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Top 20 Dairy Processors’ impact on the world is understated

The IFCN Top 20 Milk Processors List provides validated, comparable data to better understand the largest dairy processors worldwide. In 2020, IFCN has extended its research about these processors and has created the world’s first dairy processor report: a fact book that makes dairy processing companies comparable. Analysing a wider set of sources and data, it illustrates the contributions of milk processors with a focus on people, planet and profits.

The Top 20 dairy companies in 2019

Milk volume and market share: The Top 20 milk processors represent 25% of the milk produced globally by collecting 211 mill t milk. Their milk intake has increased annually by around 2.4% during the 2014-2019 period, which is broadly in line with global milk production growth.

The top 20 dairy companies: The majority of the Top 20 dairy processors is located in Europe, with
ten of them having their global headquarters based there. Six of them are located in North-America,
three in Asia, and one in Oceania. The top 3 dairy companies by milk intake are: 1) DFA (Dairy
Farmers of America), 2) Fonterra and 3) Lactalis. By turnover, IFCN data show Lactalis as ranked first, followed by Nestlé and Danone in second and third place.

Changes in the ranking by milk intake: In line with the last ranking published in 2018, Dairy Farmers of America continues to top the list in 2020. The top seven processors – DFA, Fonterra, Lactalis, Arla, Nestlé, FrieslandCampina and Saputo – maintained their positions compared with the previous ranking in 2018. The top 10 ranking is completed by Amul, Yili and Mengniu, three Asian dairies, which also showed the biggest increase in the ranking. Land O’Lakes and Leprino are the
“newcomers” in the 2020 ranking.

People, planet and profit of the Top 20 dairy companies in 2019

People: By collecting and processing 211 billion litres of milk, the Top 20 dairy processors not only
serve the dairy needs of over one billion people, they also contribute over USD 100 billion dollar
annually to society. Of these, USD 71 billion go for example to dairy farmers and USD 21 billion are paid to 460,000 employees.

Planet: In terms of sustainability goals, 20 out of the 20 Top 20 dairy processors report on climate
and sustainability monitoring and 10 out of the 20 declared to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Profit: The EBITDA margin for all processors over the years 2014 – 2019 was on average around 8%, even though the range between companies is much wider between 1% to 20%.

IFCN Top 20 Dairy Processors list by milk intake in 2019

Source IFCN

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