You can have your bread and eat it‚ but don’t expect butter or bacon.
Butter is in short supply worldwide due to consumers’ love of cream‚ high-fat milk and butter itself‚ as well as much lower global milk production this year.
Clover South Africa warned that “a major shortage of butter is being experienced in South Africa and we are uncertain how long it will last.”
Ladismith Butter spokesman Rian van der Merwe told The Times that it could get worse due to lower milk production at the moment.
Both Clover and Ladismith explained less butter was being made because there was less cream available as consumers switch from low-fat to full-cream milk.
An analysis of South African sales trends by Nielsen from 2015 to 2016 show consumers were not eating more butter‚ but they are buying more cream‚ more yoghurt and more milk‚ leaving less fat and cream for butter.
Van der Merwe said: “Production of butter is lower due to consumers’ demand for full-fat products‚ which means less cream for butter production.”
For people who like bacon with their bread and butter‚ agricultural economist Wandile Sihlobo also noted that the lowest number of pigs had been slaughtered by pork farmers in May in seven years.
“Bad news for bacon lovers‚” he tweeted.
After extra pigs were slaughtered last year during the drought‚ many farmers are now building up their herds of animals and will slaughter less‚ he explained.
This means less pork but it doesn’t translate into a bacon shortage.
In tough times like a recession consumers decrease their demand for luxury foods‚ which could mean demand for bacon could drop at the same time as supply.
The drought is leading to less milk production locally.
Argentina‚ Uruguay‚ New Zealand‚ Australia and South Africa are all producing less milk this year compared to previous years‚ said Chris Van Dijk‚ head of the Milk Producers Organisation.
Van Dijk said this year due to drought‚ South Africa was expected to produce 2.9 billion litres of milk‚ down from usual 3.1 billion litres annually.
As demand for butter increases in the UK and USA‚ both are experiencing butter shortages.
Van Dijk said it takes time to respond to consumer demand as a cow must live for two years before it can produce milk.
Clover spokesman Jacques van Heerden said it wouldn’t import high-fat milk for its butter.
“Our butter has a proven recipe that has been developed over many years‚ and‚ as imported products do not necessarily conform to our quality requirements‚ we are hesitant to import.”
Source: Tiso Black Star Group.