Farmers defend impending dairy price hike

Wingham, Ont. –

In February, Canadian dairy farmers will be paid more for the milk produced by their cows. This likely means that the cost of milk, cheese and yogurt will increase next year.

“Believe it or not, I growl too. It does not please any dairy farmer, I think, to see this increase. Partly because, guess what, when I go to the grocery store, those prices are going to go up because I’m also a big dairy consumer,” says Ontario dairy farmer Andrew Campbell.

The Canadian Dairy Commission approved an 8.4% increase in farm gate milk prices, or about $0.06 per litre, in February. Food analysts suggest this will lead to a 10-15% increase in dairy retail prices.

“It takes several liters of milk to produce one kilo of cheese. So, as you can imagine, things can get quite expensive in the dairy section of the grocery store,” says Dalhousie Food Analytics Lab Director Sylvain Charlebois.

But it’s not about increasing profits, says Dairy Farmers of Canada leader Pierre Lampron. Prices for most agricultural inputs have risen and supply management means that farmers are paid, on a controlled scale, for what they produce.

“Among other costs, food for our animals has increased by 27% over the past two years. The price of fuel has increased by 30%, that of seeds by 20%. We are not immune to inflation,” he says.

“The reason why this increase has become necessary, at this time, is the reality of trying to at least cover some of these costs,” says Campbell.

Consumers are expected to see the effects of the rising cost of milk in early 2022.

About Thomas B. Countryman

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