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Ponta Delgada ,  May 06, 2019

Milk production in the Azores stabilised in the first quarter of 2019

Global milk production in the Azores has practically stabilised at 157 million litres, comparing the production registered in the first quarter of this year with the same period of 2018, announced today the Regional Secretariat for Agriculture and Forestry.

It should be noted that that production increased by 4.7 million litres of milk, i.e., 3.1% in the first quarter of 2018, compared to the same period of 2017.

In the first quarter of 2019, the largest reduction in production was registered on the islands of Flores (-21.5%), Pico (-11.6%) and Terceira (-3.4%) in comparison with the same period of 2018, while production grew on the islands of São Jorge (+ 5.8%) and São Miguel (+ 1.9%).
Milk production in the Region is well structured and has evolved significantly in terms of both quantity and quality. Despite the limits imposed on production by some industries, there was an increase of 9.3% in production over the last four years, while average productivity grew 18% over the same period.

These indicators are the result of the efforts and the accumulated experience of milk producers, the investment in genetic improvement, the good natural conditions and the investments made in the modernisation of farms.

In the current term, which began in November 2016, more than three hundred projects for the modernisation of dairy farms have been approved, an investment of 35 million Euros, as well as seven dozen projects for the first installation of dairy farms.

Despite the enormous challenges faced by the regional dairy sector, these indicators clearly demonstrate the sector's capacity to attract young farmers and the optimism and confidence in the future of milk production in the Region.

They also evidence the willingness of farmers to invest in the modernisation of their farms to improve cattle management and working conditions, being another way to increase the efficiency and disposable income of their farms.

At the 40th Spring Meeting organised by the Portuguese Society of Pastures and Forages under the theme "Sustainable Pastures and Forages in the Azores," the Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry defended that the improvement of pastures in the archipelago is a major asset for the reduction of costs in farms and for environmental sustainability. Moreover, it is a competitive advantage that must be optimised by industries to enhance their productions."

On the occasion, João Ponte emphasised that consumers are increasingly aware of animal welfare issues and willing to pay more to consume "high nutritional quality products from grass-fed animals that are also associated with environmentally friendly farming practices." According to him, this is a great opportunity for industries that process Azorean milk, which must be positioned in markets associated with the image of nature and sustainability.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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