Dairy farmers dump milk over demand issues

The Dairy Farmers of Canada says farmers have been dumping raw milk because of market fluctuations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement yesterday, the organization said the last thing anyone wants to see is milk being discarded, but dramatic changes in the market have left farmers with little choice.

It said the near complete shutdown of the restaurant industry, as well as changing grocery shopping patterns, have had significant impacts on the demand for key dairy products.

It said the industry has been offering dairy products to some sources and has donated significant volumes to food banks, but they still find it challenging to find homes for all their supply.

The organization said farmers can’t immediately reduce the amount of milk they produce. Cows must continue to be milked to keep them comfortable and well.

As well, production must be maintained, it said, given consumers have been buying dairy goods in greater numbers.

“The entire supply chain is working diligently to react to these sudden shocks and to adjust to changes in demand for dairy and other foods,” the organization said in the statement.

SaskMilk said in a statement the fluctuations in the dairy market reflect adjustments in the processing of milk. It said production capacity isn’t lacking at farms.

SaskMilk said milk will be dumped due to the rate of change in the market.

“While every effort is made to make use of all milk produced, it is not always possible for all milk to be pasteurized and packaged at this time,” it said in the statement.

It said it’s collaborating with organizations to use as much milk as possible. This includes donating to food banks.

Contact jeremy.simes@producer.com

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