Upticks and downturns in Germany
There is no shutdown for the dairy industry in North Rhine Westphalia, Germany. The supply of high quality and sufficient food is the top priority for both farmers and dairies in the area and raw material production and processing must continue just like other systemically relevant areas.
The state association LV-NRW is in contact with milk producers, dairies and milk processing companies and has been reporting on the current situation to the German Ministry of Agriculture. The dairy companies of the area have taken far-reaching measures to protect their employees and to keep the operating facilities operational. The main measures include partitioning off the company premises, minimising personal contacts, using and expanding home office facilities and tightening general hygiene rules. In the foreseeable future, there may be bottlenecks in protective clothing, masks and disinfectants.
The changed situation on the market is causing concern. While there has been a massive increase in demand for durable products, there have been significant slumps in the export and catering sectors.
According to the Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (AMI) there are hardly any price changes for milk and milk products. With small and medium-sized companies and the direct marketing of milk and cheese on farms, a survey of around 50 companies by Milch NRW showed a similar situation.
However, operators of milk filling stations and direct marketers are experiencing a large uptick in customers and in the quantity of goods sold. Wherever customer traffic prevails, most have created opportunities to wash or disinfect hands. Customer loyalty campaigns are increasingly being carried out in this area. There are also more new customers than usual.
But the prospect of an overall economic slowdown in the markets is to be feared, with the North Rhine Westphalian dairy industry also facing major challenges.
However, there are also positive aspects to note, according to Wilhelm Brüggemeier, chairman of Milch NRW. The importance of sustainable and regional production of basic food, including the entire chain from production to processing, is now coming back into focus with more appreciation, he says.
Milch NRW has compiled information and video clips for all relevant topics (nutrition, cooking, hygiene etc.) for consumers, milk producers, dairies and the press on the association’s homepage under ‘# STAY @ HOME’ and updates them regularly.