Dairy production at farms across the European Union increased 1.1% last year, to 160.1 million tonnes of raw milk, new data from Eurostat has found.
Of this total, an estimated 149.9 million tonnes was used in the production of fresh and manufactured dairy products.
In addition, dairies across the bloc also produced 1.6 million tonnes of skimmed milk powder, 2.3 million tonnes of butter, 7.7 million tonnes of acidified milk products like yoghurts, 10.3 million tonnes of cheese, 24.0 million tonnes of drinking milk and, as a by-product of the manufacture of cheese, 55.5 million tonnes of whey in 2020.
Production in all of these categories exceeded that of the previous year, Eurostat said – for example, the amount of butter produced in 2020 was 1.7% higher than in 2019.
In addition, the production of fresh drinking milk was 2.6% higher, and the amount of cheese produced was 3.0% higher than in 2019.
Dairies in Germany accounted for the highest share of EU production of all main fresh and manufactured dairy products, including drinking milk (19.3% of the EU total), butter (21.0%), cheese (22.9%) and acidified milk products (23.7%).
Recent weeks have seen plenty of business activity in the European dairy sector – Italy's Granarolo announced the acquisition of the Calabro Cheese and Mario Costa brands, Ireland's Glanbia announced its exit from dairy processing, and Arla Foods launched a new five-year sustainability strategy.