The dairy population of Carnobacterium maltaromaticum is characterized by a high diversity suggesting a high diversity of the genetic traits linked to the dairy process. As lactose is the main carbon source in milk, the genetics of lactose metabolism was investigated in this LAB. Comparative genomic analysis revealed that the species C. maltaromaticum exhibits genes related to the Leloir and the tagatose-6-phosphate (Tagatose-6P) pathways. More precisely, strains can bear genes related to one or both pathways and several strains apparently do not contain homologs related to these pathways. Analysis at the population scale revealed that the Tagatose-6P and the Leloir encoding genes are disseminated in multiple phylogenetic lineages of C. maltaromaticum: genes of the Tagatose-6P pathway are present in the lineages I, II and III, and genes of the Leloir pathway are present in the lineages I, III and IV. These data suggest that these genes evolved thanks to horizontal transfer, genetic duplication and translocation. We hypothesize that the lac and gal genes evolved in C. maltaromaticum according to a complex scenario that mirrors the high population diversity.