Canada invests in boosting dairy sustainability

Dairy Farmers of Canada will receive $7.5 million
calendar icon 20 July 2023
clock icon 3 minute read

Canada recently announced over $7.5 million to Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) to help support sustainable development in the dairy industry. 

Using the funding, the DFC will undertake research that aims to provide solutions to improve the environmental and economic sustainability, and resilience of the Canadian dairy industry. To achieve these goals, DFC will develop and implement plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon, improve the health and welfare of cows and the quality of milk produced.

The cluster consists of research activities that focus on AgriScience Program priority areas: Climate Change and Environment; Economic Growth and Development; and Industry Resilience and Societal Changes. The outcomes are intended to help the industry achieve its goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from dairy production by 2050. The goals of the funded activities also contribute to the Government of Canada's climate change mitigation, economic growth and industry resilience priorities.

The Government of Canada also announced new information regarding the fifth compensation payment for dairy producers under the Dairy Direct Payment Program (DDPP). From 2019–2023, the first four payments were made available totalling $1.75 billion in compensation to account for the impacts of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This fifth payment will begin compensation of up to $1.2 billion over six years to account for the impacts of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

In consultation with industry, the program's calculation date will be August 31. This means that producers of cow's milk must hold a valid dairy quota licence registered with a provincial milk marketing board or agency on August 31 to be eligible for a payment that year. As the calculation date impacts when the registration period can open, setting the date earlier in the year (previous years used an October 31 date) will ensure producers have more time to sign up before the deadline and may receive their payment sooner. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will be sending letters to all eligible producers in the fall with the program registration details, with payments to follow once a producer completes their registration.

Canadian dairy makes an important contribution to the economy, with billions of dollars in sales and tens of thousands of jobs. The industry continues to innovate to help meet the demand for dairy products, while strengthening practices to remain competitive and sustainable. The Government of Canada will continue to provide the support and tools needed to keep the industry well-positioned for the future.

"Dairy farmers across the country produce top-quality products, while caring for their animals and working to protect the environment," said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada's minister of agriculture. "Today's announcement will help Dairy Farmers of Canada build on their momentum, by ensuring they have access to the tools and research they need to continue to improve the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the industry. Setting the quota reference date for the Dairy Direct Payment Program will also ensure that producers have the necessary information further in advance to be able to plan and evaluate their farm situation."

"This investment over the next five years to the fourth Dairy Research Cluster is essential to enable robust and evidenced-based research that ultimately supports Canadian dairy farmers," said Pierre Lampron, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada. "Today's announcement reinforces the work we are doing within the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership and supports another important step towards carbon neutrality."

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