According to VegNews, Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy company, reported its first-ever annual profit loss this month.
The New Zealand-based company, which admitted to misleading farmers with unrealistic financial estimates, posted a $130 million loss in 2017 to 2018.
Fonterra is a collective that purchases milk and other dairy products from farmers in New Zealand and then sells them to foreign companies. This is the first time Fonterra has reported a profit loss in its 17-year existence.
But Fonterra isn’t the only one. Dairy companies all around the world are seeing their profits drop. Earlier this year Dean Foods, America’s largest dairy company, made headlines after it closed an Illinois facility, citing a decline in consumption. The company best known for manufacturing, marketing, and distributing dairy-based products such as DairyPure and TruMoo predicts more closures as consumers ditch dairy products in favor of plant-based options.
Also this year, Dean Foods issued a notice to dozens of dairy suppliers that it would not renew their contracts after May 31 because lack of consumer demand had resulted in overproduction of dairy milk. And most recently, the company announced a plan to shift focus to its plant-based brands, particularly the vegan flax-based milk and yogurt label Good Karma Foods.
What’s more, food giant Danone, famous for its yogurt, recently invested nearly $60 million in a plant-based beverage facility in Mount Crawford, Virginia. Danone also dropped its animal-based dairy brand Stonyfield. And Elmhurst Dairy in Queens, New York, closed its doors after 90 years in business and switched to making plant-based milks!
According to a 2013 USDA report, milk consumption has been on the decline for decades, with each generation consuming less milk than the one before. In fact, CBS New York reports that fluid milk consumption has fallen a whopping 37 percent since 1970.
A recent survey from agribusiness giant Cargill reveals that half of U.S. dairy consumers also use vegan dairy alternatives. With so many dairy consumers using plant-based alternatives, the dairy industry is losing a significant portion of its business.
While dairy consumption continues to decline and farmers are forced to turn to other industries, the plant-based market is thriving. A 2017 report by the Plant Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute shows a more than 20 percent increase from the previous year in purchases of dairy alternatives, such as vegan cheese, ice cream, and yogurt, for a total of over $700 million in sales.
The global decline in dairy consumption is great news for cows, who are treated as mere milk-producing machines, forcibly impregnated, and kept in terrible conditions. Shortly after calves are born, they are torn away from their mothers. Male calves are killed for veal. Females are forced into the dairy herd, trapped in a cycle of abuse for years until they are considered “spent” and sent to slaughter.
Heartbreaking, right? Just watch this undercover video from a Mercy For Animals investigation.
Fortunately, you can avoid contributing to this cruel industry (and drinking pus) by adopting a compassionate and healthy vegan diet. Order your FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide to find out how.