Arla Foods Chairman Confirms 2018 Retirement Date
The chairman of dairy firm Arla Foods, Åke Hantoft, has confirmed a retirement date of 2 July 2018, following the sale of his dairy farm in Ösarp, Sweden.
He first announced his retirement in December of last year, initially setting a date of May 2019 or when his farm sold, whichever came first.
The company, which produces brands such as Lurpak and Castello, started its succession planning process for the appointment of a new chairman upon Hantoft's original announcement. It said in a statement that it will complete the appointment in 'due time', before 2 July.
Selling The Farm
Hantoft, 65, has been chairman since 2011. He said that his retirement was due to a desire to spend more time with his wife and family. As his three children have all pursued careers outside of the dairy business, he made the decision to sell the family farm.
Hantoft commented on his departure, "It has been one of the greatest honours of my professional life to lead the Arla Foods amba business and be part of its growth and development over the last seven years, for the benefit of its owners, employees and customers.
"I would like to thank the board of directors, all elected representatives and the management of the company for their support and guidance, and the incredible commitment they make personally to governing and managing this leading cooperative business. I look forward to watching the business go from strength to strength in the future," he added.
International Dairy Firm
Arla Foods is an international dairy firm owned by 11,200 farmers from Sweden, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. It is the largest global manufacturer of organic dairy products.
The cooperative started a cost-cutting programme in April, with a goal of saving €400 million by the end of 2020.
The move came as a result of the company's exposure to the weakened British currency caused by Brexit, as well as unfavourable developments in commodity markets, Arla said in a news release.
Group revenue increased by 8.1%, to €10.3 billion, in 2017, driven by higher sales prices, increased branded sales, and a better geographical and product mix.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Karen Henderson. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.