Arla Foods has pledged to remove artificial colourings and flavourings from new products as it attempts to turn itself into the "world's most natural dairy company".

The Danish dairy giant plans to re-examine its entire supply chain, introduce new environmental initiatives, develop alternative sources of energy and create more 'natural' products containing lower levels of additives. Work had already begun to create new recipes and develop more natural products that still had comparable flavour, it said.

As part of its 'Closer to Nature' approach, Arla will work with farmers to increase the use of renewable energy and energy derived from waste, as well as improve animal husbandry and encourage the use of natural fertilisers.

The company said it would also purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles, use the most effective distribution routes, maximise loads for fuel efficiency and cut and improve packaging.