Alberta dairy industry watching impact of B.C. floods and landslides, raising funds for farmers


Some dairy farmers in the B.C. Interior are being forced to dump their milk because of the floods and landslides.

With the indefinite closure of the Coquihalla Highway and flooding in Abbotsford, raw milk from the Interior that would typically be processed in the Lower Mainland can no longer be delivered.

Those farmers have been told all of their milk would have to be dumped until further notice.

The current situation has some saying Interior farmers need to be able to process their own raw milk in the region.

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โ€œIt does actually show that the whole infrastructure of the province needs to be looked at,โ€ said John Schut with Beatrix Farms.

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โ€œIdeally, we would like to see processing in the Interior of B.C. because the majority of the milk has to go to the Lower Mainland for processing.โ€

Schut has managed to re-route the milk from his farm that was originally destined for the Lower Mainland to Alberta.

The four most western provinces typically pool milk.

Karlee Conway with Alberta Milk said processors in Alberta have not seen much of an impact from the devastation in B.C. so far.

โ€œIt depends on the needs of the processors and what makes the most sense,โ€ said Conway.ย  โ€œIn Alberta, there is limited impact from the flooding situation in Alberta.โ€

Read more:
Albertans step up to help thousands of B.C. flood victims

Conway adds that once itโ€™s safe for trucks to resume their routes, Alberta will look to help B.C. meet any dairy supply needs.

โ€œWe can certainly potentially ship milk produced here in Alberta to fill that gap in B.C.,โ€ said Conway. โ€œBut right now we just need to be cognizant of safety and that needs to be our number one priority.โ€

Alberta Milk has also created a relief fund for farmers impacted by the flooding.

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โ€œItโ€™s a really special situation to see the resiliency, support and network of dairy farmers within the western region,โ€ said Conway.

Click to play video: 'Saving livestock, and livelihoods, in the Fraser Valley'

Saving livestock, and livelihoods, in the Fraser Valley

Saving livestock, and livelihoods, in the Fraser Valley

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