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  • East McCauley
    replied
    ^ You are the one who first brought up the dumping of raw milk by farmers due to the COVID-19 crisis and used it as a launching pad for a generalized attack on supply management.

    I was raised on a dairy farm and worked in agriculture policy for the first dozen years of my checkered career. There are both pluses and minuses to supply management which can be debated.

    But I've never grasped what city folk find so objectionable about farmers dumping raw milk when there is a mismatch between supply and demand. Fluid milk is a perishable good as are dairy products like yogurt, sour cream and cottage cheese, yet cows have to continue to be milked for their own well-being.

    Do you have any idea of how much milk and perishable dairy products are dumped by grocery stores every day of the week during normal times because they have either passed or are close to their expiry date? Are you aware that this dumping by grocery stores also happens with other perishable foods like bakery goods, and fresh fruits and vegetables? Are you aware that farmers routinely plow under crops when there is an oversupply for those destined for the fresh fruit and vegetable market? How is dumping raw milk any different?

    Leave a comment:


  • Marcel Petrin
    replied
    Originally posted by East McCauley
    While the system has debatable failings, supply management has done a very good job of matching supply to consumer demand over many decades at stable prices. To use the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis to launch into an attack on supply management is ridiculous.
    I didn't pick the timing, as I'm not the one dumping product in order to prop up my bottom line in the middle of a global health crisis and economic dislocation. When else was I supposed to bring this specific practice up, exactly? In 6 months when it's no longer relevant?

    As far as the "stable prices", sure that may be true, but that's at something like 50-100% more than what non-supply managed peer countries like the US and NZ pay. I'm not sure how that's in the interests of consumers, either. Great for the dairy/poultry lobbies, though! Do you have an explanation for why supply management is necessary for only those sectors of our agriculture industry, and not every other like beef, pork, wheat, canola, and so on?

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  • Edmonton PRT
    replied
    My point was not to make more butter and cheese out of the excess milk but rather than dump milk, lower the prices of all dairy products to encourage buyers.

    when there is a bumper crop of grain, flour prices go down. A failure of the Australian wheat crop and overnight the cost of flour can double here in Canada despite that Canada uses no Australian wheat and that there are millions of tons of wheat in storage at any given time so no instant price jump should be seen on store shelves.

    A frost in Florida sees orange juice prices jump on store shelves within days

    As mentioned before, gas prices plummeted overnight,

    Why oh why has milk and dairy prices stayed completely unaffected if the bottom of the market dropped out?

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  • kcantor
    replied
    Originally posted by kkozoriz View Post
    So the question is, is such space available in the area or would it need to be trucked elsewhere? How long is the space available? How much space? WHo's paying for it? Etc, etc.

    It's not just a question of "Let's produce a bunch of product and store it someplace until whenever."

    You're welcome, Captain Oblivious.
    it doesn't happen that often so i need to jump in and agree with you on this one while i have a chance...

    it's simply a question of how much all of those things would cost. if a pound of butter that sells for $5 costs $3.50 to manufacture and distribution and overhead and margin for the retailer come to $1.00, as soon as the costs of all of those things exceeds $0.50 then it's cheaper to dump the milk and simply manufacture more butter in the future when there is actual demand for it.

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  • kkozoriz
    replied
    So the question is, is such space available in the area or would it need to be trucked elsewhere? How long is the space available? How much space? WHo's paying for it? Etc, etc.

    It's not just a question of "Let's produce a bunch of product and store it someplace until whenever."

    You're welcome, Captain Oblivious.

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  • Edmonton PRT
    replied
    Thank you Captain Obvious

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  • kkozoriz
    replied
    But you need temperature controlled storage for butter and cheese. You can't just stick it in a warehouse for a couple of years.

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  • Edmonton PRT
    replied
    Originally posted by East McCauley View Post

    What a ridiculous analogy.

    Fluid milk is a perishable commodity, and even dairy products like cheese and yogurt have a limited shelf life before they need to be discarded. The amount of fluid milk than can be turned into dairy products is also limited by processing capacity. Very different than gasoline which can be safely stored for many months, or stored for years in the case of crude oil.

