Christmas butter shortage on tap thanks to tired Japanese cows

A butter shortage could ruin Christmas in Japan. Store shelves have been bare for weeks. Avid bakers are facing one pack per customer limits.

Why?

A super hot summer left the country’s cow herd totally spent. The nation’s farm ministry said the animals were in no state to meet the usual milk quotas, according to a report in The Guardian. Utterly exhausted cows spawned a butter shortage. (The situation has been compounded by falling demand for milk, which has seen dairy farms shrink leaving fewer cows to produce milk.)

Japan actually resorted to importing 7,000 tonnes of butter in May, The Guardian reported, and 3,000 more by September. The situation didn’t bode well for Christmastime when the love of sponge cake send bakers into the kitchen in droves each holiday season.

But now there’s some relief. The farm ministry announced last week four of Japan’s major butter producers would increase output by a third to meet demand, according to AFP.

“Sufficient supply of butter will be ensured at stores before the Christmas season,” the ministry official assured citizens.

Those cows better rest up.

h/t The Guardian Photo Hokkaido Travel

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