Modern Dairying: Local vs. Global Markets & the Move to Specialty Products

Milk, in North America at least, is very much a commodity. There is little distinction between brands or types โ€” a 4 litre jug is a 4 litre jug and not many have a preference as to what label it carries. This is changing, however, as family size shrinks and food trends increase the push for specialty products with health claims and buzz-word-laden labels.

As Charlie Arnot, CEO of the Center for Food Integrity, explains in this video filmed at the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, this move to smaller packaging or specialty products creates both a challenge and an opportunity for Canada’s dairy sector. Can the industry remain a local market and stay competitive, meeting consumers changing needs, or is there more to be gained through international markets? As Arnot explains in this video, both strategies have merit, but the dairy industry is at a point where it may have to choose.

If you cannot see the embedded video, click here.



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Richard Barrett

One market that has not been mentioned for the real local market is the direct relationship between a small farmer (one not in the Quota System) and the consumer. There is no way that the large dairy farms can meet this demand that is traceable and economical. Farmers with pasteurized milk at Farmer’s Markets are continually receiving request on an increasing basis for Fresh Unpasteurized Whole Milk.


And that terrifies me because I think this generation has no idea what it can mean to consume unpasteurized milk. Just like the war vet’s are disappearing those who survived all the food security and safety scares that prompted the move to pasteurization are almost all gone. Niches are one thing a safe food system is another.


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