Published: 08/12/2010

The German Internet portal for the rural sector, Topagrar, in an article entitled, “Dairy in Transition” has reported on the German Farmers Association’s annual trends and statistics report for the dairy sector.

Nestlé is the uncontested global leader with dairy sales of EUR 18.6 billion in 2009, followed by the two French companies, Danone and Lactalis.

The merger of the two Dutch dairy companies, Campina and Friesland has put them in the position of fourth largest company with an annual turnover of EUR 8 billion. Following the expected merger of Germany’s two largest dairy companies, Nordmilch and Humana (planned for early 2011) the combined company with a total turnover of EUR 4.8 billion and almost 7 million tonnes of raw milk processed will be the only German company to enter the top 10.

The German dairy industry, with a turnover of EUR 18.2 billion and 36,300 employees (2009), is the second largest sector of the German food industry, the report says. 20% of sales is accountable to dairy exports. More than half of the milk is processed by cooperatives.

The number of dairies has declined sharply in Germany, however. While there were 360 companies in 1990, the number shrank to 127 by 2000, and in 2009 there were only 99 companies operating 212 dairies processing a combined total of 77,000 tonnes of milk each day.