SASKATOON, July 16, 2019 : Speaking to a room of hundreds of dairy producers, and livestreamed to dairy producers across the country, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food was at the Dairy Farmers of Canada Annual General meeting today where she announced an investment of $11.4M to the Dairy Research Cluster, led by the Dairy Farmers of Canada. With investment from the industry, the total investment in this cluster will be $16.5 M.
The Dairy Research Cluster aims to foster public trust, drive innovation and stimulate economic growth of the Canadian dairy sector. The cluster will support cutting-edge research in areas of bovine genetics, animal health and welfare, milk production automation, forage breeding, milk safety and quality and environmental sustainability.
The cluster will also support the development of management practices and tools to reduce on-farm economic losses from production limiting diseases. Through this investment, the sector will also better understand the impact of microbes on milk, dairy product composition and quality, and examine the use of alternative tools and practices to antimicrobial use.
Minister Bibeau also reinforced the Government of Canada’s strong and unwavering commitment to the supply management system for generations to come. Following the ratification of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, Budget 2019 announced up to $3.9 Billion for producers in Canada’s supply managed producers. This includes up to $2.4 B to sustain the incomes of producers, as well as up to $1.5 B to protect against any reduction in quota value. The Government has been working hard with industry working groups to finalize these delivery mechanisms, to ensure they meet the needs of producers.
Budget 2019 also commits to working with the industry to address the impacts on the processing sector, as well as potential future impacts of the new NAFTA agreement.
“The Canadian dairy sector is a key driver of jobs and economic growth, especially in our rural communities, and this investment will help it remain on the cutting-edge of research. We continue to work closely with industry to ensure Canada’s agricultural sector remains strong, stable and competitive for years to come”, said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
“The investment provided to the Dairy Research Cluster is essential to enable strong, robust and evidenced-based research material that ultimately helps dairy farmers increase efficiency of their farm practices, particularly milk production, animal welfare and sustainability. Results of these research projects will also contribute to expand knowledge about the health benefits of dairy products. Along with the contribution of other partners such as Lactanet Canada, Novalait, today’s announcement is another important step towards ensuring the continuous improvement of our dairy industry”, Pierre Lampron, President, Dairy Farmers of Canada.
- Dairy is the second largest agricultural sector in Canada, generating 41,000 jobs on farms and processing plants, the backbone of many rural communities across Canada.
- The Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is a not-for-profit organization that strives to create stable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry. It works to maintain the viability of Canadian dairy farms and promote dairy products and their health benefits.
- The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billioninvestment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector. The Partnership includes programs and activities to enhance the competitiveness of the sector through research, science and innovation.
- This research cluster is funded through the AgriScience Program, a five-year, $338 million initiative, to support leading edge discovery and applied science, and innovation driven by industry research priorities.