Today Wally Smith, President of Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC), joined a press conference organized by Les Producteurs de lait du Québec (PLQ) to express their dissatisfaction with the Canadian government on the lack of enforcement of Canadian cheese compositional standards.
Smith was mandated by a motion tabled at a recent Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) board meeting to attend, which was unanimously passed.
“I am here today to show that all of Canada’s dairy farmers speak with one voice on diafiltered milk. We are collectively disappointed with the lack of action on enforcement of the cheese standards,” said DFC President Wally Smith. “The Government does not need to pass a new law or new regulation and the solution is simple. The Government needs to enforce the existing standards.”
Under the cheese compositional standards for Canada, it is required that a minimum percentage of the protein used in cheese making be sourced from milk. Milk protein substances (including diafiltered milk) are ingredients that can be less costly, and made from heavily subsidized milk. Some processors have taken to using milk protein substances as part of their required minimum percentage of “milk” when making cheese, instead of using it as a part of their allowable percentage of added ingredients. This is inconsistent with its classification at the border, where the ingredients are not even being considered under the dairy chapter of the Customs Tariff Schedule, entering the country tariff free. As a result, more ingredients are being used in cheese making than are allowed under the cheese compositional standards, resulting in less Canadian milk being used and a loss of revenue for Canadian farmers.
Smith continued: “These standards have been in place since 2008, and continue to go on unenforced to the detriment of Canadian dairy farmers. I joined PLQ today to show that our industry stands firmly together on this and we will continue to advocate vocally for fair enforcement of these rules.”
Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) strives to create favourable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry, today and in the future. DFC works to maintain policies that foster the viability of Canadian dairy farms and to promote quality Canadian dairy products made from 100% Canadian milk as part of a healthy balanced diet.