Two thirds of EU milk used to make cheese and butter


© Choksawatdikorn /

In 2018, 156.8 million tonnes of whole milk was processed in the European Union (EU). EU dairies produced 10.3 million tonnes of cheese, as well as 2.4 million tonnes of butter and other fat products (“yellow products”). Together, the production of cheese and butter used two-thirds (67%) of all the whole milk available to dairies.

The EU also produced 30.1 million tonnes of drinking milk (around 17 million tonnes of which was from whole milk and 13 million tonnes from skimmed milk) and 3.0 million tonnes of dairy powders. Drinking milk accounted for about one-tenth (11 %) of all the whole milk used by dairies in 2018.

Germany produced the most cheese among EU Member States (2.2 million tonnes, 22% of the EU total), followed by France (a provisional 1.9 million tonnes, 19% of the EU total) and Italy (1.3 million tonnes, 13% of the EU total). The United Kingdom produced 6.8 million tonnes of drinking milk in 2018, accounting for a little over one fifth (23%) of the EU total.

Infographic: What is the milk in the EU used for?

Data source: apro_mk_pobta (EU aggregate based on manual calculation)

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