American Dairies Thriving On China Trade

US - Exports of Cheese and Whey — Formerly a Waste Product — Boosts Heartland Economy
calendar icon 3 October 2007
clock icon 1 minute read

American dairy farmers are an unlikely winner in the global marketplace, as the rising Chinese middle class demands more cheese, and Chinese manufacturers demand more whey. The boom — Wisconsin’s exports are up 89% according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — are also due in great part to the weakness of the American dollar, which makes our exports cheaper than those from other nations.

Many U.S. agricultural industries — at least those that aren’t heavily subsidized by Congress — have faced increasing difficulty competing domestically with imports from China, among other agricultural exporters. Chinese apples and apple products, for instance, contributed to some worrying years for U.S. growers earlier this decade.

Part of the change in equation for U.S. dairies has been in the use of whey in processed foods. A waste product of cheese-making, whey is increasingly in demand in Chinese food facilities — many of which then ship foods back to the United States. The rapid industrialization of China has also fueled a growth in the middle class that is increasingly demanding a higher-protein diet that includes more meat and — yes — cheese.

Source: Daily Green

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