by SUSAN MANN
Processors, restaurants and cheese distributors must register with the Canadian Dairy Commission to participate in a program offering lower priced mozzarella cheese for use on fresh pizzas.
The Canadian Dairy Commission announced the creation of a new milk class, called Class 3d, for mozzarella cheese to use on fresh pizzas starting June 1. The Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee approved the new class. The committee is chaired by the dairy commission and is the permanent body created by the provincial signatories to the National Milk Marketing Plan. It’s responsible for determining policy and supervising the plan’s operation.
The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association has been calling on the dairy industry for the past 15 years to introduce lower priced mozzarella cheese for the fresh pizza market.
The dairy commission is a crown corporation that coordinates federal and provincial dairy policies.
Commission spokesperson Chantal Paul says processors that make mozzarella for the fresh pizza market must sign an agreement with the Canadian Dairy Commission “if they want to participate in this program.” Cheese distributors must also sign an agreement but only the processors will get a rebate on the protein in the new class.
The current 3c price farmers get paid for protein is $14.07 per kilogram, while the price in the new 3d class for protein is $10.56 a kilogram, she says.
Processors will get the $3.51 per kilogram rebate on the protein in the new Class 3d compared to the current Class 3c protein price, Paul says. “That’s where the CMSMC (Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee) put the rebate.” The butterfat and other solids prices are the same in the new Class 3d as the Class 3c.
Whether or not the savings is passed on to restaurants depends on the processor. That’s because only farmers have regulated prices for the milk classes they sell; processors can set their own prices, as can others farther along the dairy industry’s value chain.
Canadian-produced milk is sold to processors through a milk classification system for the manufacture of products in various classes outlined by the dairy industry. The current Class 3c is for all types of mozzarella and other cheeses, such as brick, asiago, feta, Gouda, Havarti, Swiss and Parmesan.
Paul says restaurants using the cheese made from milk in the new class must also register with the commission. But it will be on-line and be a one-time registration. “We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for them,” she notes, adding “they’re going to get a registration number and that’s what they’re going to use when they buy their cheese.”
The registrations are needed so the commission can do audits. “We have to know who’s participating,” she says.
In a May 1 dairy commission press release, Dairy Farmers of Canada president Wally Smith says farmers hope the new class will boost sales of restaurant pizza cheese. But Paul says they don’t know how much the sales will increase.
“They’re doing this to see if it’s going to work,” she says. “The producers really want to see if this is really going to make a difference.”
At some point, the milk supply management committee will review the program to determine if there was market growth, she says. BF