According to IFCN's latest research, Saudi Arabia and China have the largest dairy farming enterprises in the world. China holds half of the top 10 list, while the rest of the companies are located in Saudi Arabia, Russia and the USA.
These top 10 companies, with multiple dairy farms, together produced 1.1% of world’s milk output in 2018.
Almarai the largest “dairy farm” by milk volume
Almarai from Saudi Arabia has the largest milk production with 1.47 million metric tons per year. This volume is similar to the milk production of Indonesia or Norway. Almarai has over 100,000 dairy cows.
- Modern Dairy the largest “dairy farm” by cow number
Modern Dairy from China has the largest dairy herd in the world with 134,315 dairy cows. They recorded 1.28 million metric tons of milk in 2018. This company manages its herd in 26 locations located across seven different provinces.
- Almarai, Mengnui and Yili the top 3 farming companies
The Chinese farms are often subsidiaries of large milk processors (e.g. Mengniu, Yili, etc.) or have long-term strategic partnerships with them in order to secure upstream supply chain and synergize the best of both producers and processors of milk. Based on this IFCN classifies the top 3 dairy farming companies Almarai, Mengnui and Yili.
- US dairy farms driven by family ownership models
The three US farms have developed over generations out of single dairy farms. Currently they have a large number of dairy farms in different states. These farms are in many cases run by different family members.
- EkoNiva the fastest growing dairy farm in the world
Ekoniva is the largest milk producer in Europe and is the fastest growing farming company in this list. They expect to exceed 1,0 million tons of milk in 2020.
The myth of large vs small dairy farms: IFCN research of farming systems in over 50 countries shows that larger farms usually outperform smaller farms in various aspects of sustainability (environmental, social and economic). Source: IFCN Dairy Report 2019
Method: The research was conducted by the IFCN Dairy Research Network aiming to create a better understanding of the dairy world. The data is based on annual reports, publicly available information and experts’ estimations. IFCN welcomes any feedback to improve this analysis.
IFCN is a global network for dairy economic research and consultancy in the supply chain. In 2020 dairy researchers from over 100 countries and over 140 dairy related companies are a member.
For details: www.ifcndairy.org