The new plant, which officially opened May 17, has an annual capacity to handle 5,000 tonnes of milk powder made in Europe from Arla’s farmer owners’ milk.
At the 14,000sqm plant, fat filled milk powder and instant whole milk powder are re-packed into various retail-sized packaging, for example foil sachets, which Arla says are affordable and easy to mix with water to get a glass of milk.
Expanding to other countries
Steen Hadsbjerg, head of Arla in Sub Saharan Africa, said the facility will provide affordable nutrition to the developing West African dairy market, and that the new plant will employ 20 people initially. He added the number of employees will rise as sales grow.
The sachets from the plant will initially be distributed to wholesalers and stores in Senegal by Arla’s partner, Dakar-based partner Agroline S.A., and later distribution will be extended to neighboring countries.
As the company pursues its 2020 strategy, it says Senegal will be an important market and gateway to further expansion in the West African region.
Hadsbjerg said Senegal will be the hub for expansion into Mali later this year, which would be followed by Mauritania.
Already selling milk and mozzarella
Arla already offers Dano long-life liquid milk in Senegal. In addition to retail, in March 2016 Arla signed a mozzarella agreement with YUM-YUM, a pizza chain in Senegal.
Arla says that Senegal’s fastest growing categories are flavored milk powder, evaporated milk and yogurt. Average growth of the market is projected at 5% annually until 2020.
In 2015, Arla conducted a human rights assessment in Senegal to ensure that the company’s activities in Senegal do not bring unintentional negative consequences for the local dairy sector and its related communities.