Over the past nine weeks, the BC Milk Board (the Board) has been managing production in reaction to volatile market conditions due to the COVID 19 pandemic. In April, the Board announced adjusted production measures to meet increased retail sales and minimal HRI (hotel/restaurant industry) demand. On May 5, 2020, Premier Horgan announced a 5-phase plan to open BCs economic activity.
With the potential for market demand to increase through phase 2-3, the Board has consulted with the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC), Western Milk Pool (WMP) and Western Dairy Council (WDC) to determine if a change in the current production policy (production + 0 days) is required. Although we have received few economic forecasts that support concrete changes to the market demand; the natural seasonality of milk supply and the probable increased economic activity, indicates that a change in production policies are required to meet potential demand.
The Board is also beginning to plan for fall production and has agreed on a strategy that moves producers to full production availability (+5/-15 days) as the economy gradually opens and demand subsequently increases. The situation the Board faces is volatile, and if the province experiences increased COVID-19 cases and goes back a phase, the Board would need to react accordingly.
Conventional Producers: Daily Quota plus 1 day
Effective June 1, 2020, all producers in BC will be allowed to produce their daily quota plus 1 day. Producers in BC will still be able to conduct credit transfers and will be able to produce credits up to plus 1 day. The Board will actively monitor this policy and make further changes in order to meet market demand.
Organic Producers: sleeve effective period extended to Aug 31
In order to meet current supply requirements, the Board has extended the previously announced additional 3% sleeve on all quota holdings for an effective period of June – August 31, 2020. This increased sleeve will remain as the fluid demand for organic milk remains strong. However, the Board continues to monitor the situation closely. This sleeve will not impact the calculation for the September 1, 2020 sleeve
Incentive Days – No announcement
Due to continued uncertainty and unknown demand, the Board has not yet announced whether there will be any fall incentive days this year. The Board will primarily seek to move producers to full production availability (+5/-15 days) before issuing incentive days. The Board will monitor the situation closely and provide updates to the industry as necessary.
We appreciate your patience regarding production direction.