The Canadian Dairy Industry in Brief

Milk production for the 12 months ending in October 31, 2018, was 381 M kg of butterfat (at 3.6 kg of butterfat per hectolitre). On August 1, 2018, Canada had 10,593 dairy farms that owned 969,700 cows (not including heifers).

Forty-five percent of Canadian dairy herds are enrolled in an official milk recording program, whereas 30% are enrolled in unsupervised milk recording programs.

Production of organic milk has increased at a steady pace since 2007, reaching 1.2 million litres in 2016-2017 produced on 232 certified farms.

Dairy farm cash receipts reached $6.56 billion in 2017. Farms in Quebec earned 36% of that amount, and farms in Ontario earning 32% of that amount due to the large number of farms in each province.

There are 478 dairy processing plants in Canada, 279 of which are federally inspected relative to food safety regulations and standards, which means their products can be traded inter-provincially and internationally. The vast majority of these plants are situated in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Canadian dairy processing plants employ approximately 23,500 people.