In 1960, Ontario milk producer organizations were fragmented and lacked unity in purpose. Their bargaining position in the marketplace was very weak. Returns to the vast majority of milk producers for labour, management and investment were inadequate and there were numerous inequities and inefficiencies in the milk marketing system.
Because of this chaos, the Ontario government commissioned a study in 1963 to determine how to solve what appeared to be an ever increasing problem.
The answer came in the form of the Milk Act, which was passed in 1965.
The Milk Act called for an intermediate body that would buy all the milk produced on Ontario farms and sell that milk to the processors. That body was the Ontario Milk Marketing Board (OMMB).
The Ontario Milk Marketing Board successfully addressed those marketing problems and worked on responding to a continuously evolving set of domestic and international market changes over a 30-year period.
The most recent development in this process was the formation of Dairy Farmers of Ontario on August 1, 1995 following the merger of the Ontario Milk Marketing Board and the Ontario Cream Producers' Marketing Board.
The term marketing board was a 1960s' term and concept which did not fit the fast-changing dairy industry system which deals with today's dynamic global realities.
DFO operates under revised Ontario legislation which joined the former milk and cream marketing plans under one organization in 1995.
The activities of DFO are monitored by the Ontario Farm Products Marketing commission. The Board is also subject to decisions of the Ontario Farm Products Appeal Tribunal which hears appeals from parties dissatisfied with Board Decisions.