Friday, April 10, 2020

Social isolation and food destruction

I've been surprised to see articles on farmers destroying food in recent days.

It seemed strange to me at first, but I found the following articles informative as to why.

Yes, farmers are dumping milk. Here's why
Figures out of the U.S. (Canadian numbers should come soon) show increases through retail of 53% in milk, 84% in cheese, 127% for butter. All while food service demand collapsed. Keep in mind food service wants buckets of sour cream, not tubs, or 10 pound bags of shredded cheese, not packets. Tim Hortons uses a big bag of cream through a SureShot machine, while you want 500 ml at a time. Those processing lines can’t change overnight. It takes millions in new equipment and packaging to convert those. So you’ve got retail lines that can’t keep up while food service lines are completely backed up or shut down.
The article is, in some ways, specific to Ontario and Canada as milk marketing board decisions were involved - but the situation is the same for other farmers south of the border.