Some dairy farmers in the interior of British Columbia are forced to dump their milk due to flooding and landslides.
With the indefinite closure of the Coquihalla Highway and flooding in Abbotsford, raw milk from the Interior that would normally be processed on the Lower Continent can no longer be delivered.
Those farmers have been told that all their milk would have to be dumped until further notice.
The current situation has some saying that farmers in the Interior need to be able to process their own raw milk in the region.
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“In fact, it shows that you need to look at the entire infrastructure of the province,” said John Schut of Beatrix Farms.
“Ideally, we would like to see processing in the interior of British Columbia because most of the milk has to go to the Lower Continent for processing.”
Schut has managed to divert milk from his farm that was originally destined for the Lower Mainland to Alberta.
The four westernmost provinces usually group milk.
Alberta Milk’s Karlee Conway said processors in Alberta haven’t seen much impact from the devastation in British Columbia so far.
“It depends on the needs of the processors and what makes the most sense,” Conway said. “In Alberta, the impact of the flooding situation in Alberta is limited.”
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Conway adds that once it is safe for trucks to resume their routes, Alberta will look to help BC meet dairy supply needs.
“Certainly we can potentially ship milk produced here in Alberta to fill that gap in British Columbia,” Conway said. “But right now we just have to be safety conscious and that should be our number one priority.”
Alberta Milk has also created a Release funds for farmers affected by the floods.
“It’s a really special situation to see the resistance, support and network of dairy farmers in the western region,” Conway said.
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