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Unprecedented measures as dairy farmers asked to dump milk due lack of demand
LONDON, ONT. -- With a glut in supply due to COVID-19, dairy farmers around the region are being asked to dump their milk.
"We can't turn the cows off," says John Walker of Walker Dairy Inc.
"They are full of milk every day for us. On Friday and Saturday at Walker Farms southeast of Aylmer, Ont. they've been asked to take their milk, and dispose of it.
"There is just nowhere for it to go," says Walker. "Schools, restaurants, and even Tim Hortons' amount of cream is down. Those are all things that have slowed down demand for our product right now."
The Dairy Farmers (DFO) of Ontario called for unprecedented measures this week with low demand.
"Disposing of milk is an extraordinary measure, and one that Dairy Farmers of Ontario has only ever considered in emergency situations," Cheryl Smith, chief executive officer of DFO said in a statement.
"Yet, this week, we informed producers that these measures would be necessary on a select and rotating basis. Ontario producers continue to do their part to nourish Canadians with high-quality milk, and we are working very closely with processors and industry groups to respond to the unpredictable market fluctuations that are now part of our current environment."
Farmers, who will be paid for the milk are saying as many as five million litres will be dumped weekly.
Walker says he believes the staff at DFO are working hard to figure this out, which is a tough job.
"Farmers, and many other industries are all feeling it in the province," says Walker. "The quicker we get through this the better."