Title: & Methods: The purpose of this

Title:

Nomination of Arla
Farmer owned Co-operative as Co-operative of the Year.

Introduction & Methods:

The purpose of this
report is to measure Arla farmer owned cooperative’s performance as a
co-operative. This involves being a business owned and run by and for their
members. Regardless of whether its members are customers, employees or
residents.  One of the fundamental
philosophies is to drive a business by values and not just profit.  These values based on the International
co-operative alliance, involve measuring Arla food’s in terms of “Voluntary and
open membership, having a business with democratic member control, member
economic participation, autonomy and independence, education and training.
Co-operation among co-operatives, and a business which shows concern for
community.”  The intention is to measure
these 7 principles with regard to Arla, and compare how well they fit into the
ideology of being classed as a co-operative. The methods which will be used
involve research primarily based on reports and information on Arla’s website,
secondary research such as news articles will also be used to compare different
viewpoints and ultimately come to a conclusion and agreement on why Arla should
be nominated for co-operative business of the year.

.

Findings:

Voluntary and Open Membership

Arla’s organisation and services are open to all people, who are willing
to accept responsibility of membership. 
There is no discrimination seen through the integration of
different  genders  “the reorganisation in 2016 brought the
female representation in Arla’s Executive Management Team to 29 per cent, from
a representation of 0 per cent in 2015”

Those who continually use the service must be willing to accept
responsibility, with an emphasis place on by the business, where “all
colleagues are trained regularly on a compliance program  this mandatory training is to ensure that colleagues are fully informed
of the requirements of the competition laws and to assist them in complying
with those rules and our Competition law compliance policy”

         Democratic member Control

Arla is a democratic
organisation, and since it is “owned by dairy farmers, there are 15 farmer
owners on Arla’s Board and 179 farmers on the Board of Representatives. These
are elected through a democratic process, where every farmer owner has one
vote. ” Not only does this Board of Representatives decide on the pricing
structure, which the Board then uses when it agrees to what it can pay out as a
milk price each month. More importantly however, farmer owners have agreed to
equally share the earnings form all that they produce and sell, which again I
another core principle from the co-operative model they follow.

 

 

 

Member Economic Participation

A primary principle which Arla Foods adopts is that it places emphasis
on the value of Member economic participation. What this means is that members
contribute to and democratically control the capital of their co-operative. Arla
farmer-owned cooperative “have agreed to equally share the earning from all
that they produce and sell. This is one of the core principles on which their
cooperative model is based.”( Arla
Farmer-Owned Cooperative n.d.:1)   One of the key benefits of being a
member of Arla Cooperative Food, is that “When you buy their  products, all Arla’s profits go directly back
to our farmer owners, and not to the shareholders or private owners. ( Arla
Farmer-Owned Cooperative n.d.:1)

 

 

4. Autonomy and Independence

Arla’s business
structure focuses primarily on being controlled by their members (the farmers),
within the organisation they have The Board of Representatives and the Board of
Directors who make decisions relating to long-term strategic direction of the
business. One of their main intentions is to ensure democratic control by their
members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.

Arla’s aim is to maximise the price paid to its farmer
owners for their milk.

 

Education, training and information

Becoming a
cooperative involves providing education and training, not only for members,
but also the young amongst communities, providing them with information
regarding nature and the importance of co-operation. Arla does this in ambudence…..hence should….

In autumn 2016, Arla,
and ‘biodiversity Now’  became business
partner and began a project, intending to encourage the understanding of
different species and their habitats. With already “more than 29,000 citizens
participating in the registration of 30 species and 12 habitats” it is clear
that Arla is both trying to educate and train the young people, into a more
sustainable and ‘green’ future.  More
importantly however there is education and training for farm owners too, who
are “actively taking part in reducing the carbon footprint of their farms
through carbon assessments., many of them also benefit from this” Arla’s
chairman and farmer owner, Åke Hantoft, says.

To fully understand
the extent of education, training and information provided by Arla, “370 farms
in Sweden and Denmark have had an energy assessment which has guided the farmer
in reducing the use of electricity. More than 295 workshops have been conducted
in the UK, Sweden and Denmark to share knowledge among farmers about efficient
use of feed and energy.”

Another initiative
to strengthen our cooperative is the new training programme ‘Arla Next’,
designed to give non-elected farmers a avour of what it takes to be an elected
representative. So far Arla Next has been a great success.

 

 

Cooperation amongst Co-operatives

Before Arla foods began, it went
through an important merger, on the 22nd October 2003. This was the
formation of Arla as a company. Without this merger, the company itself would
not be existent. What this highlight is a coherent co-operative movement,
working through not only through local but also, nationally, regionally and
international structures. This is evident through further more recent mergers
such as “In September 2012, Arla Foods amba and Milk Link announced that
regulatory approval for the merger was granted by the European Commission and
subsequently the two companies merged on October 1, 2012.”

 

Concern
for community

 

Arla is a farmer-owned global
business, where they place an emphasis on cooperative social responsibility
“where profitability and responsible business practice go hand in hand…
recognising that the decisions taken today impact on the long-term future of
Arla.””

(Arla Farmer-Owned Cooperative n.d.)

 

Some of the targets set out by Arla which
they intend to achieve by 2020 include is to reduce their “CO2 emissions by 34%
by 2020, to ensure that 30% of their energy will come from renewable sources
and to reduce the amount of water they use by 20%.” What this highlight is
their concern for community, such emphasis on their carbon footprint indicates
that Arla as a business aspires to develop communities while also “supporting
farmers to reduce their own farm emissions.”

 

Managing Director of
Arla Foods UK, Tomas Pietrangeli, met with Michael Gove, who is the secretary
of state environment, food and rural affairs; which is resulted in a lot of
praise for the company Arla, Michael Gove commented on tier investment and
sustainability saying ” it was a chance to see first-hand the scale of
investment made to promote not only productivity, but also
sustainability. ”  During the
discussion, Pietrangeli emphasised 
Arla’s support for M.Gove’s vision of a Green Brexit and its focus on
maintaining environmental standards. What this indicates is a clear concern for
community focusing not only developing the country and area it works in, in
this case Briton, by trying various methods of creating a more environmentally
friendly area. One such aims which Pietrangeli is trying to adhere to is to” reduce its
greenhouse gas emissions by 25% as part of its 2020 Good Growth Strategy.

Arla as a food
company here cleary shows concern for the community. Which is a core principe
which all Cooperatives must try to follow. What we must highlight here is the
clear amount concern it shows, and how much development it tries to bring in.
Hence this company truly should get nominated.

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

The positives of Arla Farmer owned Co-operative is seen throughout their
various successful activities which meet the 7 criteria deployed by the
International co-operative alliance. Arla as a business put there members
first, they have continuously helped farmers who suffer from low milk prices by
investing money “helping its farms rather than improving its production
facilities.” (Bury,2018)

 

what this highlights amongst the rest  of which have learnt regarding their
compliance with the seven co-operative principles, is that this company is run
by values and not just profit. They continue to help members,  by providing training and education, such as initiatives put forwards such as ‘Arla Next’  which focuses on suitability on he future. Arla’s
aim for to reduce their carbon footprint by 2020 is also a significant movement
which shows direct concern for the community, focusing on key issues such as
pollution, and waste, and trying to rectify our mistakes. Hence based on the above information, Arla seems like
a deserved candidate for co-operative of the year.