Annual milk sales in Sweden have dropped to SKr1.4bn, according to Skånemejerier. One company planning to shut dairies is Arla Foods, which to date has around 60 dairy farms. “A synergy effect with the merger with MD Foods means that we can halve the number of dairies. On the other hand, the time scale and details about which dairies will close is not clear,” said Arla Foods’ vice president Åke Modig. According to him, Arla should have closed dairies even before the merger with MD. The main reason is the reduction in consumption. “It is clearly a worry for us.”

In order to retain customers, some Swedish milk producers are seeking diversification. The latest attempt from Skånemejerier is a mixture of juice and milk called Mjos.

Rounded figures for milk consumption, litres pre person

1980 162
1985 151
1990 130
1995 118
1990 112

By Penny Leese, correspondent