According to the latest figures on Belgian dairy production in 2018 from Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, our country produced 10 % more fresh dairy products than in 2017. The most significant increases were recorded for fermented milk (22 %), desserts (8 %) and consumer cream (5 %). The production of yoghurt has decreased by almost 11 %.
The production of farm butter has increased by 9.3 %. The total production of consumer milk remains nearly stable with a striking increase of 13.6 % for skimmed milk and 6.5 % for whole milk. The production of semi-skimmed milk and buttermilk has decreased by 5.7 % and 9.9 %, respectively.
As for milk powder, an increase of 10.6 % is particularly noticeable for skimmed milk powder, while unskimmed milk powder decreases by 2.95 %.
Consumer milk, milk drinks and fresh dairy products are the most important products in the Belgian dairy industry. In 2018, the total production of consumer milk, chocolate milk and milk with added vitamins amounted to almost 849 million litres.
Fresh dairy products such as yoghurt, fermented milk drinks, cream and desserts accounted for a total production volume of 642 million litres. Besides, 250,000 tonnes of milk powder were produced, as well as 107,000 tonnes of cheese, 94,000 tonnes of butter and 27,000 tonnes of condensed milk and whey. These products are made based on approximately 4.7 billion litres of cow's milk, 152 million litres of cream and 94 million litres of skimmed milk, including imported deliveries.
With a share of 27 %, semi-skimmed milk remains the most important milk drink, followed by fermented milk with 17 %, consumer cream with 16 %, whole milk with 14 % and chocolate milk with 9 %. The share of milk with added vitamins as well as that of the production of yoghurt remain limited to 3 % and 2 % respectively.
The production share of goat's cheese in Belgium is relatively limited, but still registered a significant growth of 20 %. In order to produce almost 10,000 tonnes of goat's cheese, 67 million litres of goat's milk were collected in Belgium and abroad. The share of Belgium's own goat's milk is limited to 58 %.