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Irish Cheese Sales Down 75% During Lockdown

Milk, Dairy and Beef Industries All See Falling Sales Figures During Covid-19 Lockdown

Coronavirus has caused a 75% drop in the sales of Irish cheese, according to the countries' cheesemakers. The sudden and sustained closure of eateries, farmers' markets, and food outlets have negatively hit demand for the product. The organisation representing Irish cheesemakers has appealed to retailers to continue to stock Irish cheese and has also asked consumers to buy Irish too. Cáis, the Association of Irish Farmhouse Cheesemakers, says that many of its members are concerned about finding a home for excess milk produced on farms.

Alongside cheese, the milk industry is facing challenging times ahead. Dairy Industry Ireland's latest report estimates that over 10,000 jobs and €2.2 billion in terms of dairy output could be lost by the milk processing sector. The study also found that a 10-20pc cut in milk prices as a result of the market disturbance would result in a reduction in annual payments to farmers of up to €840 million.

Irish Beef falters as Meat Alternative Sales Skyrocket

McDonald's fast-food restaurants, who spend up to €160 million annually on Irish beef, closed all outlets in Ireland & the Uk. This has devastated the beef industry, with Tim Cullinan, Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) President, seeking support from the European Comissioner for Agriculture.

On the flipside, sales of plant based and vegan meat sales in the US are up a staggering 280% vs last year, according to data from Neilsen. Further data showed that overall sales of plant meat alternatives grew 18% in 2019, with burger sales up 123 percent and reaching $283 million in 2019.

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Irish dairy co-operatives produce a significant number of products for the food service industry, which was shut down almost entirely across much of the EU and USA, over the course of a week, with no end date in sight for the restrictions

Posted by Alison Graham

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