Farmers with excess supplies brought on by the coronavirus lockdown are cutting out the middle man and selling directly to consumers in order to minimise food wastage.
Lockdown regulations have resulted in the closure of many businesses and organizations which would usually be supplied by farms.
These include restaurants, cafes, hotels, airliners, cruise ships and schools.
Too much produce, not enough storage
The coronavirus lockdown situation has created an oversupply of fresh farm produce. The farmers themselves have a limited capacity for cold storage.
Some have been donating to food banks and charities. But these institutions also don’t have the facilities to store large amounts of fresh produce such as meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables.
With little option, some farmers have had to destroy the products they worked so hard to make. Milk has been poured away, eggs smashed up and vegetables buried.
Dairy Farmers of America, the country’s largest dairy cooperative, estimated that as much as as 3.7 million gallons of milk is being thrown away daily.
A single chicken farm is reportedly smashing 750,000 unhatched eggs every week. In another case, the Hartschuh Dairy Farm were recently forced to flush 31,000 pounds of milk into a lagoon.
Florida farmers find a solution
Farmers in Florida are selling directly to consumers to prevent food from being destroyed.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has created an online portal to assist with the process.
Similar initiatives are happening around the world and across the U.S, including the Moon Valley Farm in Maryland.
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Image credit: Julia Sudnitskaya