Milk and Dairy Production in Europe

The observation of the most recent data available from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) allows us to learn how in 2013 the European macro-region (this also including Russia and Ukraine) is the most relevant producer of milk. As shown in the Figure 5.1.1.1, it accounts for about 33% of the total world production and is followed by the Americas (about 29%), Asia (about 28%), Africa (5.4%), and Oceania (4.9%)/

A very brief analysis of the milk production within the EU-28 area can be carried out by observing the breakdown by country proposed in Table 5.1.1.1. Broadly speaking, it shows a general decrease between 1990 and 2013 since the milk production moved from 158,745,000 tonnes in 1990 to 153,774,000 in 2013. It must be noted, however, that this last figure is the result of a moderate increase recorded after 2005 when the production was 145.107 tonnes. In Table 5.1.1.1, and more easily from Figure 5.1.1.2, it can be also observed how the first five main European producers of cow's milk are—as considered at 2013 only—Germany (with about 31.324 million tonnes), France (with about 24.426 million tonnes), the United Kingdom (with 13.943), Poland (with about 12.718) and Italy (with about 11.281 million tonnes).

The EU-28 countries account for about 8.5% of the total world quantity of dairy cows. This has been true for the last three years (2011, 2012, and 2013). The number of dairy cows has fallen with respect to the previous years, as shown in Table 5.1.1.2. As can be observed, the percentage representing the weight of the amount of dairy cows in the EU-28 on the total world was about 11.4% (in 1990 and in 2000) and 10.3% (in 2005), falling to about 8.9% (in 2010). Furthermore, Table 5.1.1.2 and Figure 5.1.1.3 show the distribution of the number of dairy cows in the EU-28 country members over selected years. By focusing attention on 2013 only, it can be appreciated that the countries accounting for the most relevant herd size are Germany (with 4,286,000 heads),

Cow's milk production share by world region at 2013 Source

Figure 5.1.1.1 Cow's milk production share by world region at 2013 Source: http://faostat.fao.org/.

1 It must be highlighted, however, that the actual contribution of the EU-28 countries to the world's total production of cow's milk is, however, particularly relevant and equal to about 24.2%.

Year

No.

Country

1990

2000

2005

2010

2011

2012

2013

World

480.270

492.872

546.188

603.168

616.956

630.184

635.575

EU-28*

158.745

150.298

145.107

149.863

151.854

152.097

153.774

1

Austria

3.350

3.233

3.114

3.258

3.307

3.382

3.393

2

Belgium

3.610

3.425

3.082

3.111

3.151

3.116

3.528

3

Bulgaria

2.101

1.409

1.287

1.124

1.126

1.093

1.149

4

Croatia

0.918

0.605

0.789

0.613

0.657

0.659

0.588

5

Cyprus

0.100

0.147

0.147

0.151

0.156

0.154

0.163

6

Czech Rep.

4.946

2.789

2.813

2.683

2.736

2.815

2.849

7

Denmark

4.742

4.719

4.910

4.880

4.916

5.082

8

Estonia

1.208

0.630

0.670

0.675

0.692

0.721

0.772

9

Finland

2.811

2.524

2.433

2.336

2.301

2.297

2.328

10

France

26.254

24.929

24.675

24.032

25.092

24.718

24.426

11

Germany

23.672

28.332

28.453

29.594

30.301

30.672

31.324

12

Greece

0.716

0.789

0.761

0.744

0.757

0.766

0.731

13

Hungary

2.838

2.137

1.929

1.685

1.712

1.813

1.773

14

Ireland

5.396

5.212

5.100

5.350

5.556

5.399

5.601

15

Italy

10.663

10.774

10.975

11.399

11.299

11.500

11.281

16

Latvia

1.892

0.823

0.807

0.831

0.842

0.871

0.912

17

Lithuania

3.155

1.713

1.854

1.733

1.782

1.775

1.720

18

Luxembourg

0.290

0.264

0.270

0.295

0.292

0.289

0.296

No.

