In the French and Swiss Alps, extreme heat is reducing the amount of available water and green grass. Farmers have warned they face shortages as they are forced to buy expensive feed and sell dairy cattle to slaughterhouses.
The situation is more than critical,” said a French dairy farmer The times.
Heatwaves across Europe have caused widespread damage and disruption such as wildfires and water shortages, with reduced food production being the latest consequence.
The cost of cheese and other dairy products like milk and yogurt is expected to rise as production has been reduced by up to 30 percent at some sites.
Dairy farmer Michel Faeh tells the story in Switzerland Le Temps that the once green mountain meadows on which his 60 cattle would graze are no longer recognizable today.
“It’s like our cattle are walking on chips up there,” he said.
In France, farmers Dominique and Pierre Duperier said there was no water for their cows to drink on the high mountain pastures, so they drive water up to the cows every day, which costs €300 a week.
“We could mine them, but the higher pastures give the cheese a quality in terms of its flavors that you don’t get at lower levels,” they said.
Dominique de Buman, chairman of a cheese-making cooperative in Fribourg, Switzerland – home of the legendary Gruyère cheese – said production is being affected despite measures taken by farmers. He said: “A drop is foreseeable and we could even end up with a shortage of Gruyère given the strong demand.”
Anne-Marie Arsento-Curti, mayor of the French village of Castellar, owns 10 cows, 200 ewes and 450 goats.
She said production of her cheese has been cut in half because of the extreme weather.
The situation is more than critical,” she said. “We no longer sell cheese at the local market.
“I deliver to my customers in small drops.”
Farmers warn that with the sale of dairy cattle to raise money and rising feed prices, a shortage of milk and cheese is to be expected.
They warn that without government action, this shortage would continue into the winter in France and Switzerland.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/news/extreme-conditions-will-mean-more-dairy-shortages-french-and-swiss-producers-warn-41912098.html Extreme conditions will lead to more milk shortages, French and Swiss producers warn