SOUTH Gippsland milk processor Burra Foods has a positive outlook on the local dairy industry, despite reports of farmers in other dairying regions being forced to dump thousands of litres of surplus supply, following the closure of restaurants and cafes due to COVID-19.
Milk Supply Manager Peter Fort said Gippsland’s dairy farmers were not as reliant on food service channels as some of their overseas counterparts, “so Burra [Foods] is not experiencing and do not expect to experience an oversupply of milk as a result of COVID-19”.
Some of Burra Foods’ export partners may be affected by decreases in food service trade, Mr Fort said, but as a manufacturer of niche ingredients and nutritional products for domestic and export customers, the Korumburra-based company continues to see strong demand.
As for the impact of the pandemic on milk pricing over the remainder of 2020 and into 2021?
“It’s very difficult to predict, with the impacts of COVID-19 changing daily, however with Gippsland milk production growing and national milk production declining, we expect the strong competition for milk in Gippsland to continue,” Mr Fort said.
Burra Foods’ response comes after an Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) statement addressing recent footage of farmers in the EU, UK and US dumping milk in large quantities due to oversupply caused by the shutdown of restaurants and other bulk buyers to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Leongatha-based processor Saputo Dairy Australia was contacted for comment.