Placeholder Image

字幕列表 影片播放

  • Across America, dairy farmers have dumped countless gallons of fresh,

  • perfectly usable milk because there is no one to buy it.

  • The shelter in place order is given by governments around the country in

  • response to the Corona virus pandemic have shuttered big customers such as

  • restaurants and schools and kept people at home.

  • About 50 percent of the milk produced in the United States goes to

  • restaurants and other food service operations.

  • And farmers are literally having to pour the milk on their fields, dump it

  • somewhere because there's no place to take it.

  • And at the same time, these farmers have got bills and they're how they're

  • going to come out of this and survive.

  • I don't know. Jim Mulheron, president and CEO of an NPF, said on April

  • 14th that dairy's fortunes have been especially grim.

  • He called for more aid to the dairy industry, saying that without it, the

  • Corona virus crisis could be the demise of producers across the country.

  • Grocery stores are still open and people are still buying milk there.

  • In fact, early in the pandemic, supplies had run out as people had stocked

  • up. But the hidden demand from the virus is still battered.

  • America's dairy farmers, many of whom were already in a precarious

  • position before the virus struck the United States.

  • America's dairy farmers face a range of challenges.

  • Milk prices had been low in the five years leading up to 2020, and many

  • farmers were already struggling.

  • Texas dairy processor Dean Foods filed for bankruptcy in late 2019.

  • That company sells products under 50 different regional brands, including

  • Land O'Lakes, Berkeley Farms and true moo milk.

  • Consumption has also been on a long term downward slide since the latter

  • half of the 20th century due to changing eating habits and demographic

  • changes across the United States.

  • 2020 was supposed to be a better year for dairy farmers, but that has all

  • gone down the drain.

  • Humans have been drinking milk for thousands of years.

  • But not everyone can drink milk for a substantial portion of human history.

  • Very few humans would have been able to digest the stuff at all.

  • Evidence from milk drinking dates back to the period of the Neolithic or

  • agricultural revolution, when humans began farming crops and raising

  • livestock. About 10000 to 12000 years ago.

  • It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when.

  • But as agriculture took off over the next few millennia, some people began

  • consuming milk. All mammals, including humans, can digest mother's milk as

  • infants. But the levels of the enzymes that make this possible.

  • Chiefly the enzyme lactase tended to drop dramatically as infants are

  • weaned. Several thousand years ago, evidence suggests that some people

  • begin to carry genetic mutations that allowed them to continue producing,

  • lactase and digest milk into adulthood.

  • Teams of scientists have found evidence of milk consumption in Neolithic

  • populations in Britain, dating back roughly six thousand years.

  • And in Central Europe, dating back about seven thousand five hundred

  • years, milk became an essential food product and source of nutrition in

  • many cultures around the world, especially in Europe.

  • But many, many other people around the world still have trouble digesting

  • milk. About 65 percent of the global population today have some degree of

  • lactose intolerance in adulthood.

  • For most of its history, milk and dairy production, like much of

  • agriculture, was small scale.

  • But during the 20th century, dramatic changes began to take place in

  • industrialized countries that drastically changed the way milk was

  • produced, sold and consumed.

  • In the 1950s, a farm in the United States with 100 cows was considered

  • large. But by 1997, there were many farms, especially in the western U.S.,

  • with 5000 cows.

  • As of 2020, U.S.

  • dairy farms average about 234 cows apiece from 1997 to 2017.

  • The total number of U.S.

  • dairy farms decreased by more than half.

  • While the number of dairy cows per farm more than doubled.

  • Changes in both law and in business practices also altered the industry.

  • Policies, such as the Volstead Act of 1922 allowed farmers to form

  • cooperatives to bargain collectively with milk processors without risking

  • the violation of anti-trust laws.

  • Over time, cooperatives made up of collections of dairy producers became

  • an ever more powerful force in the industry.

  • Cooperatives handle about 85 percent of the milk produced in the United

  • States, according to numbers published by the USDA in 2017.

  • And the four largest dairy cooperatives market 41.3 percent of all milk

  • produced by U.S. farmers.

  • The largest co-operative dairy farmers of America is owned by more than

  • 13000 dairy farmers, representing 7500 dairy farms in 48 states.

  • In at least the last half century, the number of cooperatives has shrunk,

  • largely due to consolidation.

