IFCN, the Dairy Research Network, published the IFCN Top 20 list of milk processors around the globe. This list is published every second year and shows the market share of biggest milk processor giants. The top 20 milk processors collect 211 mill ton ME milk, 25,4% of produced milk worldwide.

New results from IFCN Top 20 Milk Processors List 2018 shows that 25.4 % of produced milk worldwide is processed from top 20 dairy giants. The total collection of top 20 milk processors rose steadily from 200 in 2015 to 211 million tonnes of milk in 2017. Like the 2016 ranking, Dairy Farmers of America topped the list in 2018 with 29.2 million tonnes milk intake holding 3.5% of the total market share of world’s total milk production. 

Top 3 Leaders DFA, Fonterra, Lactalis of the list stay stable their positions compared to the previous ranking in 2016. 

The companies Arla, Nestlé and Friesland Campina take ranks 4 to 6 with milk intake of ca. 14 mill t milk intake.

Saputo increased intake by about 2.1 million tonnes milk through the acquisition of the Australian Murray Goulburn company. 

Amul from India is a new entry in the Top 10 ranking in 2018 with 9.3 million tonnes milk enjoying shifting from 13th to 9th position since previous ranking in 2016. This shift was driven by growing milk intake and the fact that IFCN decided to standardise milk intake from natural content to 4 % fat and 3,3 % protein.

Two big Chinese milk processors, Yili Group and Mengniu show rise in milk intake by about 1 million tonnes since 2016 ranking list, together summed 13.6 million tonnes milk. 

It is worth mentioning that estimated turnover per kg milk ranges between 0.5-2.0 USD kg in 2017 which is average 1.0 USD for top 20 milk processors. Every even year published IFCN Top 20 Milk Processors List provides validated, comparable variables to better understand the large dairy processors worldwide. 

IFCN Top 20 Milk Processors by milk intake


Rank 2018


Company name


Origin & main operation countries


Milk intake in mill. t ME

Estimated turnover per kg milk, in USD Market share in % of world milk production
1 Dairy Farmers of America USA 29,2 0,5 3,5%
2 Fonterra New Zealand/ others 23,7 0,6 2,8%
3 Groupe Lactalis France/others 19,6 1,1 2,4%
4 Arla Foods Denmark/Sweden/others 13,9 0,8 1,7%
5 Nestlé Switzerland/others 13,7 1,8 1,6%
6 FrieslandCampina Netherlands/others 13.6* 1.0* 1,6%
7 Saputo (incl.MG) Canada/USA/others 9.8* 1.1* 1,2%
8 Dean Foods USA 9,4 0,8 1,1%
9 Amul (GCMMF) India 9,3 0,7 1,1%
10 Danone France/others 8,6 2,0 1,0%
11 DMK Germany/Netherlands 8.1* 0.9* 1,0%
12 California Dairies USA 7,7 0,5 0,9%
13 Yili Group China 7.2* 1.4* 0,9%
14 Glanbia Group Ireland/USA/others 6,5 0,6 0,8%
15 Mengniu China 6,4 1,4 0,8%
16 Agropur Canada/USA 6,3 0,8 0,8%
17 Groupe Sodiaal France 4,9 1,2 0,6%
18 Müller Germany/UK/others 4.6* 1.1* 0,6%
19 Schreiber Foods USA 4.5* 1.1* 0,5%
20 Bongrain/Savencia France/others 4,1 1,3 0,5%
                                                                                              Sum of Top 20                     211                 1,0                  25,4%

Source: IFCN data collection, analysis and estimates (feedback to improve our estimations is always very welcome). Data represents in most cases the year 2017.

* = IFCN estimation.

Explanation of variables: 1. Milk intake represents milk volume collected and dairy commodity purchases (in milk equivalent) for the main company and its subsidiaries. Milk intake figures in mill tons. In some cases recalculated from litre (1litre = 1.033 kg). In the milk intake, a double counting is possible once a processor sources milk from a collecting cooperative (e.g. DFA) or is sourcing milk in form of dairy products.  This means that the total milk volume of the top 20 processors can be overestimated. Content of milk intake (fat and protein level) can be underestimated in some countries such as New Zealand and The Netherlands. 2. Turnover per kg milk: Dairy turnover divided by milk intake. This indicator gives an indication of value creation per kg of milk processed. This figure shall be interpreted with care as the precise number is difficult to define and a direct comparability between companies is limited.

Article sourced from https://ifcndairy.org/