by SUSAN MANN
Demand for organic milk is booming and that has prompted Dairy Farmers of Ontario to seek input from organic farmers and processors on how to encourage more production.
Graham Lloyd, Dairy Farmers general counsel and communications director, says so far two meetings for farmers have been held, one in Stratford on Thursday and one Friday in Maxville. About 50 farmers attended the Stratford meeting, while 25 were at the Maxville one. At the end of May, Dairy Farmers will meet with representatives from the approximately 16 organic processors in Ontario.
There are 77 organic dairy farmers in the province producing about two million litres of milk a month.
Currently, the milk utilization for organic is at 98 per cent “and it has been averaging that for the last seven months,” Lloyd says. “We’ve identified the need to find ways to increase and promote the production. We need to meet the growing demand.”
To encourage more production, Dairy Farmers has implemented three incentive days for organic farmers in each of March, April, May and June.
“These meetings were designed to identify areas how we can encourage and promote more production,” he says, adding they’re looking for ways to persuade more farmers to get their organic certification. It is “upwards of a three year process to be certified.”
Lloyd described the organic market as “really growing.” Dairy Farmers wants to ensure “we can respond to the market demands.”
In addition to Ontario, demand for organic milk is also growing in Quebec, he says. BF