  • In 1964, there were one thousand two hundred forty four dairy cooperatives

  • in the U.S., but by 2017 there were just 118.

  • So the result is that we now have some large enterprises called

  • cooperatives that are really acting in the in their interest, the

  • interests of those who are in control of those Gore operatives rather than

  • in the interest of the members.

  • And so that's that's the contemporary problem.

  • Cooperatives have also begun to invest in parts of the dairy supply chain

  • that extend beyond marketing milk.

  • Most recently, the Dairy Farmers of America said it would buy the assets

  • of Dean Foods, a Texas based milk processor that declared bankruptcy in

  • late 2019.

  • Critics say owning a processing facility presents potential conflicts of

  • interest for a co-operative that is supposed to represent the interests of

  • milk producers who sell their product to processing plants.

  • In the past, cooperatives have also been accused of various

  • anti-competitive behaviors, such as price fixing and practices that

  • exclude nonmembers from markets.

  • During the latter half of the 20th century.

  • The dairy business also became more industrialized, with the development

  • of machines for breeding, milking, feeding and waste disposal to name a

  • few. Farms drifted away from raising and feeding cows on pastures toward a

  • newer model where animals were confined.

  • The way Americans bought milk also changed.

  • In 1950, half the milk sold in the U.S.

  • was delivered to the home in court sized jugs.

  • But by 1997, that share had declined to just two percent of the market,

  • with most of the rest being sold in gallon jugs at supermarkets.

  • During this time, milk was increasingly seen as a fixture on the American

  • table. It was drunk by the glass, sometimes mixed with chocolate, blended

  • with ice cream and poured into bowls filled with another classic American

  • staple. Breakfast cereal.

  • But over the last few decades, milk consumption has fallen.

  • There are a number of reasons typically cited for this, but one of the big

  • ones is competition from other beverages such as juices, sodas, energy

  • drinks, bottled water and other libations that now cram aisles in

  • supermarkets. Milks declining fortune has also been tied to the decline in

  • sales of breakfast cereals, which have seen their own competition from

  • other breakfast foods.

  • The dairy industry has mounted some famous campaigns to counteract falling

  • sales and to keep milk in the minds of Americans.

  • In 1993, the California Milk Processors Board began running another

  • campaign centered on the tagline "Got milk?" with a question mark.

  • There were humorous TV ads where people with mouths full of chocolate chip

  • cookies or peanut butter sandwiches found themselves grasping hopelessly

  • for a glass of milk.

  • There were also print ads featuring celebrities and famous athletes

  • donning a milk mustache.

  • The campaign was licensed to run nationally and lasted for two decades.

  • It was regarded in the advertising industry as one of the most iconic

  • campaigns in history.

  • But the charm of the Got Milk?

  • slogan could not stop the larger trend away from drinking milk.

  • Meanwhile, the industry has seen competition from dairy alternatives and a

  • small but highly visible movement urging people to quit dairy for either

  • health reasons or out of support for animal welfare.

  • Plant based alternatives made of nuts, legumes or grains are a small

  • portion of the market, but have grown in recent years.

  • From 2015 to 2019, sales of non-dairy milks rose 23 percent, according to

  • data from Nielsen, a firm the tracks the industry.

  • Plant based alternatives are still a small share of the market, only

  • around $2 billion over the past year versus about $12 billion for cows.

  • Milk trucking firm NPD Group said.

  • Consumption of bottled water has risen from 1.5 percent of all eating

  • occasions in 2001 to 7.3 percent in 2019.

  • Plant base is often given a little more credit for its growth than it

  • really should be deserving.

  • If you take a look at the size of the largest plant based beverage, which

  • is all. It isn't even as large right now as what the lactose free milk

  • market is supposed to be.

  • Imperatively, the sales are relatively small, so you see it being a

  • factor, but it hasn't been as big as some of those other macro factors.

  • Like you were like lower consumption of cereals.

  • The rise of bottled water and energy drinks.

  • Even people drinking more tea and coffee.

  • That's where milk has gone from.

  • Things were already not great for dairy farmers when reports began

  • surfacing in early April 2020 that farmers were dumping milk they could

  • not sell. Apart from a long term decline in milk drinking, the more

  • immediate threat to dairy farmers had been a run of several years of low

  • prices brought on by competition in the industry.

