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USDA GAIN: Dairy and Products


14 June 2012

USDA GAIN: Greece Dairy Semi-Annual 2012USDA GAIN: Greece Dairy Semi-Annual 2012

The Greek dairy industry is the third most important segment of the food and drink sector. MY 2012/13 Greek milk production and consumption are forecast to remain flat. MY 2012/13 cheese production is forecast to recover by 4 percent. Recent investment in the cheese-processing sector helped improve product's affordability, resulting in a more competitive marketplace.
USDA Gain Report - Dairy and Products

Milk

The Greek dairy industry is the third most important segment of the food and drink sector, accounting for 17 percent of total production. While the majority of milk collected in the EU comes from cows, the greater part of Greek milk comes from sheep and goats. MY 2012/13 Greek milk production and consumption are forecast to remain stagnant because of the financial crisis gripping the country. Less efficient producers are going out of business as credit becomes increasingly difficult to secure and investment is scaled back. Germany supplies about 84 percent of Greece’s milk import demand. Greece exports small amounts of milk to Romania, Cyprus, and Bulgaria.

Cheese

Cheese is a traditional product of the Greek dairy industry. MY 2012/13 cheese production is forecast to recover by 4 percent. Recent investment in the cheese-processing sector helped improve product's affordability, resulting in a more competitive marketplace. Export opportunities for Greek cheese are also encouraging a greater production. Cheese is produced mainly in Northern Greece and the mountainous areas throughout the country (Macedonia, Thrace, Epirus, Thessaly, Sterea Hellas, Peloponnisos, Lesvos, and Mitilini). Greece produces a large number of DOC (Controlled Denomination of Origin) cheeses from sheep and goat’s milk (Anthotiros, Formaella of Parnassos, Graviera of Crete, Kasseri, Kalathaki of Limmos, Kefalograviera, Kefalotiri, Kopanisti, Ladotiri of Mitilini, Manouri, Metsovone, Mizithra, and Xigalo Siteias).

Cheese products account for about 13 percent of sales in Greek supermarkets. Feta is the most wellknown Greek cheese and the most consumed in Greece. It is made from 70 percent of sheep’s milk and 30 percent of goat’s milk. Feta is a type of brine matured cheese, packaged in traditional wooden barrels, tin vessels, or wrapped in plastic.

Greek consumers ?along with those in other Western countries? are becoming increasingly concerned about their weight. Cheese can form part of a calorie-controlled diet and feta is lower in fat than many cheese alternatives. Cheese is an easy snack and used on a large range of ready foods such as pizza. People looking for an alternative to meat choose cheese as a relatively inexpensive alternative. Greece imports cheese mainly from Germany and the Netherlands. Germany continues to be the main destination for Greek cheese exports, accounting for almost 33 percent of the total.

Butter

MY 2012/13 Greek butter production, consumption, and trade are forecast to remain flat. Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark are the main suppliers to the Greek market, accounting for 66 percent of total imports.

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