Arla Foods Will Offer Premiums for GMO-Free Milk
Arla Foods, based in Denmark but with farmer owner/members throughout Europe, announced today it will likely pay about 50¢/cwt more for milk produced with feed that is GMO-free in Germany and Denmark.
Recent developments in Germany, where consumers are demanding GMO-free dairy products and are willing to pay for them, has spurred Arla’s decision. “Our immediate demand is up 1 billion kilograms (2.2 billion lb.) extra milk during the next 12 months and we expect to be able to pay an extra 1 eurocent per kilogram milk (50¢/cwt),” says Arla CEO Peder Turborgh.
“The market-driven compensation will also be paid to all our Swedish farmers, who already use GMO-free feed,” he says. The program could spread to other European countries if demand for GMO-free milk grows and if logistics can be worked out.
The biggest issue right now is finding GMO-free soybean meal. Soybean meal makes up to 10% of the feed volume on Arla farms.
“The incentives will be offered to Arla's farmer-owners in the European Union, [but] not to Arla's contract farmers elsewhere, “ says Theis Brøgger, Director of External Communication, Arla Foods. “However, the GM-free products could be offered to consumers in the U.S. if possible.”