  • Milk prices can fluctuate, sometimes wildly.

  • Prices surged in 2014, in part because drops in supply from Australia and

  • New Zealand due to drought conditions created a surge in demand from Asia,

  • where dairy consumption has been steadily growing.

  • But the higher prices led farmers to boost production, which in turn

  • flooded the market and drove prices down.

  • Milk markets, as they are now, are inherently prone to oversupply, say

  • industry experts.

  • If prices rise, farmers will often put more cows into production to take

  • advantage of the higher price.

  • That, of course, boosts supply, which drives down prices.

  • But cows are animals with a lifespan of about five years on the average

  • dairy farm once a cow is in production.

  • It is hard to take it out if the market turns downward rapidly.

  • A farmer is left with an excess of cows making milk that has no buyer.

  • 2015 brought another change that boosted global supply.

  • The European Union loosened restrictions on domestic milk production,

  • which have been put in place in 1983 to curb oversupply.

  • European farmers also wanted to export dairy to growing markets, including

  • Asia and Africa.

  • The ongoing trade war that gathered steam under the Trump administration

  • also damaged the dairy export market.

  • For example, China slapped tariffs on U.S.

  • dairy products. Commodity prices had started to bounce back in the second

  • half of 2019, and many in the industry were hopeful 2020 would improve

  • balance sheets. Then the virus struck, along with governments stay at home

  • orders and a subsequent serious decline in demand from the food service

  • industry, including restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries and other

  • businesses that together comprise about half the domestic demand for milk

  • and dairy products. The challenging period to begin with, there were

  • record prices and record revenues in 2014 and then you saw this five year

  • supply demand price slump.

  • 2019 was the first year you saw a recovery in those prices.

  • And dairy farmers were looking forward to their first good year in more

  • than half a decade in 2020.

  • That did two things.

  • One, it meant that balance sheets were not quite healed from the last

  • crisis, making it making it difficult for dairy to respond to this one.

  • And it also meant that when farmers were looking for signing up for

  • government insurance program, basically for their prices, a lot of them

  • didn't think they needed it. This year, milk is an extremely perishable

  • product and most farms don't have the equipment needed to store the excess

  • capacity safely.

  • Dairy supply chains are also complex.

  • It is not easy for a farmer who typically delivers milk for use in cheese,

  • sold the restaurants to rapidly pivot to start delivering milk for sale in

  • grocery stores. One of the biggest obstacles to rapidly adjusting the

  • dairy supply chain is packaging the equipment and materials used for

  • packing and labelling dairy products for commercial food service is very

  • different from what would be found in the grocery store.

  • It can't be swapped out quickly.

  • Yogurt, as an example, comes and one pound tub at retail for food service.

  • There could be a 20 to 40 pound tub.

  • Same thing with shredded cheese.

  • You know, we are used to eight ounce or 16 ounce bags of shredded cheese

  • in a foodservice arena. Those that comes in 40 pound bags, you know, just

  • for food service, convenience.

  • And so you have a channel that's very customized for that trying to

  • course. Correct.

  • So on April 6th, the National Milk Producers Federation and the

  • International Dairy Foods Association to trade groups submitted a list of

  • proposals to the USDA detailing needed support for the U.S.

  • dairy industry through the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The USDA said on April 17th it will distribute 19 billion dollars of aid

  • to the agricultural sector, including 16 billion dollars of direct aid to

  • farmers. The government also pledged to purchase one hundred million

  • dollars a month worth of dairy products to deliver to food banks around

  • the country. Of course, the direct payments to farmers help, but the

  • purchases will also help keep the supply chain in tact.

  • While restaurants and other businesses that would otherwise purchase milk

  • remain closed, it's a start.

  • But the effects of the corona virus have been catastrophic.

  • However, there are some bright spots for the industry.

  • 94 percent of American households still have milk in the fridge and 98

  • percent are eating cheese, while overall milk consumption has declined.

  • Cheese consumption has more than doubled since the mid 1970s.

  • In 1975, the average American, a eighteen point eight pounds of cheese in

  • 2018, that had climbed to 40 pounds.

  • Butter consumption also rose in the same time from about four point seven

  • pounds to five point eight.

  • And yogurt skyrocketed from two pounds to thirteen point four.