Guernsey Dairy has given a positive outlook as it reviews its work to keep the island supplied during the corona virus lockdown so far.
Milk and other dairy products are said to be in 'plentiful supply' and although some commercial sales are down slightly, doorstep deliveries are up.
Regular supplies are being maintained through the normal distribution channels, said the Guernsey Dairy Manager Andrew Tabel (pictured above), who added that while other fresh supplies may be intermittent, local milk, butter, cream, cheese and ice cream are "plentiful".
He said that rather than having to cut back, he has seen the lockdown as a good time for islanders to make the most of their local produce.
“With most islanders now having to spend more time at home, along with the family, it is the ideal time to rediscover just how versatile Guernsey milk is as a foodstuff. It may be great in your morning coffee or poured onto breakfast cereal; however, it’s also a versatile ingredient in lots of recipes. Likewise butter, cream and cheese.
Pictured: Dairy products are said to be in 'plentiful supply' across Guernsey's shops.
“Given other items may be in short supply, it is a good time for us to brush up on our culinary skills. It doesn’t take long to make a tasty homemade lasagne, baking your own cakes or simply knocking up a macaroni cheese. Or how about cheese on toast as a tasty snack? All great family favourites, and Guernsey butter will add a touch of luxury to almost any dish.”
Mr Tabel is overseeing work at the Dairy site in St Andrew's which is continuing as normal as it is an essential industry. Some changes have been made to ensure social distancing measures are in place but the facility is continuing to process all milk produced by local farmers.
This contrasts with reports elsewhere, with farms in the UK having to pour milk away following a decline in sales due to the lockdown there.
Mr Tabel said Guernsey Dairy had actually seen a sharp rise in milk demand at the start of the lockdown, but this had since returned to normal levels for the time of year, with it currently supplying around 20,000 cartons of milk per day.
Supplies to the catering sector have fallen sharply, which means sales overall are down by around 2%, but doorstep deliveries have been boosted by the current lockdown measures he said.
“At the outset of the lockdown our sales were up by more than 10%, and some supermarkets were having to ration supplies, just to be able to replenish their chillers during peak demand. As anticipated, sales dipped the following week, as most households used up their stocks and took advantage of the extended use-by dates. Some people may have popped a couple of litres in the freezer, just in case; however, supplies of fresh liquid milk were maintained throughout.
Pictured: There's said to be plenty of milk to go around (image from Dec 2018).
“Since then, sales are generally back to expected levels, albeit the demand is more sporadic as islanders adapt to the lockdown measures and change their shopping habits by going out less frequently. We would just like to say to them, there is no need to panic buy, but also don’t feel guilty about getting an extra litre or two. If there is any left over at the end of the week, there is plenty you can do with it, to ensure it doesn’t go to waste.
“Plus it is a home-grown product delivered through an established local supply chain, which is completely secure. There has never been a time when local food production has been more important, nor a better time for Guernsey people to support local producers. It is even better to know that in doing so you will be supporting not only the dairy but localfarmers and the Guernsey countryside”.
As well as meeting local demand, the Dairy is also continuing to fulfil export orders for Guernsey butter, which is on sale in Waitrose stores in the UK.
Pictured top: Andrew Tabel, Managing Director of Guernsey Dairy.
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