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Industry News

RSS News Feed
Updated: May 22, 2020
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Dairy Farmers of Ontario launches spring milk campaign, continuing "What Can't Milk Do?" from fall

May 22, 2020

Now more than ever, Ontarians are using milk in new and exciting ways, so marketing is using its spring milk campaign, launched May 18, 2020, to highlight how milk can help them get through these difficult times.

DFO's marketing team is re-airing the original television commercial “What Can’t Milk Do?” in addition to three new 15-second digital videos and a suite of shorter versions. Also included in the spring campaign are social media content and new radio ads.

Last fall, DFO launched the “What Can't Milk Do?” platform as a way to challenge existing perceptions of milk by highlighting both the familiar and unexpected ways that people are using it. The spring campaign picks up where the fall campaign left off, complemented by new content.

 

Watch the TV commercial again here:

 

 

Watch the three new 15-second digital videos:

 

 

 

 

Visit www.whatcantmilkdo.ca for more information.

Follow DFO on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on the new spring campaign.
 

Victoria Day, May 18, 2020 - DFO’s holiday office hours / Heures d’ouverture pendant les fêtes

May 15, 2020

DFO’s holiday office hours

Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s (DFO) head office will be closed on Victoria Day, Monday, May 18, 2020. Producers requiring DFO services over the holiday period should contact their local field services representative. DFO will be maintaining key services for dairy farmers, transporters and processors during the holiday period. Staff will be available or on-call as needed.

Contact: media@milk.org 

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Heures d’ouverture pendant les fêtes

Le siège social de Dairy Farmers of Ontario sera fermé Fête de la Reine, lundi 18 mai 2020. Les producteurs ayant besoin des services des DFO au cours de la période des Fêtes doivent communiquer avec leur représentant des services sur le site. Les DFO continueront d’offrir ses services principaux aux producteurs laitiers, aux transporteurs et aux industries de transformation lors de la période des Fêtes.

Contact: media@milk.org 

CNE cancelled due to COVID-19, including DFO's dairy education booth

May 15, 2020

CNE cancelled due to COVID-19
On May 12, 2020, the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) announced the cancellation of its annual fair for 2020 as a COVID-19 health precaution for attendees and employees. This year's CNE was originally scheduled as an 18-day event from Aug. 21 to Sept. 7, 2020, at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ont.

Read the CNE’s official statement here and watch their video.

DFO’s CNE booth cancelled
Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s (DFO) CNE booth is also cancelled this year due to the CNE’s cancellation. DFO’s dairy education team, part of the marketing division, traditionally has a booth at the CNE every year showcasing the industry. DFO supports the CNE’s decisions and echoes its sentiments that safety comes first. DFO will host its booth at the CNE again when Canada’s health officials deem it safe for events to reopen.

DFO’s marketing staff continue to engage with consumers virtually on social media. Follow DFO @OntarioDairy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Feed Ontario launches Emergency Food Box Program for COVID-19 aid

May 13, 2020

Food Banks Work to Meet Surge in Demand with a New COVID-19 Emergency Food Box Program

Feed Ontario has launched a unique program to help support food banks deliver service throughout the pandemic

 

On May 6, 2020, Feed Ontario, one of Dairy Farmers of Ontario's partners, announced the launch of its new COVID-19 Emergency Food Box Program.

The program will help Ontario’s food banks continue to support their communities while minimizing exposure to COVID-19.

The program is supported by Dairy Farmers of Ontario along with other organizations, like Grain Farmers of Ontario. Local food banks, Food Banks Canada, the government of Ontario as well as Ontario residents have all made donations to help the program get off the ground.

 

Click here to read the news release on Feed Ontario's website and watch the promotional video on the emergency food boxes.

 

Also, read the previous news release to learn about DFO's longtime support of Feed Ontario through its food bank donation program, and its additional donations for COVID-19 relief.

 

For a $30 donation, you can help put an Emergency Food Box into the hands of someone in need. To learn more and donate, visit https://feedontario.ca/covid-19

 

For more information, please contact:

Amanda King, Network & Government Relations, Feed Ontario
(416) 656-4100, ext. 2932
amanda@feedontario.ca

Organic New Entrant Quota Assistance Program

May 4, 2020

To ensure there are new entrants to maintain the organic milk supply, DFO is giving priority access for up to two (2) positions from the 2021 New Entrant Quota Assistance Program to organic applicants.

