Who are the top 20 milk processors?

14-07-2016 | |
<em>Photo: Shutterstock</em>
Photo: Shutterstock

IFCN, the Dairy Research Network, has released the actual IFCN Top 20 Milk Processor list.

This list ranks the processor giants of the world by milk intake volume. Together, these top 20 processors collect 200 mill tonnes ME milk, 25.4% of produced milk worldwide.

Farmers of America lead the ranking in the IFCN Top 20 Milk Processors list with a milk intake of 28.1 mill t ME in 2015. The international cooperation Müller and Arla increased its intake about 1,7-2,0 mill t ME and by this upgrade their position in the list since 2014.

Also the German processor DMK gained in the ranking, by the acquisition of the Dutch DOC Kaas company and adding 1 mill t ME to the milk intake. There are new entries in the top 20 list, Agropur and Schreiber Foods, interestingly both placed in the North American market. But not only western processors are key players in the dairy world. Amul from India and Yili and Mengniu from China collecting together 19.1 mill t ME of milk, nearly 10% of the top 20 processors. Turn-over per kg of processed milk ranges between 0.5-2.4 USD per kg in 2015, whereas Nestlé and Danone ranked highest and DFA and California Dairies ranked lowest.

The IFCN Top 20 Milk Processor List is biannually released with thorough validated data and comparable variables, making this list unique in the dairy economic world. This list is an important tool for the entire dairy industry and supply chain to better judge the perspectives of the national milk production and the global scale of milk processing.

Regarding the figures: Milk intake represents milk volume collected and dairy commodity purchases (in milk equivalent) for the main company and its subsidiaries. Milk intake figures in mill tonnes. In some cases recalculated from litre (litre = 1033 kg). In the milk intake, a double counting is possible once a processor sources milk from a collecting cooperative (e.g. DFA) or is sourcing milk in for of dairy products. This means that the total milk volume of the top 20 processors can be overestimated. Turnover per milk: Dairy turnover divided by milk intake. This indicator gives an indication of value creation per kg of milk processed. This figure shall be interpreted with care as the precise number is difficult to define and a direct comparability between companies is limited.

Emmy Koeleman Freelance editor