LONGUEUIL, QC, May 10, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Following the establishment of an interim national program to encourage the use of Canadian milk in cheese manufacturing, Agropur Cooperative announced today that it is immediately discontinuing the use of imported diafiltered milk, becoming the first major national processor to do so. The interim national program supports access to Canadian ingredients at competitive prices, effective May 1, for a 3-month period.
"We are proud to be taking the lead in the industry by immediately halting all use of diafiltered milk," commented Serge Riendeau, President of Agropur. "While the interim national program is temporary, its creation is good news since it makes it possible for us to stop using imported diafiltered milk while remaining competitive and supporting our members and all Canadian milk producers. We had pledged to stop importing diafiltered milk as soon as conditions allowed. Today, as a result of this program, we are in a position to do so."
The national program is a stop-gap solution that applies from May 1 through July 31, 2016. The urgent need for action therefore remains: the federal government must act quickly to enforce the Canadian cheese standards established in 2008, as it promised to do during the election campaign. "The dairy industry makes a significant contribution to economic activity in all parts of the country," said Mr. Riendeau. "As well, a national ingredients strategy including all provinces must be agreed on as soon as possible."
The interim national program to encourage the use of Canadian milk has been in effect since May 1. It was established by the Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee (CMSMC), which includes representatives of the marketing boards and governments of all the provinces. The CMSMC is chaired by the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC).
Agropur Cooperative is a North American dairy industry leader founded in 1938. With sales of $5.9 billion in 2015, the Cooperative is a source of pride to its 3,367 members and 8,000 employees. Agropur processes more than 5.7 billion litres of milk per year at its 39 plants across North America and boasts an impressive roster of brands and products including Natrel, Québon, OKA, Farmers, Agropur Signature, Agropur Grand Cheddar, Island Farms, BiPro, and the Ultima Foods joint venture's iögo and Olympic brands.
For further information: Véronique Boileau, Vice President, Communications, Agropur Cooperative, Phone: 450-878-1844