Farmers Dumping Milk as Restaurant Demand Dries Up

NEW YORK-A facebook post made by a family member of the Boxler Dairy Farm of Varysburg, New York claims that farmers are now being told to dump their supplies of milk as prices have dropped and demand is dropping.  That’s because restaurants don’t need milk and wholesale milk demand has dried up.

“In an already fragile dairy industry, we are taking another hit as COVID-19 disrupts the food chain. And Due to dairy products being highly perishable, the dairy industry got hit harder and earlier than other agricultural commodities,” Nikki Boxler said in a Facebook post. “This week we got the dreaded call to start dumping milk because processing plants are full and there is no place for it to go due to the closure of restaurants, schools, and food service businesses. It is predicted that even more farmers will be asked to dump milk in the coming weeks.⁣”

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This request isn’t new and not just for the New York state farm.  It’s been reported in Wisconsin too.

“What is even more worrisome is that nobody has any idea how long the dumping will go on for,” said Ryan Elbe of Golden E Dairy in West Bend, Wisconsin.

“Despite strong demand in retail markets for dairy products, the sudden shift from wholesale food service markets to retail stores has created a logistical and packaging nightmare for plants processing milk, butter, and cheese – to put this into perspective about half of consumers food budget was spent at restaurants – and It would take millions of dollars to switch a plant from producing for wholesale to producing for retail,” Boxler added. Watching your hard work literally go down the drain is heart wrenching – the wasted product represents our livelihood and the massive amount of hard work that takes place year round to produce it.”

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