The Organic New Entrant Quota Assistance Program (ONEQAP-2021) is for the application period of May 4, 2020 to June 30, 2020. 

Once the selection process is complete, DFO will then open the application period from August 1, 2020 to October 31, 2020 for the unfilled NEQAP positions.

Click here for the Organic NEQAP application.

DFO to increase donations, totaling over 1 million litres of milk

April 28, 2020

Dairy Farmers of Ontario to increase donations, totaling over 1 million litres of milk

Food banks across Ontario are to receive additional supplies to cope with increasing demand for nutritional staples

 

TORONTO, April 28, 2020 – Feed Ontario, formerly the Ontario Association of Food Banks, announced today that Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) will make an additional donation of $100,000 and up to 200,000 litres of incremental milk along with the over 1 million litres donated to food banks annually with their partners at the Ontario Dairy Council (ODC) and the Ontario Milk Transport Association (OMTA). These incremental donations, along with the longstanding annual donations will help support over 500,000 people during a challenging time which has put unprecedented stress on food banks to provide emergency food support for Ontario residents in need. “Dairy Farmers of Ontario have been incredibly dedicated partners for 25 years now, consistently donating milk to food banks in communities throughout the province,” says Carolyn Stewart, Executive Director of Feed Ontario.

“The annual support of milk that is donated by dairy farmers, transported by milk transporters, and processed and packaged by dairy processors (Gay Lea Foods, Saputo, Agropur, Lactalis, Reid’s, Kawartha, Farquhar, Organic Meadow), has always ensured that food bank facilities across Ontario have a steady inventory of dairy available for those that rely on our help,” says Stewart. Now, an additional donation of milk is being made with the help and financial support of Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. “We are thrilled to receive this extra support from Gay Lea Foods to help us replenish household staples that are especially in need right now,” adds Stewart.

“As dairy farmers, we put great importance on feeding and supporting the communities where we live and work, so for the past 25 years it has always been a natural fit to support food banks through Feed Ontario,” says Murray Sherk, Chair, Dairy Farmers of Ontario. “We’re proud that residents in need across Ontario can always rely on access to the highest quality dairy thanks to the ongoing contributions we can make alongside all of our partners at the ODC and OMTA.” 

Feed Ontario’s most recent Hunger Report revealed that 510,438 adults, children, and seniors accessed food banks across Ontario last year, an increase of 8,848 people over the previous year. That means that even before this crisis reached the province, available food resources were stretched thin.

“Anyone looking to donate can drop off food donations at fire stations near their local food bank,” added Stewart. “We also want to be respectful of the need for social distancing at this time, so anyone in a position to help can help with monetary donations online at feedontario.ca/donate, which allows us to purchase the food supplies needed for distribution.”

For information on your local food bank, please use Feed Ontario's ‘Find a Food Bank’ function to find your closest Feed Ontario member. If you do not have a Feed Ontario member in your area, information on your local food bank can also be found at www.211ontario.ca.
 

 

Understanding Food Bank Use In Ontario 

  • 510,438 adults, children, and seniors accessed food banks across Ontario between April 1st, 2018 – March 31st, 2019, an increase of 8,848 people over the previous year 
  • Ontario’s food banks were visited over 3,059,000 times throughout 2019, an increase of 4.2 percent over the previous year. 
  • 71 percent of households that access food banks indicate social assistance programs or government benefits as their primary source of income 
  • 53 percent of households served by food banks identified as single-person households 
  • 87 percent of food bank visitors were rental or social housing tenants 
  • 33 percent of food bank visitors were children under 18 years of age 

 

About Feed Ontario (formerly the Ontario Association of Food Banks): 
From securing fresh and healthy food sources to driving change through policy research and innovative programming, Feed Ontario unites food banks, industry partners, and local communities in its work to end poverty and hunger. Join us as we Feed Ontario and help build a healthier province. Every $1 raised provides the equivalent of 3 meals to an Ontarian in need. Learn more at: www.feedontario.ca 


For more information, please contact: 
Amanda King | Feed Ontario | amanda@feedontario.ca | 416-656-4100 x2932 

 


About Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO)
DFO is the marketing group for the largest sector of Ontario agriculture and is proudly owned and operated by Ontario’s dairy farming families.


