Demand is up, and so are prices

The USDA estimates that milk production will be up slightly to 183 billion pounds in 2007, but that is less than a 1 percent increase over 2006. Tighter supplies, coupled with strong demand and rising feed prices, are going to push up wholesale prices for most dairy products this year.

Over the past couple of years, the top dairy-producing states (Wisconsin, California, New York, Idaho and Pennsylvania) have been getting more milk from fewer cows. However, the gradual slowing in the rate of herd expansion since 2005 is going to affect stocks this year. Jerry Dryer, president of Dairy & Food Market Analyst in Delray, Florida, blames high energy costs and last summer's unruly weather conditions for potential price increases. "Alfalfa hay is in short supply as a result, and that's mainly what the cows eat," he says.

Roger Hoskin, an agricultural economist with the USDA who specializes in the dairy industry, cites the impact of demand factors as well. "Fluid milk consumption was on a steady decline but recently, it has started going up," he says. "And cheese, the largest single component for milk use, has seen a relentless climb. The country is on a cheese-eating binge."

Trade issues are going to confuse economic predictions for the next few years, Hoskin adds. Exports are driving the industry more than ever before, and imports of authentic European cheeses and niche dairy products are in demand by certain foodservice customers. However, imported cheeses account for only 5 percent of the market, a figure that hasn't changed in ten years, notes Dryer. "Plus, the EU is not subsidizing cheese exports and the dollar is weak against the Euro, so the United States is where the cheese action is," he adds.

That's especially true in the specialty cheese arena, which is expanding at a faster rate. Nevertheless, the price of milk has less of an impact on this sector. "Specialty cheeses are much more value-added and already on the expensive side. They don't have the same flexibility to go up and down with the price of milk," Dryer explains.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Sidney Central School District in Sidney, N.Y., has received $58,783 from the state to improve its farm-to-school program, The Daily Star reports.

The grant will be used to aid in appointing a farm-to-school coordinator and assistant who will help source local farm products for 10 districts in the region for NY Thursday, an initiative where cafeterias attempt to serve meals made entirely by local ingredients every Thursday.

The funding is part of a $12 million award spread among 12 districts throughout the state by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Read the full story via...

Industry News & Opinion

Denver Public Schools has begun posting cooking videos on its Facebook page in an effort to promote the scratch-made meals served in its cafeterias, Denverite reports.

The video tutorials are set up in a similar way to Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos, showing a pair of hands from above as they prepare a meal to background music. The Colorado district promotes the videos with the hashtag #DPSDelicious.

Read the full story via denverite.com .

Industry News & Opinion

Oregon State University will begin weighing waste in its food halls after receiving a $27,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Materials Management program, the Gazette Times reports.

The school will use the money to install a computer-based system to help keep track of the waste .

Through the system, which includes a scale and a camera, staff will be able to weigh leftover food and take a photo of it before it’s discarded.

After reviewing the data collected, school officials say they may try to reduce portion sizes, alter purchases or...

Sponsored Content
Yuzu

From T. Marzetti® Foodservice.

If the current culinary interest in yuzu is any indication, today’s diners are seeking fresher flavors and cleaner eats. Yuzu, a bumpy, big-seeded citrus fruit, is turning up regularly as a tart and tangy ingredient in appetizers, salad dressings and marinades due to its nutritional benefits and tasty flavor.

Here’s how operators can combine seasonal ingredients such as yuzu with other clean label meal components for an easy way to bring health and flavor to the top of the menu.

Healthy and delicious

It’s no secret that diners want...

FSD Resources