Country

Year

1990

2000

2005

2010

2011

2012

2013

19

Malta

0.034

0.045

0.041

0.041

20

Netherlands

11.285

10.966

10.846

11.941

11.851

11.881

12.408

21

Poland

15.832

11.889

11.923

12.279

12.414

12.668

12.718

22

Portugal

1.694

2.060

2.061

1.918

1.919

1.938

1.848

23

Romania

4.156

5.002

4.977

4.500

4.075

3.881

3.966

24

Slovakia

1.977

1.099

1.100

0.918

0.928

0.933

0.912

25

Slovenia

0.579

0.649

0.659

0.604

0.602

0.621

0.596

26

Spain

5.753

6.290

6.561

6.357

6.488

6.502

6.559

27

Sweden

3.508

3.348

3.206

2.862

2.850

2.861

2.870

28

UK

15.266

14.496

14.574

13.960

14.088

13.857

13.943

The EU-28 figures are computed without considering the different time of accession of countries to the EU. Source: Eurostat (online data: apro_mk_farm) and http://faostat.fao.org/.

Production of cows' milk on farm in EU countries at 1990, 2000, and 2013 (in thousand tonnes). Source

Figure 5.1.1.2 Production of cows' milk on farm in EU countries at 1990, 2000, and 2013 (in thousand tonnes). Source: Our elaboration on Eurostat and FAOstat.

France (with 3,697,000), Poland (with 2.299.000), Italy (with 2,075,000) and the United Kingdom (with 1,817,000).

From the data in the tables just presented, it can also be observed how the five countries of the EU-28 area that are characterized at 2013 by a major production efficiency level (considered in terms of average production of milk per cow) are Denmark (with 8,963 kg/head), Sweden (with 8,295), Finland (with 8,255), Portugal (with 8,000), and the United Kingdom (with 7,674). Table 5.1.1.3 and Figure 5.1.1.4 help to build a more complete picture and a clearer idea of the average production of milk per cow in the countries belonging to the EU-28 and for the years 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2013.

As has already been said above, in 2013 the EU-28 produced about 158.8 million tonnes of milk according to the last figures available from official information (Eurostat, 2015). The breakdown of this figure shows how the 96.8% (about 154 million tonnes) was cows' milk and the remaining 3.2% was milk from buffalos, sheep, and goats. It can be also observed how the majority of this milk—that is, about 145 million tonnes (of which about 141 million tonnes from cows)—was employed for dairy purposes and the remaining amount of about 14 million tonnes was used on farms. However, considering that about 2.8 million tonnes of raw milk were imported from outside the EU-28, the actual quantity of milk used by European dairies was about 147.2 million tonnes. The products obtained resulted in a total quantity of about 109 million tonnes, of which about 47 million tonnes were fresh products (31.9 million tonnes of drinking milk and

  • 15.1 of other fresh products), 60 million tonnes of manufactured products (9.3 of cheese,
  • 2.1 of butter, 2.1 of milk powder, and 46.5 of whey). Another 2.3 million tonnes were other manufactured products (Eurostat, 2014; 2015). For easier reading, the Figure 5.1.1.5 schematizes the data reported. It displays data on flows of raw milk only and does not consider changes in stocks.

N.

Country

1990

2000

2005

2010

2011

2012

2013

World

223059

220039

239979

262773

267533

269878

276939

EU-28*

25459

25293

24746

23314

23053

23193

23481

1

Austria

621

534

533

527

523

530

2

Belgium

831

629

548

518

511

504

516

3

Bulgaria

597

363

348

314

313

294

313

4

Croatia

207

185

181

168

5

Cyprus

22

24

25

23

24

24

25

6

Czech Rep.

