Tomas Pietrangeli, Managing Director of Arla Foods UK, met with Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs this week for a tour of the cooperative’s Aylesbury site, the world’s largest fresh milk processing plant.
The visit was an opportunity for Tomas Pietrangeli to speak with Mr Gove about the future of the UK’s £100 billion food and farming industry as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.
During the discussion, Mr Pietrangeli restated Arla’s support for Mr Gove’s vision of a Green Brexit and its focus on maintaining environmental standards. Pietrangeli also noted the Aylesbury Dairy’s credential as the first net zero carbon dairy of its kind and Arla’s ambition to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% as part of its 2020 Good Growth Strategy.
He also used the tour to communicate Arla’s positions on trade, CAP reform and maintenance of UK’s world-class standards and regulation.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:
“My visit was a chance to look around Arla’s state-of-the-art dairy site and see first-hand the scale of investment made to promote not only productivity, but also sustainability.
“Embracing new technology lightens our environmental footprint and it will help our farmers and food producers take full advantage of the opportunities ahead as we prepare to leave the EU, including access to new markets for our great British food."
Arla is calling on the Government to secure a Brexit deal that enables free trade without tariff or non-tariff barriers of dairy products. It is also urging ministers to provide clarity on the future of agriculture as early as possible to enable farmers to prepare for and adapt to any changes.
Tomas Pietrangeli, Managing Director, Arla Foods UK, said:
“It was a pleasure to welcome the Secretary of State Michael Gove to our state-of-the-art processing facility at Aylesbury. The food and farming industry is one of the UK’s largest manufacturing industries and the innovation that it strives to bring throughout its supply chain is clearly seen in Aylesbury, the largest fresh milk processing facility in the world which is capable of processing one billion litres of fresh British milk per year.”
David Christensen, an Oxfordshire Farmer and Chair of the Arla Farmer Brexit taskforce who also attended the visit commented:
“Following the tour, we discussed with Mr Gove the challenges and opportunities that Brexit creates for Arla and its farmer owners. With one in four UK dairy farmers being owners of Arla, it is encouraging to hear from Mr Gove his commitment to collaboration with farmers as the Brexit plans and new Agriculture policy are developed.”