DFC's Annual Report for the year 2019-20 is now available for download.
EXCERPTS FROM THE 2019-20 ANNUAL REPORT
The COVID-19 Pandemic
The work of a dairy farmer became all the more challenging – and all the more important – with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which touched virtually all facets of the dairy supply chain and challenged Canada’s food security. These unprecedented circumstances called for bold measures and, as Canadians joined together to fight the pandemic, DFC demonstrated a commitment to doing our part to support containment efforts while helping the industry navigate the many challenges brought on by the pandemic.
The sudden closure of so many workplaces put many Canadians at risk of financial hardship. Collectively, dairy farmers across Canada donated more than $10 million in dairy products to food banks to support Canadians in need, over and above contributions made throughout the year.
The Blue Cow Effect
The Blue Cow logo has exceptionally strong equity across the country. In just two and a half years, the logo has become one of the most recognized brands in Canada. Awareness of the logo is at an all-time high, as four out of five Canadians – nearly 20 million Canadians – are now familiar with the logo.
In early 2020, Lactalis Canada announced it would be including the Blue Cow logo on its leading cheese products made with Canadian milk, a decision which demonstrates the faith processors, retailers and consumers have in Canadian dairy farmers and the industry’s commitment to socially responsible production. Now, more than 8,000 dairy products feature the Blue Cow logo.
More from the 2019-20 Annual Report
- Marketing Initiatives: DFC’s 2019 marketing activities emphasized the forward-thinking values and practices embodied by farmers in producing high- quality Canadian milk and leveraged the strength of the Blue Cow logo and the proAction® program to raise awareness of milk and milk products and neutralize the erosion of attitudes towards dairy. Campaigns were designed to advance this messaging while dispelling myths and misconceptions that affect consumer purchasing decisions, with a focus on dairy farming practices pertaining to milk quality, the environment and animal care – the hallmarks of the proAction® program.
- proAction®: DFC was pleased to receive international recognition from the multinational Unilever in July 2019 for its commitments towards sustainable milk production practices, something that would not have been possible without the commitment towards a robust, credible, and ambitious program like proAction®. The proAction® committee and its sub-committees, which are led by farmers, continued to develop, improve, and implement the program modules on dairy farms across Canada, since continuous improvement is one of the core values of proAction®. In September 2019, DFC moved the new biosecurity module into the required validations of proAction®, with provinces reporting a smooth roll-out.
- Research: DFC’s continued investments in dairy production, human nutrition and health research provide the science-based evidence needed to drive innovation in the sector and build support for dairy among consumers and policymakers alike. Two new human nutrition and health research projects were approved under the Dairy Research Cluster 3, examining the effects of long-term consumption of dairy products on satiety, body weight and glycemic control, and the role of dairy products on body weight and metabolic health in families.
- Nutrition: DFC’s national nutrition team continues to keep health professionals informed about emerging research and new support tools which reinforce the role of milk products in promoting health. Following the release of the new Food Guide in early 2019, DFC updated its resources for health professionals underlining the role of milk products in bone health as well as its consumer resources highlighting milk products as a key source of highly bioavailable calcium. These resources were actively promoted through the year with dietitians, physicians, and other health care providers.