Government of Canada announces investment in Dairy Farmers of Canada to support sustainability

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Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Government of Canada is announcing over $7.5 million to Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) to help support sustainable development in the dairy industry. This funding is provided through the AgriScience Program – Clusters Component, under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Through this Cluster, DFC will undertake research which will 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 consist 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 is also announcing new information regarding the fifth compensation payment for dairy producers under the Dairy Direct Payment Program (DDPP). From 2019 to 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.

Quotes

“Dairy farmers across the country produce top-quality products, while caring for their animals and working to protect the environment. 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.”

– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“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. Today’s announcement reinforces the work we are doing within the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership and supports another important step towards carbon neutrality.”

– Pierre Lampron, President of Dairy Farmers of Canada

Quick facts

  • The Canadian dairy industry is a vital pillar of rural communities across Canada, and a key economic driver. In 2022, there were 9,739 dairy farms in Canada supporting over 45,000 direct jobs.
  • The AgriScience Program, under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, aims to accelerate innovation by providing funding and support for pre-commercial science activities and research that benefits the agriculture and agri-food industry, and Canadians.
    • The Clusters Component, under the AgriScience Program, supports projects intended to mobilize industry, government and academia through partnerships, and address priority national themes and horizontal issues.
  • DFC is the national policy and promotional organization for the nearly 10,000 dairy farms in operation across Canada. It works to enhance the revenue and image of Canadian dairy farmers and contribute to the growth of the Canadian dairy market.
  • The Government of Canada has delivered on its commitment to fully and fairly compensate producers and processors who have lost market share under the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). The total compensation will reach up to $4.8 billion, including $2.95 billion through the Dairy Direct Payment Program.
  • The registration period for the fifth payment under the Dairy Direct Payment Program is expected to open in the fall of 2023 and eligible producers must register before March 31, 2024.