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Simply put, our dairy system is a Canadian achievement that benefits all of us.

The Canadian dairy system isn't just about balancing supply and demand to ensure a fair return for dairy farmers. It ensures Canadians can count on safe, high-quality milk produced by local farming families. It keeps artificial growth hormones out of the milk we drink. It grows our rural economy. It minimizes waste. And, it costs taxpayers nothing.


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Canadian milk is artificial growth hormone-free.

In Canada, dairy farming families produce some of the freshest, highest-quality milk in the world, without the use of artificial growth hormones to stimulate milk production. It takes about three days for your milk to travel from the farm to the grocery shelf and, in Canada, you can rest assured that all fresh milk sold is locally produced on Canadian dairy farms.

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Canadian dairy farms are owned and operated by real farming families.

The average dairy farm in Canada is not a factory—it's a family business, and tough, yet rewarding, work. It is relatively small, with about 75 cows, whereas farms in the U.S. average about 234 cows. Tending to the needs of a dairy herd is a 24/7 job, and it is common for the entire family to tend the farm and care for their animals.

Source: United States Department of Agriculture

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Canadian dairy farmers are leaders in on-farm excellence.

Canadian dairy farmers are consumers too. They understand that Canadians care about where their food comes from, and how it's produced.

Dairy farmers are nationally committed to proAction®, a program voluntarily developed to set—and aiming to exceed—some of the highest standards for environmental farming practices and animal care in the world. Dairy farmers are proud of Canada's leadership in food quality and safety, animal care, environmental stewardship, biosecurity, and traceability, and are dedicated to seeing Canada's reputation for farming excellence grow.

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Canadian milk costs less.

In spite of common misconceptions, overall, Canadians pay less for milk than consumers in the U.S., New Zealand, and Australia. We also pay considerably less than Americans for cheese, butter, and yogurt.

Source: Export Action Global, 2018. Dairy Systems Around the World.

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The Canadian dairy sector is an integral part of our rural communities and national economy.

The Canadian dairy sector is a healthy and crucial part of Canada's rural economy, providing a quarter of a million rural and urban jobs and contributing around CDN$20B to our GDP and billions in tax dollars. It is one of the only dairy industries in the world that is growing, and, it doesn't cost Canadians a cent.

Real Canadian Milk

Canadians can count on milk made by real farm families dedicated to producing milk of the highest quality. The Canadian dairy system was designed in the 1960s to introduce sustainability and efficiency to safeguard quality for Canadian consumers.

Canadian dairy farmers are proud to produce some of the best milk in the world, and we believe the Canadian way of doing things not only works–it's worth protecting.

Comparing the U.S. and Canadian Dairy Industries

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Canada has a supply management system. The U.S. does not.

Canada's supply management system provides balance by allowing Canadian dairy farmers to collectively negotiate price and adjust milk production to meet consumer demand. While farmers around the world face wild market fluctuations, Canadian farmers sell their milk at constant and stable prices. The system is designed to minimize waste and help support some of the highest milk quality standards in the world.

The price at which Canadian dairy farmers sell their milk to processors covers their production costs and allows for sustainable growth and investment in environmental, animal welfare, and farming best practices. There is no need to rely on government handouts to sustain the industry.

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Canada and U.S. trade

Allowing American milk into Canada is not a solution for American overproduction. Doing so would hurt our economy and threaten our milk quality standards. Canada's dairy exports are a tiny fraction of the world market and far too small to impact it in a significant way. Canada already grants more than 10 per cent of our dairy market to other countries, while the U.S. imports only three per cent. In comparison, Canada's total dairy exports represent less than the combined total exports of Wisconsin and New York state.

In 2017, The U.S. sold US$792M in dairy products to Canada, while Canadians sold US$149M in dairy products to the Americans. So in fact, Canada buys about six times more dairy products from the U.S. than it exports every year, and the U.S. enjoys a trade surplus of about US$650M.

Sources: Statistics Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, United States Department of Agriculture

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The Canadian dairy system is self sufficient.

Our supply-managed dairy system does not cost Canadians or our government a nickel. Due in part to oversupply, the U.S. dairy industry heavily relies on export markets, and is dependent on massive taxpayer-funded government farm programs at federal, state, and local levels.

Canada-U.S. trade supports millions of middle-class jobs on both sides of the border, with nearly nine million jobs (one in 17) in the U.S. relying on trade and investment with Canada.

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The difference between Canadian and American milk

American dairy farmers are legally allowed to use recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST, a synthetic version of a naturally occurring growth hormone. They use it to increase their herd's milk production. rBST is illegal in Canada, and although Health Canada has determined it does not pose a health risk to humans, it has stated it negatively affects cow health.

Source: United States Department of Agriculture