10 September 2018

Quake in Japan's Dairy Heartland May Mean Milk, Butter Shortage

News

Japan’s dairy industry is at risk as a widespread power outage persists following a strong earthquake in the country’s northern island of Hokkaido.

The lack of electricity in Hokkaido, which produces more than half of Japan’s milk, is creating challenges for the island’s farmers. The farms can’t use milking machines on their cows, and any milk supplies can’t be refrigerated. If it drags on, there may be an impact on dairy companies’ ability to procure the raw ingredient, said Mizuho Securities Co. analyst Hiroshi Saji.

Companies like Meiji Holdings Co.Megmilk Snow Brand Co., and Morinaga Milk Industry Co. said production at their Hokkaido factories -- which produce milk and products such as butter, cheese and yogurt -- has been halted. They were not certain when the factories would start up again.