Farmers are being forced to dump milk due to COVID-19
The efforts of hardworking cows are going to waste as demand for the silky liquid plummets.
It turns out that humans are not the only creatures feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from the bats that the virus allegedly originated from, cows have now been thrown into coronavirus concerns, too.
The reason is that the milk that many of them are farmed for isn’t as needed (or valuable) as it was before the spread of the virus began (it’s true – there was such a time). How much this actually affects the cows themselves is unclear. My guessing is that most of them are unbothered by economic woes because they are not maths professors (but they are still likely to know more about calculations than I do.)
The slump in demand is down to the comprehensive closure of businesses in the hospitality sector, with companies including cafes, restaurants and hotels ordered to close down in an attempt to reduce the virus’ spread.
Farmers in the UK have estimated that over a million litres of milk were chucked away during April alone, with financial losses of more than £7 million. With no end to the stringent lockdown measures in sight, the expectation for May is that farmers could be left as much as £13 million out of pocket.
It’s not only unsold milk that is causing cash flow issues for farmers. Because companies that farmers sell their milk to are also suffering economic hardship, payments for much of the supplied milk have been put on hold until the money can be found to fulfil the orders.
Unfortunately, consumer demand for milk was never going to be able to replace the massive income produced by deals with industry. Therefore, the moral of the story is simple: if you fancy a coffee, get one – and get it now.