The dairy industry has been struggling for many years and recently COVID-19 has added additional pressure, forcing many producers to dump milk. Stewart’s dairy producers aren’t dumping milk; in fact, they’re receiving increased premiums and decreased hauling costs from Stewart’s that goes beyond what they receive above the Federal Market Administrator cost. In addition, Stewart’s has again decreased retail milk pricing. Effective May 4th, all gallons and half gallons were decreased by .10 cents for customers.
Stewart’s Offers Aid to Local Dairy Producers
Stewart’s relief to dairy producers comes with increased competitive premiums, by .50 cents from .10/cwt to .60 cents/cwt for the month of May and could be extended into June. In addition, the company is extending their fuel savings with a decreased hauling charge for the month of May.
Demand is Down
With schools and restaurants closed, the dairy industry is producing 15% more milk than the American public can consume, leading many dairy producers with no choice but to dump excess milk.
Hear from a Local Dairy Farm
Chris Koval, of Koval Brothers is a third generation dairy farmer that has been working with Stewart’s his entire life. He said, “As a local farm family, we are proud to work with Stewart’s. Our partnership is a true team effort. We work together to put the best product from our cows out to store shelves. It’s gratifying to be able to supply high quality, fresh product to our friends and neighbors. Stewart’s makes it easy to be proud of what we do.”
According to Stewart’s Shops president, Gary Dake, “We happened to be in the right position at the right time with our packaged dairy products and our nearly 100 years of experience in the dairy industry. Our fresh and local dairy products continue to experience more demand and we are pleased that we are in a position to offer savings to our customers and relief to our dairy producers during these uncertain times.”
Vertical Integration = More Control and Efficiency
The company relies on 25 local dairy farms, while many other retailers purchase their milk from co-ops. Stewart’s is in a unique position sourcing their raw milk from local dairies, picking up the milk with their own haulers, and processing and bottling it themselves at their manufacturing plant in Greenfield, NY. This allows them to have more control and efficiency and pass on savings to both the customer and the dairy producer.
Stewart’s has experienced remarkable growth in their dairy products as consumers are purchasing larger take home packages. The growth has also carried over to the all-American comfort food—ice cream. And the timing is perfect with the annual Spring half gallon ice cream sale beginning May 11th , a sure sign people are carefully starting to get back to normal.