For more information, please contact:
Mackenzie Biddie | No Fixed Address | mackenzie.biddie@nofixedaddressinc.com | 416-779-0289



Originally distributed to media via Globe Newswire by Feed Ontario

View on DFO's consumer website

New video: Ontario dairy farmers committed to food supply chain

April 17, 2020

DFO has produced a short video that speaks clearly to the fact that Ontario dairy farmers are doing their part to keep the food supply chain strong during the COVID-19 crisis.

Consumers, dairy producers, partners and anyone who would like to show their support of agriculture and farmers during this time are encouraged to share the video on social media or by email.

 

https://youtu.be/EvHCPArCDV4

 

Good Friday, April 10, 2020 - DFO’s holiday office hours / Heures d’ouverture pendant les fêtes

April 9, 2020

DFO’s holiday office hours

Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s (DFO) head office will be closed on Good Friday, April 10, 2020. Producers requiring DFO services over the holiday period should contact their local field services representative. DFO will be maintaining key services for dairy farmers, transporters and processors during the holiday period. Staff will be available or on-call as needed.

Contact: media@milk.org 

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Heures d’ouverture pendant les fêtes

Le siège social de Dairy Farmers of Ontario sera fermé Vendredi saint, 10 avril 2020. Les producteurs ayant besoin des services des DFO au cours de la période des Fêtes doivent communiquer avec leur représentant des services sur le site. Les DFO continueront d’offrir ses services principaux aux producteurs laitiers, aux transporteurs et aux industries de transformation lors de la période des Fêtes.

Contact: media@milk.org 

COVID-19 information for Ontario consumers

April 9, 2020

 

View PDF

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented fluctuations in demand for fluid milk across the Canadian dairy industry. We, at Dairy Farmers of Ontario, are committed to supporting Ontario’s dairy farmers during this time and will be taking all necessary steps and precautions to ensure Ontarians in all communities have access to safe, high-quality milk and dairy products. A message from Cheryl Smith, Dairy Farmers of Ontario's Chief Executive Officer, on the current situation can be found here on DFO's consumer website and here on the current industry site.

We recognize consumers have questions about the impact to the dairy industry during this time. Dairy Farmers of Canada, the national policy, lobbying and promotional organization representing Canadian dairy producers, has provided a wealth of information for consumers, which can be found at the Dairy Farmers of Canada website.

We have also assembled answers to additional questions that pertain specifically to Ontario.

Has Dairy Farmers of Ontario been deemed an essential service? What about dairy producers? 
DFO and dairy producers in Ontario have been deemed an essential service by the Government of Ontario as we are a vital part of the food supply chain in the province. Like dairy processors and grocery retailers, we are critical to ensuring that high-quality milk and dairy products are available for Ontario consumers across all grocery and convenience stores. However, we are taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our dairy farmers, drivers, processors, retail workers and all those in between who keep the supply chain moving. 

Are DFO’s supply chain partners also considered essential?
Yes, all elements of the dairy production supply chain have been considered essential. This includes our farmers, truck drivers, employees at processing facilities and grocery stores. All elements of the supply chain are fully functional to ensure consumers have access to high-quality milk and dairy products. 

What are the organizations in Ontario’s dairy supply chain?
The foundational organizations in Ontario’s dairy supply chain are:

  • Dairy Farmers of Ontario
  • Ontario Milk Transportation Association
  • Ontario Dairy Council
  • Dairy Processors Association of Canada
  • Retail Council of Canada

How do essential services differ from province to province?
Essential services are determined by each province. In Ontario, agriculture and its supply chain partners have been deemed essential. 

