Cows don’t stop producing milk just because of a global crisis. But since the outbreak of Covid-19, which has forced schools and restaurants to close, there is all of this milk with nowhere to go.
Restaurants and schools that buy in large quantities and are no longer operating for the time being, therefore the demand for bulk dairy has declined drastically.
Dairy farmers depend on wholesale markets to sell milk, but as plant production is down, dairy farmers everywhere are literally pouring money down the drain.
Even with mass panic buying at grocery stores and empty shelves, the majority of bulk dairy products are sold to restaurants and schools.
Why is this happening? Think of it this way. There is a difference in how cheese is produced in bulk compared to how it is produced for what the average consumer buys. Cheese is often produced and bought by the barrel or rounds for parts of the food industry, while you and I buy smaller portions usually pre-sliced in shrink packaging. Retrofitting plants to meet the consumer demand would cost millions and take time to complete.
Furthermore, trucking companies are scrambling to find enough truck drivers to haul dairy products which is creating a logistics and shipping nightmare.
Because milk is a perishable item, farmers have a limited time frame to create solutions during this crisis.