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Milk Producers Struggle with Overabundance of Product during Pandemic

Milk producers are struggling with an over supply of milk for the market.  Some are having to dump some of their milk because there is no place to take it.

Joy Smith is the manager of Saskatchewan Milk.  She says food services and restaurants have reduced the amount of milk they are purchasing in recent weeks, causing uncertainty for dairy producers.  Smith spoke with reporter Jim Smalley and mentioned cows don't have a tap that can be turned off, and as a result, producers are left with few options.  "It's not just Saskatchewan, it is right across the country, and in fact we are hearing stories of this right across the world", notes Smith.

"COVID-19 has changed the landscape of how everything works and really the impact it has had on dairy is that all of these restaurants, food service, and coffee shops are closed.  That's just dramatically shifting the demand for some of the products, reducing it.  Then there is the other upswings in demand for products at the retail level but it is very erratic and fluctuating," comments Smith. "Retailers and processors are having a hard time determining the new normal.  Processors don't have space for our milk and happened very suddenly"

Smith notes that farmers are doing what they can to tighten up production but do not want to make dramatic shifts in production because they do not know what the 'new normal' will be.

Smith understands that farmers are adjusting but also knows that it is difficult for dairy farmers and none of them want to see this happen.

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