The dairy industry is a major part of the economy in Wisconsin, often referred to as America's Dairyland. Dairy products such as cheese and butter have been produced in the state since the 19th century. However, in recent years, consumer demand for specialty products has had a considerable effect on production processes at dairy industries in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Jeff Lyon, General Manager of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, was asked to investigate the possibility of modernizing the system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Changes in consumer diets and demand for certain dairy products revealed deficiencies in the price of milk. This has caused an increase in the number of industrial dairy farms in the state, which has grown by 55% in less than a decade to 279 farms. The globalization of the dairy industry is putting pressure on both domestic dairy industries and international market players to adjust to changing market relations. Rapid growth in consumption is driving the growth of dairy imports in Southeast Asia and China.
New Zealand's Fonterra is the world's leading exporter of dairy products and has increased its presence in the United States. It has also formed partnerships with Nestlé through Dairy Partners Americas in South America, Arla Foods in the United Kingdom, Clover Industries in South Africa and Britannia Industries in India. Empirical analyses of international dairy markets suggest that a global liberalization of dairy policies that eliminated all tariffs, quotas, export subsidies, and domestic aids would lead to a significant rise in the prices of dairy products in the world market. In some developing countries with rapidly growing urban populations, demand for dairy products exceeds domestic milk production.
Federal milk marketing orderswere first created in the 1930s to set a minimum price for milk and stabilize the perishable product market. Dairy markets around the world are being shaped by consumer demands, the ability of dairy producers to respond to changes, and dairy companies' strategies to maximize profits. Wisconsin's factory farms are mostly family owned, although there are outside investors in some operations.
Yoplait is one of Sodiaal's main brands and is licensed by General Mills, while Président cheese is a Lactalis product manufactured in Wisconsin and California. The changes in consumer demand for specialty products have had a significant impact on production processes at dairy industries in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The globalization of the industry has put pressure on both domestic and international markets to adapt to changing market relations. Federal milk marketing orders have been established to ensure a minimum price for milk and stabilize the perishable product market. As consumer demands continue to shape global markets, Wisconsin's factory farms must remain competitive.