Northern European cooperative Arla Foods, a major player in the global dairy sector as far as organic production is concerned, has opened a new plant for the packaging of milk powder in Senegal’s capital city Dakar. This initiative is part of the company’s 2020 strategy and the Senegalese plant is the first building brick in its expansion throughout West Africa, right as far as Nigeria’s huge market. These are the figures: the Senegalese plant is expected to package up to 5,000 tonnes of milk powder produced in Europe. The new production at the plant, which covers an area of 1,400 square metres, will regard sacks of various portions. The Senegalese subsidiary Agroline will take care of distribution with the objective of extending into Mali by 2016, followed by Mauritania.
The milk produced in the whole of Africa (almost 37 million tonnes of cow’s milk amounting to 5.9% of world production, with a dairy cattle population of just over 70 million animals) satisfies 88.4% of total needs (2013 data). There is a surplus production only in South Africa whereas in the western part of the continent not nearly enough milk is produced. Senegal produces 81% of its requirement.
Milk is very much present as a product in the countries in this geographical area as farming is a traditional practice in the lives of some tribes. Sweetened condensed milk is particularly marketed due to the environmental conditions and high temperatures and humidity of the tropical climate. Flavoured milk powder, evaporated milk and yoghurt are becoming increasingly popular, growing at an annual rate of 5%.
Senegal has a population of roughly 14 million inhabitants and, given its strategic position on the Atlantic Ocean, is an important transit country and logistics point for interior countries such as Mali and Burkina Faso.