Fonterra The Largest Diary Exporter Says Dairy Demand Has Remained Steady
As many dairy farmers struggle with changing dietary demands, there was some positive news on Monday.
Fonterra changed it’s 2019-2020 forecast to a higher number than what was previously predicted. The farmgate price Fonterra put out on Monday is between NZ$6.55 to NZ$7.55. Per kilogram of milk solids.
The original forecast Fonterra put out was, NZ$6.25 to NZ$7.23 per kilogram. The Chairman of Fonterra, John Monaghan explained the new figures via a statement, he said, “Demand for whole milk powder, has been firm, and for the full season, we’re expecting it to be above last year”.
The guidance hike was announced a month after the company said it was going to focus more on domestic milk production, versus production out of the country.
The diary giant does business with over 10,000 U.S. Farmers, and have been facing a lot of criticism from those partners over the years. The company branched into China, which made it’s shares plummet angering shareholders and farmer they partner with.
A newly appointed CEO, Mike Hurrell, has been primarily responsible for moving the company in a different direction. Hurrell said there are more and more, signs that milk prices are on the way up. That’s positive for Fonterra, our employees, and farmers we partner with.
CEO Hurrell Said The New Numbers Means Our Partners Have To Still Work Very Hard
Hurrell said just because the numbers have been revised, should not give anyone a false sense of security.
Furthermore, Hurrell said,
“The mid point of the reversed range does mean our teams will need to continue to push hard to achieve our margins. But so far we’re comfortable with how this season is shaping up in terms of underlying business performance”
Although this is good news for some milk farmers, others all around the country continue to struggle to survive. A once booming dairy farm industry, Anderson, South Carolina now only has one cow farm left.
Megan Dobbins, grew up in a family of dairy farmers, who were at it for over 125 years. Dobbins said that at one time there were over 300 cows on ‘Pine Lane Farm’.
Now there aren’t any, the name of the farm is now, ‘Four M Farm’. Dobbins said she feels empty now not seeing cows, a sight she saw her entire life. Dobbins struggled to keep the family farm running.
As ‘Four M Farm’ she kept it going for 45 years. It was the last family run dairy farm in Anderson County, SC. It too has been shuttered and put out of business earlier this year.
The Number Of Dairy Cows In South Carolina Continue To Drop
According to the Department of Agriculture (DOA) during it’s dairy heyday South Carolina had over 190,000 dairy farms.
Now according to the DOA there are only 14,000 dairy milk cows, and the number continues to drop. Twenty years ago there were 33 dairy farms in Anderson County, producing and selling milk.
After the ‘Four M Farm’ closed, there is just one left, barely hanging on by a thread. Dobbins recalls the day that she had to sell off the few remaining cows she had left.
She said these were cows she raised from calves. “I hope they know I tried and I hope they are onto better places”. Furthermore, Dobbins said a part of her heart broke the day the cows left.