What are the stages in getting milk into my local grocery store?
Raw milk is collected from farms in Ontario and transported to a local processing facility where it is used to make the high-quality fluid milk and dairy products for sale in your local grocery store. The processor distributes the milk and dairy products to grocery retailers or distribution throughout each retailer’s network of stores. Retailers are then responsible for replenishing products inside the store. 

This supply chain has been overwhelmed over the last few weeks, resulting from consumer panic buying and stockpiling early in the crisis, and the impact created by the shuttingdown of the food service and hospitality industry. Replenishment at grocery is happening and the situation is improving. 

What protocols has Dairy Farmers of Ontario put in place to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic? 
We are committed to continue to provide safe, high-qualitydairy products during the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure we operate in as safe a manner as possible, all producers and supply chain partners have enacted a variety of new protocols on physical distancing, disinfecting procedures on-farm, and contingency plans to deal with any potential COVID-19 infection. Farmers who do not comply with the requirements of these protocols will not have milk picked-up from the farm, nor will they be compensated for that milk. It’s our responsibility to maintain these standards in order to provide nourishing food for Canadians.

Who does Dairy Farmers of Ontario work within the Ontario government to ensure our supply of milk continues?
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs is our main government partner, but we work closely with many others to ensure our food supply chain remains safe and highly functional. 

Does DFO and the Ontario government have a plan in place if any parts of the supply chain shut down?
DFO has established a Business Continuity Task Force that is focused on ensuring our business operations continue under a variety of scenarios related to the COVID-19 crisis. We are in close communication with our processor partners, our Ministry and other government stakeholders as the crisis evolves and will align with them where appropriate. 

Why have I seen farmers dumping milk when stores don’t seem to have enough stock?
The COVID-19 outbreak remains a deeply concerning health emergency and economic disruption both here at home and around the world. It has created a very unstable demand for dairy products due to several factors, most notably the significant reduction in demand from food service providers and the hospitality industry. Dairy farmers were asked to take the unprecedented step of disposing of milk as a temporary, emergency measure. It is not expected that this will need to continue. The flow of milk and dairy products through the food supply chain is beginning to normalize, and the inventory situation at grocery stores is improving. 

Why are you not able to donate milk directly from farms in Ontario? 
Provincial regulations prohibit the sale of raw milk; it must be processed (pasteurized and packaged) before it can be sold or donated. DFO is working with processors and Feed Ontario to find solutions that allow increased product donations to food banks. In the meantime, we know that what food banks need most right now are cash donations. Because of this, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, DFO has donated $100,000 to Feed Ontario, a longstanding partner of the organization. This is over and above annual monetary and product donation support.  

For additional information and questions on the impact of COVID-19 on the dairy industry in Canada, once again, please visit the Dairy Farmers of Canada website.

Media statement from Cheryl Smith, DFO’s CEO, on COVID-19

April 8, 2020

 

View PDF

 

Media statement from Cheryl Smith, Dairy Farmers of Ontario's Chief Executive Officer (CEO):

“The COVID-19 outbreak remains a deeply concerning health emergency and economic disruption both in Canada and around the world. These unprecedented times have called for unprecedented measures within the dairy supply chain, largely driven by a reduction in demand from food service providers and the hospitality industry.

“Disposing of milk is an extraordinary measure, and one that Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) has only ever considered in emergency situations. Yet, last week, we informed producers these measures would be necessary on a select and rotating basis. Producers share the costs of their lost revenue.  All producers will take lower pay for the milk so that any producer requiring to dispose of milk is still compensated.

“Ontario producers continue to do their part to nourish Canadians with high-quality milk, and we are working very closely with processors and industry groups to respond to the unpredictable market fluctuations that are now part of our current environment. The closure of most food service locations has had an unprecedented impact on demand. All dairy products have dramatically declined.

“The need to dispose of milk is an emergency measure only. The affected farmers were individually contacted April 1 and 2. DFO is constantly examining supply and demand needs and will re-evaluate our on-farm measures on a weekly basis.

“While we aim to be agile in dealing with these circumstances, we must also look ahead to the medium and long term where we expect demand to normalize. The steps we take now are vitally important to the continued strength of our food supply chain and we are proceeding with that important goal in mind.”

 

Contact

For media inquiries, contact media@milk.org.

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