Danone yoghurt hit by Arla supply disruption

The supply issue has affected Actimel and Activia yoghurt

UK retailers have been left short of Danone yoghurt as a result of major disruption to the supply chain caused by the transfer of yoghurts to a new distribution hub operated by Arla.

Arla, which provides third-party warehouse storage in the UK for Danone yoghurts including Activia and Actimel, moved the yoghurts to a new regional distribution centre at Hatfield Business Park in Hertfordshire earlier this month.

A spokeswoman for the company admitted the move, coupled with a “systems interface issue which affected notification of product intake from Danone”, had caused disruption in supply to customers.

The problems - which started last weekend - have affected all of Danone’s UK customers and Arla has been forced to ration Danone products while the issue is resolved.

Danone rival Müller is understood to have ramped up supply to retailers to fill any shortfall in supply of branded yoghurts.

As The Grocer went to press, Arla said it was working “tirelessly” to resume normal deliveries and was making progress. It had deployed experienced operational staff from other Arla sites to resolve the issue, the spokeswoman said.

The issue is an embarrassment for Arla, which is often hailed by retailers for its strong reputation on availability and consistency in supply. Last month, the company was named Own-label supplier of the Year at The Grocer Gold Awards 2013.

It also comes as the global dairy co-operative prepares to open the world’s biggest fresh milk dairy, at Aylesbury, in the autumn.

Asda claimed it had not experienced any “significant availability issues”, while Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons and The Co-operative Group would not provide details on availability.