Cheese production declining

Dutch cheese factories produced 4 percent less cheese in 2001 than in 2000. This downward trend continued into the first half of 2002. The supply of milk to dairy factories has been quite constant for a number of years now because of the European quota system.

Less cheese

Cheese is just one of the products dairy factories make from milk. Germany and France account form more than half of cheese production in the EU. Since 1996 the manufacture of cheese has risen in the EU as a whole, while in the Netherlands it has decreased. Last year Dutch dairy companies produced 640 million kilos of factory cheese, 4 percent less than in 2000. The trend continued downwards in the first half of 2002: the decrease was 4 percent compared with the first half of 2001.

Cheese production in the EU, 2001

More powdered milk

Powdered milk has become an increasingly popular product in the last four years. In 2001, 177 million kilos of powdered milk was produced, the highest production in the last seven years. In the beginning of 2002 the amount fell slightly. Low fat powdered milk accounts for 40 percent of all powdered milk.

Dairy production, first six months

Butter and whey powder

In the first half of 2002 the production of butter was 7 percent lower than in the first half of 2001. The production of unprocessed whey powder has declined since 1995, but showed an upturn in the first six months of this year.

Milk production in the Netherlands and the EU

Dutch cows produce nearly eleven billion kilos of milk a year, putting the Netherlands in fourth place in the EU. In the Netherlands the milk yield was an average 7,300 kilos per cow in 2001, 10 percent more than in 1996. Dutch herds are not the most productive in the EU, however. Swedish cows produce even more: an average of nearly 7,500 kilos each per year. For the EU as a whole, the average production per cow is six thousand kilos. Lower yields in South European countries and Ireland have a downward effect on the EU average.

Average milk yield per cow

Folkert van der Werf