Editor: On behalf of the 10,000 dairy farm families that I have the privilege to represent, I want to acknowledge how difficult this time is for everyone. Our prayers are especially with those families whose health has been affected by the coronavirus.
Our dairy farm families are committed to providing wholesome dairy products to feed our communities, especially during these challenging, changing times. And even though times are tough—we are in this together—stronger together.
While consumers are facing unprecedented changes in the way they live their lives, dairy farmers are affected as well. With dramatic shifts in the distribution network, school and restaurant closures, the dairy supply chain has been disrupted.
Half of all the cheese that’s produced is normally consumed through restaurants, and about seven percent of the milk that’s produced is used for in-school meals. And while school meals are still being provided to families, it’s not nearly as much as when school is in session.
The good news is that more consumers are preparing meals at home, so the demand for milk at grocery stores has skyrocketed. Initially, panic-buying led to limited availability in stores; however, the distribution system is catching up, products are becoming more readily available, and supply limits are few.
Rest assured that there is no shortage of milk. Farmers will continue to produce a product that is safe and nutritious. Consumers can continue to support the local economy and farmers by purchasing dairy as a part of their regular groceries.
Rick Naczi, CEO
American Dairy Association North East