Fonterra drops to sixth place in world dairy company rankings

Fonterra was ranked sixth.
Fonterra was ranked sixth. Photo credit: Getty

Dairy giant Fonterra has dropped from fourth to sixth in the ranking of the world's largest dairy companies, according to a Rabobank report released on Wednesday. 

The Global Dairy Top 20 report lists companies by turnover and highlights strategic movements within the industry.

Fonterra's lower ranking came as a result of the impact of the consolidation of assets on year-on-year sales in both US dollars and Euros, the report said.

Swiss company Nestlé remained in the number one spot, while Lactalis from France was in number two.

Dairy Farmers of America was the third highest ranked company (up from sixth place in 2019) and French dairy company Danone came in fourth. The Chinese company Yili rose to fifth position after coming in eight last year.

Fonterra was listed as having a turnover of US$13.2 billion, compared to Nestle's US$22.1 billion.

According to the report, Fonterra's co-operative members are facing "greater environmental constraints which are limiting growth", meaning the company would be likely to "focus on value strategies and rationalisation of plant capacity".

The report predicted next year would bring  "the continuation of below-trend milk production gains" in most major exporting countries, due in part to rising costs of production as farms comply with rising environmental regulations.

Slower economic growth in China and the post-COVID-19 global recession was also likely to impact the industry, the report said.