France: Land of milk… and dairy products

to discover


dairy farms in France


women and men work in the dairy industry


processing plants and workshops (more than 10 people)


of the region is covered by the dairy sector

Dairy companies at the heart of the regions


rom the coasts of the Channel to the mountains of the Alps, passing through the Loire regions, each French region offers a different dairy landscape. This variety of terroir gives rise to the diversity of French dairy products and the unique character of the dairy sector. These territories make France an exceptionally favourable country for milk production. Our temperate climate, the know-how of farmers inherited from the dairy tradition and the fertility of the soil contribute to making our dairy industry unique and unequalled.

Dairy companies may be of different sizes (Small or Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) or large international groups) and formats (cooperatives or commercial, family or global companies). They offer a range of products and are spread throughout the country, as close as possible to farms.

"This know-how makes it possible to offer a range of 1500 different dairy products, including 1200 traditional cheeses and regional specialities as well as dynamic innovation".

Product diversity and export

The French dairy sector has made diversity and quality its two major assets. It has been able to maintain traditional manufacturing while innovating and guaranteeing an exemplary level of health safety. Through this know-how it is possible to offer a range of 1500 different dairy products, including 1200 traditional cheeses and regional specialities as well as dynamic innovation. France has a remarkable heritage of cheeses, butters and creams whose quality is recognised through PDOs (Protected Designation of Origin) for 45 cheeses, 3 butters and 2 creams as well as organic farming (AB) products.

France’s dairy know-how is appreciated beyond is borders: 4 in 10 litres of milk produced in France are exported in the form of different dairy products.

Exemplary quality and innovation

The sanitary quality of milk and dairy products is controlled through each stage in the dairy chain in order to provide consumers with good, safe and healthy products.

France has many educational institutions, including dairy schools. Knowledge is developed through research teams such as the INRA (National Agronomic Research Institute). This helps promote and support innovation and allows us to remain at the forefront in terms of technology and quality in terms of both taste and health.

The milk saga

The ability to produce and consume milk dates from earlier than previously thought. It was produced by Neolithic people before their arrival in Europe, 9000 years ago. The traces of the first cheeses in Poland date back 7000 years. Very soon after humans began breeding, they sought a way to preserve this perishable commodity.

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