In a new podcast from the Dairy Business Association and Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, both based in Green Bay, Wis., John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, discusses the unprecedented disruption to the dairy supply chain due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the organizations, about 50% of the cheese produced in the United States moves either directly into foodservice — including restaurants, pizza chains and schools — or to companies that prepare cheese products for foodservice. In a matter of days, half the restaurants closed and nearly 80% of Americans are now sheltering at home.
Dairy products are flying off the shelves at grocery stores, but only one-third of cheese goes into retail markets. So that demand is not enough to make up for the foodservice losses, the organizations said. Farmers, processors and others in the industry are working closely together to find solutions.
Listen to the podcast here.