Advancing an Innovative and Competitive Dairy Sector

News Release

August 1, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 

A strong dairy industry and a competitive agricultural sector are vital to Canada’s prosperity, creating good jobs, growing the middle class, and bringing high-quality products to the tables of Canadian consumers. Budget 2017 recognizes that agriculture and agri-food is a key growth industry by supporting science, innovation and the overall competitiveness of the sector, to create better opportunities for farmers and Canadians. 

Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced the fulfillment of a Government of Canada commitment made on November 10, unveiling details of two programs worth $350 million, aimed at dairy producers and processors. 

The programs will help the sector increase productivity and competitiveness and prepare for the implementation of the Canada – European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which will establish greater access for European cheeses into Canada. 

The two programs are: the five-year, $250 million Dairy Farm Investment Program and the four-year, $100 million Dairy Processing Investment Fund. For dairy producers, the new program will enable investments such as robotic and other automated systems that improve farm productivity. Similarly, for dairy processors, the new program will support investments in equipment and infrastructure, or provide access to specialized expertise to introduce new products or processes.


“These two programs will assist Canada’s dairy producers and processors to prepare for CETA implementation, within a strong supply management system. The Government of Canada is proud to support a robust dairy industry that contributes to meeting growing demand for high-quality, sustainable food, while strengthening the middle class.”

- The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Our government is working to ensure that the benefits of trade are delivered to middle-class workers, families, farmers and businesses of all sizes and all regions across Canada. The implementation of CETA will also provide dairy producers and processors an opportunity to modernize their operations and become more competitive.”

- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

Quick Facts

  • The Dairy Farm Investment Program will provide up to $250,000 (per licensed dairy farm) to support cow milk producers in making upgrades to their barn technology and equipment, to improve productivity. The program will support large investments: such as the adoption of robotic milkers and feeding systems; and small investments: such as herd management and barn operation equipment.

  • The Dairy Processing Investment Fund will provide up to $10 million for each capital investment project, such as installing new equipment and infrastructure, or up to $250,000 for each project to access technical, managerial or business expertise. For example, the program could support a cheesemaker’s investment in a new processing line that would allow them to increase their production or introduce new varieties of cheese to the market.

  • The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will create jobs, strengthen economic relations and boost Canada’s trade with the world’s second-largest market.

  • CETA will improve market access for Canada’s key agricultural product exports, such as meats, grains, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables, and processed products.

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Guy Gallant
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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