Growth and investments in the dairy industry, despite low prices for producers


“Last year was hard in many ways for milk producers. However, despite certain worrying issues that we face, it was also a year of incredible growth! Production entitlement rose 8% in 2016, and has increased 15% overall since December 2014; this has never happened in living memory! We are currently producing nine million litres of milk every day: That is basically a record and very good news for us as entrepreneurs! Who said that supply management was preventing growth?” rejoiced Bruno Letendre, Chair of Les Producteurs de lait du Québec, when presenting his review of the year during the organization’s Annual General Meeting.


More specifically, from March 2016 to March 2017, Canadian retail sales of cream rose 4.6%, 2.4% for yogurt, and 2.1% for ice cream. During the same period, butter sales rose 4.1%, while cheese sales increased 5.2%. These increases have more than compensated for the slight 1.5% decrease in total fluid milk sales. Despite the decrease in fluid milk sales, 3.25% and 2% milk sales climbed 4.6% and 0.5%, respectively, even though they had been in decline since the 80s.


The growth of the dairy industry has beneficial effects on the entire economy in Quebec and Canada. In 2016, it is estimated that investments in buildings, machinery and equipment on farms surpassed the $550 million mark in Quebec. “More than half a million in investments, plus the ripple effects on jobs and the GDP, is huge! It shows the vitality and dynamism of our industry and our producers’ ambition to constantly improve their dairy enterprises. In addition, Quebec benefits as a whole, especially regional economies.”

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