California’s oldest dairy farm has ditched milking cows to focus on growing almonds as demand for cow’s milk steadily declines.
California’s Giacomazzi Dairy is downing shutters after more than 125 years to expand its almond production.
The farm is known as one of the oldest dairy farms operating in the Rockies region.
Speaking to ABC, Giacomazzi Dairy owner Dino Giacomazzi said: “Over the last 5 years, its been very difficult to make money in the dairy industry, regulations, increased cost of labor, low milk prices.”
Fellow dairy farmer Cornell Kasbergen said. “There’s a lot of alternatives that provide a higher return than milking cows.”
And with the demand for plant-based milk growing, many farmers are turning to these profitable crops in a bid to stay afloat in the industry.
“You’re better off putting your money into trees … almonds, pistachios, grapes,” Kasbergen added.
The Giacomazzi family already owns 400 acres of almond trees and plans to increase that to 900 acres.
“We’ve chosen to commit the rest of our property to growing almond trees and we’re going to sell the cows and become almond farmers,” admitted Giacomazzi.
Californian almond groves have nearly doubled over the past decade. The Almond Board of California has predicted almond production to reach a staggering 3 billion pounds in 2021.
Plant-based milk boom
Dairy milk sales across the world are facing stiff competition from the steadily rising plant milk market.
According to statistics released by the Dairy Farmers of America, the milk industry declined to $13.6 billion in 2018 compared to $14.7 billion the year before.
On the other hand, the dairy-alternative industry is thriving and is estimated to be worth $17.3 billion globally and predicted to reach $29.6 billion by 2023.
What do you think of plummeting milk sales? Tell us in the comments section below!
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