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The Dairy Industry Was Having Its Own Crisis Before the Virus

April 8, 2020, 1:00 PM

Adding a splash of milk to a morning cup of coffee was once the simplest of routines. Until soy, almond, oat, and an array of other plant-based milks started competing for the cups of environmentally and health-conscious consumers.

Photographer: Jamie Chung for Bloomberg Markets

Dairy companies feel the pain. Two of America’s biggest, Dean Foods Co. and Borden Dairy Co., went bankrupt in late 2019 and early 2020. In its bankruptcy petition, Borden disclosed that its annual interest cost was about $21 million, and that was on top of quarterly debt payments totaling $2.35 million. Dean listed debts of more than $1 billion.

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