Japan’s dairy industry is in crisis mode as the country’s top milk producing area falls behind in raw milk production.
Slammed by destructive typhoons last summer and facing fundamental challenges, dairy farms in Japan’s large northern island of Hokkaido are struggling, their problems affecting people throughout the country.
In the past few years, Japan has suffered occasional butter shortages, due largely to decreased milk production in dairy farms outside Hokkaido. These farms are generally smaller than their northern counterparts, and thus more susceptible to external forces that can affect production
Japan’s pricing structure for milk products can be blamed for this: Raw milk used for producing drinking milk is priced higher than milk used to make butter, cheese and other processed dairy products. As a result, a smaller portion of raw milk was allocated for butter.