Mark Taylor, president & CEO of Lactalis Canada, spoke recently at the Dairy Farmers of Ontario annual general meeting about some of the challenges and the potential for positive outcomes when all sectors of the industry work together.
”Listening to consumers and being prepared to adapt to a changing marketplace is important for the growth of the dairy industry as a whole,” Taylor said in a press release.
As Ontario’s largest dairy processor, Lactalis Canada is well-positioned to connect with consumers since 98 per cent of Canadians have awareness of at least one Lactalis product, he said.
Consumers want healthier food options, care about sustainability, animal welfare and social responsibility, and they are also looking for on-the-go foods in more convenient snack portions, he said.
Like any responsible business, Lactalis Canada is always seeking to improve its product recipes and ensure highest quality and, to this end, the company has the largest research and development facility of its kind in London, Ont., he said.
“I’m excited for us at Lactalis to explore the many opportunities in this market,” Taylor said. “I believe dairy, as part of a balanced diet, is fundamental for the health and wellbeing of consumers, and it’s absolutely critical we respond to changing consumer needs.”
At the same time, he said, the dairy industry needs to make sure consumers are well informed, allowing them to make choices.
He noted that it is widely accepted that dairy delivers many positive nutritional benefits through all ages and stages of life.
Detailed, peer-reviewed science underpins the assertion that dairy benefits children, young people and the aging population, he said.
“To confuse or mislead consumers about the benefits of dairy would, in my opinion, be damaging and result in a legacy of negative health-related consequences for Canadian society and a rising consequential financial burden,” added Taylor.
”We can not stand by and let lobbies and organizations guide consumers into a nutritional wasteland. A uniform and unifying approach needs to be enacted by our industry (dairy farmers and manufacturers) in partnership with customers and other important stakeholders that protects consumer choice and supports their wellbeing.”
Lactalis Canada is a family-owned business with nearly 140 years of brand heritage in the Canadian dairy industry. The company directly employs 3,500 Canadians, supports hundreds of farming families and contributes to livelihoods of thousands of Canadians at Lactalis Canada’s 17 manufacturing sites and national supply chain.