Hanne Søndergaard, executive vice president and CMO, said bringing together Arla’s current product management and research and development functions, which includes new product development, will better leverage Arla’s technologies and competences and develop its competitive strengths.
The new organization will be responsible for all product-related activities, which encompasses research and technology development, product development and management of all product and packaging changes.
“The new set up will enable closer collaboration with our commercial zones, markets and supply chain, ensuring that we are driving our global innovation and product agendas from the strongest possible position to maximize the value of our products,” Søndergaard said.
“With the aim for half of our growth to come from innovation, it’s a key element of our strategy and an essential element in our mission to create the highest possible value for the milk supplied by our cooperative owners,” she added.
Heading up the new organization, from April 1, 2019, is Lars Dalsgaard, who will be SVP, product and innovation. With 35 years of experience in Arla including six years in the UK, he is currently head of global supply chain manufacturing for cheese, butter and powder (CBP).
Double the impact, half the time
Complementing the creation of the new organization is the implementation of a new innovation model, which Søndergaard said will double the impact in half the time.
“We will be more experimental, faster to market and roll out successes with speed. We’re also placing innovation leadership in market and global/zone brand teams who are closest to our consumers and customers.
“As one of the world’s leading dairy companies, we must be in a position to drive and lead dairy innovation on a global scale in order to increase the value of our products and create new business for Arla worldwide.”
In May 2017, it opened its $41.5m global center for innovation in Denmark, and more recently, in August 2018, it announced a $41.6m investment to create a second innovation center in Denmark dedicated to research and development innovation within whey and milk based ingredients.