AGM – Chair Speech

2022 dedicated to sustainable development for Les Producteurs de lait du Québec


Daniel Gobeil, Chairman of Les producteurs de lait du Québec, identified sustainable development as a major priority for the organization’s actions in the coming year, at the Annual General Meeting of Les Producteurs de lait du Québec (PLQ) held in Saint-Hyacinthe: “We began in 2021 to document these efforts using a sustainable development analysis and action plan that will enable us to objectively communicate the results of daily farm work to consumers. Thanks to this initiative, we will be able to single out aspects of our performance that can be improved so that we can continue to meet consumer expectations.”

The sustainable development plan is a process whereby actions are assessed and planned based on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. For an organization like Les Producteurs de lait du Québec, it means showing concern for economic, social, environmental and ethical issues in our activities and decisions. It will also have broader impacts in terms of economic benefits, governance, sustainable development and contributions to our society.

This process aims to provide the organization and producers with effective individual and collective tools to hit our targets and continuously improve our performance. “Dairy producers are already firmly rooted in their society. In addition to our animal welfare and environmental actions and our economic contributions, we support cultural and social events through our sponsorship program. We are also working to eliminate hunger and ensure food security through our milk donation program. Last year, over 1.5 million litres of milk were donated to Food Banks of Quebec,” stated Daniel Gobeil.

This project is in line with other efforts being made in the sector, such as the target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 announced by Dairy Farmers of Canada in February.

When it comes to the environment, producers are making positive efforts, which have reduced their environmental footprint per litre of milk between the last two life cycle assessments, thanks to greater efficiency and more innovative practices. They have decreased their carbon footprint by 8.7%, their water consumption by 12.5% and their land use by 16.2%. Production data for Quebec show that its carbon footprint and water footprint are among the best in the world. The LCA results are now being updated. Other environmental efforts made by producers include the implementation of riparian buffer strips, windbreaks and forage fields to help improve air and water quality, the use of crop rotation and zero-till practices to promote healthy soil, and the application of natural fertilizers to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers.

Dairy producers work in a supply system that is capable of reducing food waste on its own by avoiding overproduction, as per the IPCC recommendation. “Our supply management system specifically strives to reduce food waste by balancing production with demand. We also decrease the number of kilometres that our food travels by meeting our market’s needs locally. Our agricultural policy is focused on producing fresh and nutritious local food, considerations that have never been as important for Quebecers as they are now,” explained Gobeil.


Trade agreements


On the topic of trade agreements, Daniel Gobeil pointed out that the government’s federal budget had formalized its commitment to compensate dairy producers for the negative impacts caused by the market concessions under CUSMA. As for future agreements, such as the one with the United Kingdom that is already being negotiated, the PLQ’s Chairman recalled the government’s assurance that Canada will not grant any further market access for supply-managed products. “This position is consistent with the numerous times the government has promised it will not concede further segments of our market in trade agreements. Despite these promises, you know as well as I do that we can never lower our guard, especially since plans are on the table for other negotiations, such as with Indonesia and India. We will need to stay alert if we want to be sure that trade agreements are never again concluded at our expense,” stated Daniel Gobeil in his closing remarks.



Download the press release