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BC Dairy COVID-19 Update: Milk Supply

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold in Canada and around the world, we want to extend our gratitude to all who are working on the front lines to contain the spread of infection and care for those affected.

These are unpredictable times for all Canadians, including food producers, who are designated as essential service providers. Demand for dairy products continues to fluctuate rapidly, with a sharp decrease from the food service and hospitality sectors. Our supply chain is working hard to adapt as quickly as possible. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures from within our industry. Consequently, these circumstances will result in the disposal of raw milk on some BC dairy farms, starting today.

On-farm disposal of raw milk is a measure of last resort, and only considered in emergency situations. Disposal takes place in an environmentally sustainable way, in on-farm nutrient systems. Where possible, raw milk can be repurposed into animal feed and to produce renewable energy via an anaerobic digester.

As farmers, it’s difficult to see the product we work so hard to produce not reach the market. The dairy supply chain is pursuing every option available to make sure all milk produced on BC dairy farms makes it into the hands of consumers.

BC dairy farmers have donated over $175,000 to Food Banks BC, and plans are underway among farmers, processors and food banks to donate more. Our collective goal is to maximize the processing of raw milk to produce a number of dairy products, including fluid milk and cheese for distribution to food banks in BC.

BC dairy farmers continue to do our part to feed our communities with nutritious, high-quality milk. We are committed to taking the necessary steps to maintain a safe and strong supply chain during COVID-19.

– Holger Schwichtenberg, Chair

About BC Dairy

BC Dairy is a not-for-profit organization representing BC’s dairy farmers.