Sunday, January 30, 2011

Import Milk - Hardly

(click on image to enlarge)

The above table is from USDA FAS PS&D and is in 1,000 metric tons.

Many people believe, U.S. dairy farms will be "disappeared" and all milk will be imported. This is hardly possible. No other country could supply the U.S. with the necessary milk.

The attitude of policy makers make the false belief seem credible.

However, we do move milk distances which would seem like crossing several national borders. Hauling dairy products, butter for instances, from coast to coast is 5 1/2 time the distance from Berlin, Germany to Paris, France.

We also seem to be the balancing source for New Zealand's production, at our loss.


  1. John,
    You and I had a discussion one afternoon about where the butter my wife and I purchase at Sam's Club in Lakewood, N.Y. is churned. You tracked it down to a creamery somewhere in Texas.
    Some time later I began to wonder how far the cream in that butter had to travel to get to the plant. Wouldn't surprise me if the cream traveled as far to the churn as the butter did from Texas to western N.Y.
    Our economic system has some huge inefficiencies... but the notion that this nation's milk supply could be outsourced is beyond ludicrous. Nate Wilson

  2. I prefer to support local, small farmers and buying dairy is no exception. The notion of food from every corner of the globe is not nearly as exciting or viable as keeping the local farmers in business.

    I am not alone as the diary farm I frequent cannot keep their products in stock; people come from 3 states to shop there.

    The quality of their products is superior; we pay more, but no one complains as the value of the milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, cream and even ice cream is outstanding.

    I wish more small dairy farmers could learn from their model - they wouldn't be worried about going out of business or being "outsourced", I can tell you that!

    Their site in case anyone is interested in what they're doing:

  3. Most dairy farmers belong to a coop. If those coops would honorably represent their OWNERS this above approach would be viable. As long as they're in bed with the processors it will never happen.

  4. Why do they need a coop? Why not go smaller scale and serve local communities that will support them? I pay, I think, 7.50 or 8.00 for a gallon of milk (it's raw by the way, not wanting to start a big row here about that) from the local diary mentioned above -- he caters to exactly what his customers want. There is no middle man or coop to steal their profits -- they make the profits and stay in business and do well. I realize we're not going to do away with mega-food-corporations in 2011, but I'm only saying if small farmers are in trouble, there are other business models that might serve them much better. Do they even know about them??? This is a big movement that is growing by the day - everybody wins, the consumers get high quality products they specifically want and the farmer gets a decent wage -- it can work for some.