How much of Europe’s milk does Ireland produce and drink?

Ireland is the sixth largest milk producer in Europe, according to information from CLAL, the Italian Dairy Economic Consulting firm.

Today, June 1, marks World Milk Day which is organised by the Food & Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

It says that the day provides an opportunity to focus attention on milk and to publicise activities connected with milk and the dairy industry.

Ireland produces 4% of Europe’s milk and is in joint sixth place with Spain, CLAL says.

Germany is the largest milk producer in Europe with 21% of the continents milk coming from the country, it says. France is the second largest producer, producing 17% of Europe’s milk, it says.

The UK is in third place with 10% of Europe’s milk being produced there, it says.

Between 2012 and 2013 the production of cows’ milk on farms in the EU 28 increased by almost 1.7m tonnes, eurostat figures show.

World milk production

According to the FAO, world milk production has increased by more than 50%, from 482m tonnes in 1982 to 754m tonnes in 2012.

India is the world’s largest milk producer, contributing 16% of global production and it is followed by the US, China, Pakistan and Brazil, it says.

Ireland has one of the highest milk surpluses in the world along with New Zealand, the US, Germany, France and Australia, it says.

Ireland has the third-highest per captia consumption of liquid milk in the world, at 130L per person per annum, Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) says.

Ireland produces enough milk and dairy products to feed 52 million people, ICOS says.

Dr Catherine Logan, Nutrition Manager with the National Dairy Council says that milk is a natural and affordable source of important nutrients in our diet.

“Milk is also incredibly versatile: you can cool it down, heat it up, bake it, blend it or even milk-shake it.

“There are very few other foods that offer such a variety of ways to be enjoyed as part of our daily lives,” she says.

2014 deliveries of cow milk in Europe


Image credit: CLAL.