529

437

375

374

367

375

7

Denmark

769

644

558

573

579

579

567

8

Estonia

281

131

113

97

96

97

98

9

Finland

358

313

284

282

280

282

10

France

5271

4153

3895

3718

3664

3644

3697

11

Germany

4771

4564

4164

4182

4190

4190

4286

12

Greece

242

180

152

144

130

132

130

13

Hungary

491

355

285

239

252

255

250

14

Ireland

1322

1153

996

1007

1036

1060

1082

15

Italy

2664

1772

1842

1746

1755

2009

2075

16

Latvia

535

205

185

164

164

165

165

17

Lithuania

842

438

417

360

350

331

316

18

Luxembourg

59

44

41

46

44

45

48

19

Malta

8

6

6

6

6

20

Netherlands

1917

1532

1486

1518

1504

1541

1597

21

Poland

2982

2755

2529

2446

2346

2299

22

Portugal

380

329

285

243

242

237

231

23

Romania

1625

1179

1170

1163

1169

24

Slovakia

243

199

159

154

150

145

25

Slovenia

140

120

109

109

111

110

26

Spain

1575

1141

1018

845

798

827

857

27

Sweden

426

391

349

348

346

346

28

UK

2891

2339

2007

1847

1800

1786

1817

Number of dairy cows at 1990, 2000, 2013 (in thousand heads)

Figure 5.1.1.3 Number of dairy cows at 1990, 2000, 2013 (in thousand heads).

Table 5.1.1.3 Average Production of Milk per Cow at 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2013 (in kg/head) and Variations (in %) between 1990/2013 and 2010/2013.

Year

Д%

Д%

No.

Country

1990

2000

2010

2013

1990/2013

2010/2013

World

2153

2240

2276

2295

6.6

0.8

EU-28*

6235

5942

6428

6549

5.0

1.8

1

Austria

5206

6113

6402

4.5

2

Belgium

4344

5445

6006

6837

57.4

12.2

3

Bulgaria

3519

3882

3580

3671

4.3

2.5

4

Croatia

2961

3500

15.4

5

Cyprus

4545

6125

6565

6520

43.4

-0.7

6

Czech Rep.

5272

7155

7597

5.8

7

Denmark

6166

7328

8569

8963

45.4

4.4

8

Estonia

4299

4809

6959

7878

83.2

11.7

9

Finland

7050

8225

8255

0.4

10

France

4981

6003

6464

6607

32.6

2.2

11

Germany

4962

6208

7077

7308

47.3

3.2

12

Greece

2959

4383

5167

5623

90.1

8.1

13

Hungary

5780

6020

7050

7092

22.7

0.6

14

Ireland

4082

4520

5313

5177

26.8

-2.6

15

Italy

4003

6080

6529

5437

35.8

-20.1

Year

Д%

Д%

No.

Country

1990

2000

2010

2013

1990/2013

2010/2013

16

Latvia

3536

4015

5067

5527

56.3

8.3

17

Lithuania

3747

3911

4814

5443

45.3

11.6

18

Luxembourg

4915

6000

6413

6167

25.5

-4.0

19

Malta

6833

20

Netherlands

5887

7158

7866

7770

32.0

-1.2

21

Poland

3987

4855

5532

12.2

22

Portugal

4458

6261

7893

8000

79.5

1.3

23

Romania

3817

3393

-12.5

24

Slovakia

4523

5774

6290

8.2

25

Slovenia

4636

5541

5418

-2.3

26

Spain

3653

5513

7523

7653

109.5

1.7

27

Sweden

7859

8201

8295

1.1

28

UK

5281

6198

7558

7674

45.3

1.5

Source: Our computation on Eurostat data.

Average production of milk per cow at 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2013 (in kg/head)

Figure 5.1.1.4 Average production of milk per cow at 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2013 (in kg/head).

Milk and dairy production in the EU-28 at 2013 (in million tonnes). Source

Figure 5.1.1.5 Milk and dairy production in the EU-28 at 2013 (in million tonnes). Source: Eurostat, 2015: 110.

Having briefly analyzed the data and developed the comment above to give a concise picture of the sector in question, we are now ready to discuss environmental and policy issues. The aspect of the environmental impact of the considered sector is the subject of attention in the next section.

 
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