While there remains a fair amount of uncertainty in the market, the diary industry is faring well in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. As we face ever increasing restrictions on our everyday lives in a bid to try and combat the virus, the industry has had to adapt quickly to the way our society now functions.
Increased demand for dairy products
Public demand for fresh milk and key dairy products, such as butter and cheese, has remained high with supermarkets repeatedly selling out of such items in recent weeks. In reaction to this increased demand, retailers and manufacturers have streamlined product offerings to help ease some of the pressure and maintain availability. There is also talk of diverting sales of dairy products from foodservice providers, which are now mostly closed, to retailers to help keep up with demand. What’s more, milk possessors have updated the way their milk is delivered to ensure the safety of both tanker driver and famer in order for collections to continue as normal.
With the higher than normal level of demand, the biggest concern for dairy suppliers is the reliability and continuity of supply. The almost inevitable need for staff to self-isolate will have a further impact on the manufacturers processing line. Essential transport networks that connect farms, factories and retailers could also be seriously disrupted as the pandemic escalates and skilled drivers become harder to come by.
How is the trade and supply chain faring?
Exports in the dairy industry appear to be relatively unaffected although some small problems are beginning to appear. For instance, border checks in the EU have slowed down deliveries, there have been concerns over quarantine needs limiting the availability of drivers and difficulties accessing refrigerated containers for shipments overseas.
However, it appears the Chinese backlog is beginning to ease, helped by the lifting of coronavirus related restrictions, which should reduce pressure on refrigerated container availability. The introduction of ‘green’ transport lanes in Europe will also help to relieve bottlenecked border crossings and improve the transportation of goods, as will the relaxation of driver working hours in both the UK and EU.
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