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Dairy Demand Shifting Due To COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak is causing rapid fluctuations in demand for many milk and dairy products.

"In the food service industry, and that is particularly restaurants and that sort of thing, a lot of them have been shut down or it's just take-out," said David Wiens, Chair of Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM). "There's been a very reduced activity at that level and that has resulted in less demand directly for those products."

He notes more of the demand for dairy is at the retail level directly to consumers, however there hasn't been a new standard set at this point.

Wiens says the dramatic changes in demand have resulted in the need for the disposal of some raw milk.

"It's happening right across the country, but I can certainly speak specifically for Western Canada where's there's been a significant volume of raw milk that had to be discarded because the processors are saying 'we've got enough'. We have nowhere else to bring it."

He notes a cow produces a certain amount of milk per day and farmers must continue to milk them for the animal's well-being.

Wiens says DFM will continue to donate excess milk to Manitoba food banks in an effort to reduce the amount that is discarded.

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