AGM – Net reduction in the environmental impact of Quebec’s milk production

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At its Annual General Meeting, Les Producteurs de lait du Québec (PLQ) presented Quebec’s results in the updated milk life cycle assessment (LCA) for Canada. In terms of carbon footprint, water consumption and land use, Quebec milk producers outperformed their 2011 levels.

“When you refer to available studies on the dairy industry, which were produced abroad, you notice that the Canadian dairy industry’s environmental performance holds up well when it comes to the carbon footprint, the water balance and agri-environmental practices.” And this solid performance by the Canadian and Quebec dairy industry improved between 2011 and 2016,” explained Jean-Michel Couture, Senior Consultant – Corporate Responsibility at Groupe AGÉCO, the consulting firm that authored the updated milk life cycle assessment.

The study makes it possible to compare Quebec’s latest results with those of the previous study. For instance, from 2011 to 2016, for one kilogram of milk, Quebec milk producers decreased their environmental impact significantly, reducing their carbon footprint by 8.7%, water consumption by 12.5%, and land use by 16.2%.

“The higher quantity of milk produced per cow is the main factor in the improved environmental profiles during this five-year period. In fact, the quantity of milk produced per cow increased by 13.9% in Quebec between 2011 and 2016, which reduced emissions associated with enteric fermentation and manure management, as well as the quantity of animal feed consumed per kilogram of milk produced. Higher crop yields also helped reduce water consumption and land use.” added Mr. Couture, Senior Consultant – Corporate Responsibility at Group AGÉCO.

“While Quebec youth have recently shown us their interest in finding real solutions to climate change issues, milk producers have also firmly committed to being part of those solutions. We not only hope to leave sound and sustainable dairy farms to our children, but also a healthy planet. These environmental performance improvements are further proof that supply management as an agricultural policy does more than just provide a fair income from the market, without subsidies, to producers; it also prevents surplus production, promotes high-quality local food production, helps improve productivity and fosters the adoption of environmentally-friendly practices,” stated Bruno Letendre, Chair of Les Producteurs de lait du Québec.

To view the summary for Quebec:

To view the updated assessment for Canada:


Download the press release