Information and Resources from Dairy Farmers of Canada on COVID-19

Questions regarding milk supply

Over the last few weeks, you may have witnessed fluctuations in milk product inventory at your local grocery stores and viewed news stories about the challenges farmers are experiencing. Across Canada, dairy farmers are working with our partners throughout the supply chain to do everything they can to ensure an uninterrupted supply of milk despite the unprecedented circumstances caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The pandemic resulted in unforeseen fluctuations in demand for dairy products which resulted in shortages in some retail locations. These are not the result of a lack of production capacity at the farm, but rather reflect some real-time challenges in the supply chain in getting milk products to market. The entire supply chain has had to adapt to the circumstances by implementing new measures to prevent the human-to-human transmission of COVID-19. The near complete shutdown of the restaurant industry has also had significant impacts on the demand for some key dairy products.

These rapid and unforeseen shifts have resulted in a need to dispose of some of the milk at the farm in certain areas as a portion of the raw milk could not find a home to be processed. However, this was done in accordance with environmental rules and regulations. The last thing a dairy farmer wants to see is milk being discarded, but as you know, for safety reasons, raw milk needs to be processed before it can be consumed. Dairy farmers are working collaboratively with processors to adjust to the circumstances and find solutions.

Across Canada, dairy farmers actively support food banks throughout the year, and the industry is ramping up its support of food banks and other initiatives.

These are exceptional circumstances created by the pandemic and dairy farmers are working hard to mitigate the impact. Along with everyone else, we look forward to the end of this difficult situation.

Dairy farmers salute the hard-working men and women throughout the country who are working in unprecedented circumstances and thank the many public health officials, organizations, front-line healthcare workers, emergency personnel and all those who, tirelessly, provide care and work to contain the spread of this virus.

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The Dairy Research team members are continuing our activities safely from our home offices and respecting the public health requirements and guidelines with respect to COVID-19.

If you have any questions concerning dairy research, please contact info@dairyresearch.ca.

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