WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in the decline of dairy product sales in Arizona.
- According to Arizona farmers, cows produce more milk during March, and the dairy industry faced an overflow of supply but a massive decrease in sales.
- The dairy industry was also relying on export sales with Mexico, but a recent temporary halt in operations also resulted in a supply backlog.
The dairy industry in Arizona is taking a big hit amidst the coronavirus outbreak, as it led to restaurants shutting down, and other businesses across the U.S, which dramatically reduced the need for dairy products.
Because of this, farmers were forced to dump their milk and cream products by millions of gallons.
Keith Murfield, CEO of Arizona’s United Dairymen, said that cows might not be prevented from keeping the milk flowing; thus, the production of dairy products continues despite the sudden decrease of demand.
Keith also noted that the bulk of their sales are from fast foods and restaurants, and it is currently down by 75-80 percent, while the industry’s supply from 70 farms through the states continues to grow.
Owner of Caballero Dairy, and president of the United Dairymen of Arizona, Craig Caballero, said that they hadn’t experienced something like this before. With sales dropping, the circumstances have created a backlog in the inventory flow.
It was two weeks ago that dairy farmers reportedly started discarding milk products. Typically, it was during the month of March were the production of milk are at its peak. Since sales have significantly dropped, warehouses in Arizona have been overflowing with supply, pushing the farmers to get rid of around one million pounds of fresh milk on a daily basis.
United Dairymen of Arizona reported on Sunday that they have already discarded at least 12 million pounds of milk products.
Murfield remarked that the situation is one of the most disheartening scenarios to the farmers and producers, noting that the best quality milk in the country just goes down the drain.
In grocery stores, sales considerably went down as well amidst the health crisis.
The United Dairymen of Arizona estimates the consumer’s demand for dairy has alarmingly dropped, and this could lead to milk’s price reduction of up to 40 percent in the succeeding two months.
Caballero commented that the crisis has substantially impacted the industry to its core, and he even thought that America’s dairy industry will be potentially devastated.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 outbreak has also affected Arizona farmers’ sales coming from exports. Prior to the crisis, the industry generates around $150 million a year to its trade deal with Mexico.
On the news earlier reported, though, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said that the Ministry of Health of Mexico declared a stoppage on its administrative operations, which means the export of dairy products will be halted from Arizona to the border.
While the restriction has resulted in the delay of dairy exportation, the measures have been lifted since then.
Source: Fox News