Published: 13/02/2013

The dairy giant Arla grows from proteins. Billion investment and new jobs in Nr. Vium stress that Danish wages are not in the way for growth.

A new drying tower, described as one of the most advanced in the world, and new production lines and a filtration system mean about 20 new jobs at Danmark Protein in Nr. Vium. Hiring has started. The new plant has cost 428 million DKK.

– Arla invests in the future, and we have much work. With the new drying tower and the new systems we will be able to increase production by 80 per cent. And even if the new systems are ultramodern, more employees are needed, f.inst. for packaging and transportation, says Danmark Protein Manager Erik Vesløv.

Wages No Object – Technology, Innovation, and Skills Are the Road Ahead

Food Workers’ Union NNF’s Trade Union Secretary Poul Erik Faarkrog is happy with the evident example that it is exactly the cocktail of high technology, innovation, and well qualified employees which will bring growth to Denmark.

– At the moment the Danes are hearing again and again the eternal tune that Danish wages are too high compared to cheap labour abroad. This is a brilliant example to the fact that Danish wages are not the problem. It pays using well trained, well qualified and specialized employees, says Poul Erik Faarkrog. And adds:

– Then we only lack politicians to take care of good framework conditions which will not strangle companies and competitiveness in taxes and bureaucracy.

DKK 900 Million Investment on Its Way

Danmark Protein has about 140 hourly workers and exports about 95 per cent of its raw material, especially to Europe and Asia.

– With the new filtration system we can produce more specialized items, in demand in the market, says Erik Vesløv.

And investments in Nr. Vium are not over.

Arla has just started building a new lactose plant next to Danmark Protein.

– It is an investment of about DKK 900 million, and it will give another 20 jobs, says Erik Vesløv. The new facility will produce highly processed lactose products based on whey. These ingredients are to be used for products within children nutrition, among other things.

– Till now we have only been able to use and process some of the raw material, except one part: namely the lactose released when we concentrate protein from the whey. With the new facility we will be able to process all parts of the milk optimally, he says.

By Claus Gjedsig and Pia Rosager. Translation Inger Sch. Olesen, Food Workers’ Union NNF- 06/02-2013