    Moreover, dairy cows have to be milked two or three times per day in order to remain healthy, unlike oil wells where production can be shut in depending on market conditions.

    While the system has debatable failings, supply management has done a very good job of matching supply to consumer demand over many decades at stable prices. To use the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis to launch into an attack on supply management is ridiculous.


    Contrary to your belief, cheese and butter can be stored for extended periods and cheese aging can take months or even years. Salted butter can be professionally stored for as long as 12-24 months. https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...22030208713870 BTW, in Europe, the over supply of butter is regularly stored up to 2 years.

    Even at that, I agree that dairy products do have a limited shelf life but it is still no reason not to lower prices to increase demand. You know, the old supply and demand balance. Apples or other perishable products are far cheaper in season than when out of season, why not lower dairy prices or do they have a special position far above other perishable commodities?

    If there are too many dairy cows, I will remind you that BBQ season is approaching. LOL
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 08-04-2020, 02:10 PM.

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  • noodle
    replied
    Originally posted by East McCauley View Post
    Moreover, dairy cows have to be milked two or three times per day in order to remain healthy, unlike oil wells where production can be shut in depending on market conditions.
    Not the case for much of the stuff in Ft Mac though, hence the forecast that our oil might dip down to negative price once all the storage is full & these operations have no choice to produce. It's already in functionally worthless territory.

    The true price is, in fact, even lower than that, because that price includes in part the cost of lighter oil that oilsands crude is blended with in order to get it to move along a pipeline. If that part of the mix is stripped out, it's not a stretch to suggest that the bitumen itself is functionally worthless.
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/oil...nday-1.5514653

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  • East McCauley
    replied
    Originally posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    I wonder what would be the response if they kept the gasoline prices at 80 cents a litre and they were dumping excess production?
    What a ridiculous analogy.

    Fluid milk is a perishable commodity, and even dairy products like cheese and yogurt have a limited shelf life before they need to be discarded. The amount of fluid milk than can be turned into dairy products is also limited by processing capacity. Very different than gasoline which can be safely stored for many months, or stored for years in the case of crude oil.

    Moreover, dairy cows have to be milked two or three times per day in order to remain healthy, unlike oil wells where production can be shut in depending on market conditions.

    While the system has debatable failings, supply management has done a very good job of matching supply to consumer demand over many decades at stable prices. To use the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis to launch into an attack on supply management is ridiculous.



    Leave a comment:


  • noodle
    replied
    Originally posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    why buy milk and dairy products when alternatives are less expensive.
    I've switched to about 80% plant 'milk', up from ~50% since the whole world went cockeyed. Can't beat shelf-stable tetrapacks for short-term stockpiling & since that's what it always comes in, there's no difference to the taste like there is with UHT milk.

    Leave a comment:


  • Edmonton PRT
    replied
    All that milk being dumped and the price in the stores is the same as always so why should consumers buy more?

    What if they could make something else with milk like cheese or butter rather than dumping it.

    I went to the store 2 days ago and cheese was the same price and butter was $5.99 for a pound.

    The argument that the restaurants and schools are closed, reducing demand is a farce. People and children still need to eat but why buy milk and dairy products when alternatives are less expensive.


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  • Marcel Petrin
    replied
    Originally posted by noodle
    FWIW, they donated as much milk just last week as they typically do in a whole year:
    Thanks for that.

    Originally posted by kcantor
    maybe the costs of trucking and pasteurizing and packaging and shipping and distributing and refrigerating?
    I did say "or significantly discounted". No question that it's not a simple thing logistically.

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  • kkozoriz
    replied
    Maybe that's what Kenney should do. Paty the oil companies to produce as much as they can and then just set fire to it. A double win for the UCP since they'd be giving money to O&G and giving a middle finger to the environment at the same time. Win win!

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  • Edmonton PRT
    replied
    I wonder what would be the response if they kept the gasoline prices at 80 cents a litre and they were dumping excess production?

    Leave a comment:

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