county. Swedish production (64 percent) and animal welfare (45 percent) are also stated as important criteria. The arguments for local production are, that it creates jobs, reduced climate impact and contribute to a higher degree of self-sufficiency.

The survey was conducted by Norrmejerier in September 2020 – read more HERE