by SUSAN MANN
The new class of cheaper milk for mozzarella cheese used on fresh pizzas will only apply to mozzarella and not other types of cheese for now.
At its October meeting, the Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee turned down a proposal to expand the class to include other standardized cheeses used on fresh pizzas such a brick, cheddar, Munster and Colby, and shredded blends such as 80 per cent mozzarella and 20 per cent cheddar. The discount only applies to milk used to manufacture mozzarella cheese destined for restaurants that prepare and cook pizzas on site. The new class, identified as 3d, was implemented June 1.
“We still think that needs to be pursued,” says Garth Whyte, president and CEO of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association. If the program continues growing and is successful “we have a higher chance to push” for qualifying other chesses for the price break, he says.
Whyte says the new program was slow to start but “we’re happy now.” The price break processors are getting for the milk is flowing down to the restaurants, he adds.
The restaurant and foodservices association had lobbied the commission for the fresh pizza cheese discount for more than 10 years saying it was needed to help restaurants compete with frozen pizza manufacturers, which have had a discount on the cheese they use for many years.
Whyte says more than 6,000 out of a total of 8,000 eligible restaurants have submitted applications. Of these, 4,755 applications have been approved, and those were split between independent establishments and franchisees. About 600 hundred applications were rejected for various reasons, such as they didn’t meet the definition of restaurants or they were missing information.
According to a Dairy Farmers of Ontario report released at the fall regional meetings earlier this month for dairy producer committee delegates, the fresh pizza market is estimated to be 35,000 tonnes, or two per cent of the total butterfat quota in Canada.
The protein price for the new class is $10.56 per kilogram. That’s lower than the current 3c price of $14.12 per kilogram for mozzarella cheese but it’s still higher than the Class 5a price of $7.54 per kilogram for cheese used on frozen pizzas, according to the Dairy Farmers’ report. “The protein milk price reduction compared to mozzarella cheese sold at the retail level equates to about $12 per hectolitre.” BF