Apparently, there is simply way too much cheese in ‘Merica.
So, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is buying 11 million pounds – worth around $20 million – and will distribute it to food banks around the country.
It’s all in response to current market conditions that have resulted in a 30-year record high cheese surplus.
The US cheese market has experienced a substantial oversupply problem this year as foreign buyers turned elsewhere for their dairy products thanks to the strong dollar.
The problem is amplified by the fact that, prior to the slowdown, many farmers had actually ramped up their production due to record-high prices.
“While USDA projects dairy prices to increase throughout the rest of the year, many factors including low world market prices, increased milk supplies and inventories, and slower demand have contributed to the sluggish marketplace for dairy producers,” said a release from USDA announcing the move.” The surplus has lead to a 35 per cent drop in revenues for dairy producers.
In the meantime, food banks across the nation continue to experience a need for assistance.
“This commodity purchase is part of a robust, comprehensive safety net that will help reduce a cheese surplus that is at a 30-year high while, at the same time, moving a high-protein food to the tables of those most in need,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in the release.
Apparently, however, the 11-million-pound purchase is only one per cent of the inventory build-up.
I’m suddently craving these cheese and wine pairings and have the urge to stock the car with crackers and head for the U.S. border immediately.