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Record Milk Collections and Exports for Irish Dairy in 2021

Irish dairy farms produced 8.8 billion litres of liquid milk in 2021. This represented growth of 6% versus 2020, in contrast to the trend seen elsewhere in Europe where production was flat for the year or, indeed, declining as evidenced in key exporters including France, Germany and Netherlands.

Dairy products export values exceeded €5 billion for the third year in a row based on 1.6 million tonnes shipped to 147 markets. For the first time, destinations outside of the EU and UK exceeded 50% of all exports in value terms. Exports of Irish dairy to the Nordic region increased compared to 2020 to over €29 million, which reflects an increase of over 7%.

Also for the first time, the value of butter and cheese exports each exceeded €1bn in the same year. Europe was the key driver of butter value growth (+21%) where Irish butter’s grass fed credentials continue to attract new consumers. From a cheese perspective, Europe was also a key driver with over €50m additional exports in 2021. In Denmark, Irish cheese exports grew by over €3.5 million in 2021 to just over €7 million, signifying a large contribution to this growth whilst in Norway, cheese exports increased by over 25% in 2021.

Casein demand was very strong in the year with prices at record levels. Ireland benefitted from this as the category export value added €100m in the year and now approaches half a billion euro per annum. Casein exports to Denmark continued to be strong in 2021 which were valued at over €4.2 million. Whey also performed positively with record exports of €266m adding €63m additional value exports versus 2020. Whey exports to the Nordic region also continued to be perform well, totalling at almost €3 million.

While the 2022 global outlook is uncertain across all food sectors, Irish milk supply is predicted to remain stable. This sustained supply will continue to underpin strong Irish dairy exports.

On the dairy farm of Dermot Sherry, Co. Monaghan.

Bord Bia and Irish dairy processors will exhibit at a number of trade shows in 2022 including Food Hotel Asia – Singapore, Food Ingredients Asia – Bangkok, Sial – Paris, and Food Ingredients Europe – Paris. All exhibiting companies have the highest sustainability credentials as members of the Bord Bia Origin Green programme.

If you would like to arrange meetings with Bord Bia or any Irish dairy processors at these shows, or have general queries around Irish dairy, please contact dairy@bordbia.ie or your local Bord Bia office linda.madigan@bordbia.ie.