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Arla pushes organic credentials in new powdered milk product

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Powdered milk was an especially important commodity during times of war and famine. Removing most of the water content of the milk enabled it to be transported more easily, but more importantly, give it a longer shelf life. Now, during a pandemic, Scandinavian organic dairy giant Arla is filling in a gap in the shelf-stable organic category with its own powdered milk.

“Kids get the same nutrients from fresh milk, but get it in more convenient packs with a longer shelf life,” said Raymund Lao, Head of Marketing for Arla Foods in the Philippines. “More importantly you are able to stock up more with powder and (this) minimizes your shopping trips, and minimizes your getting out of your home during a pandemic.”

Of course, there are already more familiar brands of powdered milk out there, but Mr. Lao lays out his cards. “Arla Organic Powdered Milk Drink retains all the nutrients of fresh cows milk including all the milk proteins which are not retained in other powdered milk drink brands,” he said in an e-mail to BusinessWorld. Furthermore, with the fact that the brand is organic, he adds, “Having organic-certified products means that the processes are within the EU guidelines of using no artificial ingredients, no chemicals, no GMOs in the farming and milk production process.”

A press release says that Arla Organic Powdered Milk has 50% more protein than other powdered milk drink brands. “Arla Organic also has the essential nutrients naturally found in milk such as Vitamin A, B2, B12, phosphorus and potassium.”

Arla Foods is structured as a cooperative, with thousands of farmers spread out across Europe. In 2000, two dairy giants in Denmark and Sweden joined forces and formed Arla as it is today. EU guidelines on production as well as sustainability measures are also in place to ensure that the final product isn’t only healthy for the body, but also for the planet. The release says, “Arla’s carbon emissions are just about only 50% of the global average per liter of milk.” According to its website, some of Arla’s sustainability measures include using recyclable or biodegradable packaging, recycled plastic equipment in their factories, and the use of some renewable energy in some of the farms.

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The sustainable factor also comes into play with their cows: Jens Christian Nielsen, Arla Foods Senior General Manager in the Philippines says, “Arla Organic is 100% European Organic certified and produced only from cows that have been raised according to stringent European organic farming methods. This means that the cows can roam on lush green fields, fed with organic grass and feeds that are free from chemical fertilizers and our farmer-owners do not use growth hormones/artificial methods to increase milk production.’

The cooperative structure also helps in creating a superior product. Mr. Lao says: “As a cooperative, Arla is owned by farmers so our milk is produced by the owner/farmers. We have control over the entire value and food safety chain from farm to table and we make sure our cows have nutritious feed, fresh water, clean housing, soft bedding and expert care through our Arlagården program.” The Arlagården program is a sort of database about the farms, herds, and even individual milk-producing cows. “Arlagården Plus ensures transparency — all the way from cow to consumer,” Arla’s website says.

Arla Organic Powdered Milk Drink is available at key retailers including All Day, Landmark, Metro Gaisano, Puregold, Robinson’s, Rustan’s, Shopwise, Savemore, SM Supermarket, Shopwise, and SM Hypermart (among others) with a starting price of P50 per one liter pack. The milk product is also readily available online at Lazada, Shopee, Metromart and Cloudmart.ph. — Joseph L. Garcia

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