Scandinavian Arla said Algeria was its "next strategic commitment in milk powder", following the firm's successful entry on the Chinese market in the last couple of years. The move shows how emerging markets in North Africa and the Middle East are seen to rival some of the opportunities on offer in Asia for dairy firms. Arla said Algeria and North Africa generally had been "overshadowed" by growth in Asia, and that Algerian milk producers were struggling to meet domestic demand. Milk consumption there was rising by eight per cent per year and the country is one of the world's top five markets for milk powder. Local supplies only cover 10 per cent of the market, tempting international dairy firms to swoop in. "Arla is unique in the market in that the company is owned by milk producers," says Anwar Mahfoudhi, head of Arla's operations in Algeria. "The fact that our milk powder comes from our own cows and is always processed at the same dairies means that we can guarantee consistently high quality." Arla's operations in Algeria escaped relatively lightly from a muslim consumer boycott of its products across the Middle East and parts of North Africa last year.