2018 The Arla Foods Challenge2019-10-31T14:55:52+00:00

The Arla Foods challenge:

“How to create a strong community,
where Arla farmer owners and consumers are joined together?”

The Challenge

We challenge you to create scenarios and innovative ways for Arla to develop a 4.0 community/movement, for Arla’s dairy farmer owners, making them see and understand the importance of embracing consumer needs in a consumer driven market.


In short, we need a movement that can make all dairy farmers want to move in the same direction – a network /community for farmers so they can see the vision and become motivated. We have not yet cracked the code for what is the tipping point for this to happen. The key might lie in a combination of IT, culture, data, and organizational structure. A change of behavior is needed to create enhanced performance and create a closer relationship between dairy farmers and consumers.

Arla has 11,200 farmer owners living in seven countries. They supply the raw milk to Arla and Arla’s consumer products. As both suppliers and owners it is important for every farmer owner to understand the democracy in the coop and the importance of developing the best brands and products for the consumers. But in a busy everyday life the end user can seem far away for the farmers: Daily operations is in focus and the outside world and its needs too often become secondary to the farmer.

Farming life is not necessarily the same everywhere. Different cultures and traditions in different countries have to be considered. With 11,200 farmers in seven countries – this provides very different approaches and perspectives on how to farm and how to connect with consumer trends. Some farmers are quick to react to new trends, while others do not have the same perspective and focus.
Technologically, there are big differences between the dairy farmers in the seven countries as well. Some do not own a computer, while others have a very modern set up with IT as a natural part of their production system.

We know that the use of data and IT systems can help boost the performance level, and we would like to help the dairy farmers take full advantage of the data available. With the current data we have available, we can analyze and forecast the dairy farmer’s performance – across the seven countries. We can use data to analyze best practices, become wiser about ourselves and each other. Within Arla we have a number of IT systems that the dairy farmer can use in everyday work and as a source of knowledge on better farming.

Right now we face the challenge, that we have some farmers who are very quick to respond to the market – and a large group that does not have the same view or attention on the importance of bridging the gap between farmers, consumers and trends.

About Arla Foods

Arla Foods is an international cooperative based in Aarhus, Denmark, and the largest producer of dairy products in Scandinavia. Arla Foods was formed as the result of a merger between the Swedish dairy cooperative Arla and the Danish dairy company MD Foods on 17 April 2000.

Arla Foods is the seventh largest dairy company in the world measured by turnover. Among the cooperative dairy companies, Arla is the third largest in the world. At the start of 2010, 7,625 Danish and Swedish cooperative members owned the cooperative.

Arla Foods has three major brands: Arla, Lurpak, and Castello cheeses that are sold worldwide. The Arla Brand is both a co-operative brand and a brand across all product categories. The Lurpak brand of butters and spreads is owned by the Danish Dairy Board, and Castello is a cheese brand including blue cheese and yellow cheeses. The name Arla is derived from the same word as the English word “early” and is an archaic Swedish term for “early (in the morning)”.

Arla Foods incorporates Arla Foods Ingredients, a former division established as an independent subsidiary in 2011. The company develops and manufactures milk-based ingredients, primarily functional and nutritional milk proteins, bioactive phospholipids, minerals, permeate and lactose for the food industry. Their head office is located in Denmark.

Arla Foods Ingredients has one wholly owned production plant in Denmark, with joint venture production at facilities in Argentina and Germany. In early 2011, Arla Foods and DMK formed the joint venture company ArNoCo GmbH & Co. KG, to produce whey proteins for the food industry.

The student challenge team

The team of students within these expertise will work and pressent their solution to the challenge

Will be announced.

Will be announced.

Will be announced.

Speakers at the conference

The speakers for the Arla Challenge.

Torben Greve Himmelstrup,
Head of Farmer and Consumer Programme, Arla Foods

Sarah-Kristin Thiel,

Postdoctoral Researcher, Aarhus University

Sarah-Kristin Thiel is a postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University, Denmark. She conducts research on the intersection of gamification and creativity as well as how creative process can be supported in blended interaction spaces. Her doctoral thesis at the University Salzburg investigated the usefulness of gamification in digital public participation applications. Her research interests include (mobile) interactive technologies, gamefulness and technology in society.

Marco Hubert,

Associate Professor, Aarhus University

Susanne Højlund,

Associate Professor, Aarhus University

Lise Walbom,

CEO, Food Nation


  • Session time: 13 November,  12.30 – 14.00

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