Organic milk sales surging in the USA
Source: USDA AMS
The US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS) reports that total organic milk products sales were at 210 million pounds in December 2014, up 5.7% from December 2013 and up 9.2% for 2014 compared with 2013. Organic dairy processors observe, however, that the organic milk supply remains tight with little expectation of improvement over the winter months due to most organic dairy producers relying on stored feed.
Picture: Organic cows on an Organic Valley farm in the USA
Tight supply is evident
The tight supply is evident in some retail dairy coolers where grocers reported shortages of organic milk again, according to the AMS. Reports of shortages came from independent natural food stores as well as regional supermarket chains in the Midwest. Consumer demand for fluid organic milk is increasing and sales are growing for new organic dairy products and food products using organic dairy components. A fast food chain is now offering organic milk in coffee products and various types of easy to prepare foods are sold in supermarkets that feature organic dairy components.
Efforts to encourage expansion of the organic milk pool
Many of the discussions focus on organic processors prices, however, processors are observing that some of the newer entrants into manufacturing food utilising organic dairy products are more focused on sourcing organic milk from the existing pool than helping processors with efforts to encourage expansion of the organic milk pool. There seems a lack of available data showing movements of organic milk between states and regions. If this data was available, it could encourage entrance of new organic producers in the larger organic milk deficit areas, for example.
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