You may have heard that the dairy industry in Canada is in crisis.
The industry has lost $100 billion in market value since the end of the 1990s and its biggest competitor, the beef and pork industries, is also in trouble.
But that’s not all that has been going on in the industry.
In fact, the industry is doing well.
According to a recent article in The Globe and Mail, organic farmers are selling more milk than ever.
The dairy industry’s share of Canada’s total dairy production is up from 11.5 per cent in 2000 to 11.8 per cent now, according to the Canadian Dairy Industry Association.
Dairy farmers in Canada have the highest average annual income in the country, at $92,000 per person.
The farm is also a significant source of jobs, with a total of 10,000 dairy farms, mostly in the Prairies, and 3,000 of them are in Quebec.
The main dairy farm in Ontario is owned by a group of dairy farmers called the RCA, which is a part of the Canadian Association of Producers.
RCA President and CEO Paul Meehan says the association is the first to recognise the importance of organic dairy and believes it will have a large impact on the industry over the coming years.
“As an industry we need to take advantage of the opportunity to grow and diversify,” said Meehans statement.
Organic milk production in Canada grew by almost 40 per cent last year to $6.2 billion.
Meehm said that’s due to a combination of new technology, new marketing strategies and an increase in the number of dairy farms in Ontario.
In the past, Ontario had about 10,600 farms, he said.
“We need to get back to that number and it is time to build an Ontario-wide system for organic farming.”
The Ontario government has committed to doubling organic milk production to 15 per cent by 2020.
Organic dairy farmers in Ontario can apply to the Ontario Department of Agriculture to increase their organic milk farming quota from 25 per cent to 35 per cent.
Moohan said the government also has to consider the environmental impacts of farming organic.
The Organic Dairy Association of Canada, an industry association, has been lobbying the government to allow organic farming for years.
The group’s president and CEO, John Ritchie, says the government has a responsibility to make sure the industry can thrive.
“It’s not just about organic milk, it’s about sustainable agriculture as well,” said Ritchie.
“Ontario needs to be able to be a leader in this sector and that’s something the government is already doing, by providing incentives and subsidies to farmers for organic dairy.”
Organic dairy farming is the fastest growing sector in Canada and is expected to be worth $2.7 billion by 2020, according the U.S. National Dairy Science Association.
About 90 per cent of organic milk is produced on-farm, while the rest is sold to supermarkets.
About 1,600 farmers and their operations produce organic milk in Canada.
About 30 per cent have established organic milk processing plants, which use technology developed by the U of A. “Organic dairy farming produces more milk per acre than conventional dairy farming,” says Meehaan.
MEEHAHAN: The big picture Organic dairy is the biggest part of Canada-wide organic milk industry, accounting for about half of total dairy farms.
But the industry has struggled to maintain market share in recent years.
According the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, organic milk farmers are still struggling to grow their business.
The CFAA reported that organic milk market share has declined by about 6 per cent since 2000.
Organic farmers have been working hard to diversify the industry by introducing new technology and offering more farm-to-table products.
But it has been a slow process, said R.R. Deere of the dairy company, whose company is based in Ottawa.
“The market has been really difficult for us to sustain,” said Deere.
The company says that organic dairy sales are down slightly from a decade ago.
Organic farm operations are also struggling to retain their workforce.
“One of the things that has really held us back is that we are a very small company.
So if we are not producing enough organic milk to keep up with demand, we have to sell more organic milk and that has not worked,” said Matt Miller, who manages the marketing for organic milk company, the Organic Farms of Canada.
Miller says the biggest challenge is getting organic milk into grocery stores and farmers markets, which can be difficult.
“You have to get the brand, you have to be sure that you’re not doing anything unethical, and that you are doing everything that is expected of you by the brand,” said Miller.
In 2016, the CFAA said that organic farm farms had a turnover of $1.1 billion.
Organic farms are now valued at $1 billion or more, according a recent report from the World