by SUSAN MANN
Ontario’s dairy farmers along with all milk producers across Canada will pay 10 cents a hectolitre more for their Dairy Farmers of Canada marketing fee starting Aug. 1.
The fee in Ontario increases to $1.40 a hectoltire from $1.30 per hl and then goes to $1.50 per hl on Aug. 1, 2013. The Dairy Farmers of Ontario board approved the two-stage increase at its April board meeting.
Ian MacDonald, Dairy Farmers of Canada national director of marketing and nutrition, says each province has approved the two-stage increase of 10 cents a hectoltire this year and 10 cents next year exactly as Ontario has.
Dairy Farmers of Canada’s current budget for marketing is $60.3 million. The fee increase will generate an additional $7.3 million over a 12-month period.
“The new total for the next 12-month cycle will be $67.6 million,” he says.
MacDonald says there hasn’t been a marketing fee increase since 2006. During the past six years, the visibility and presence the dairy farmer dollar has had in the market has declined “by virtue of inflation in the media sector. They’ve seen their programs being eroded by cost inflation.”
The fee increase recovers what has been lost over the past six years, he explains, noting the eroded presence means dairy products lose ground to other products.
Milk’s main competitors are sport drinks and fruit juices with vitamins and minerals added. Cheese is recognized as a protein and calcium source so its competitors are other protein and calcium-containing foods.
The money will be allocated for marketing activities into three major categories within the DFC budget: nutrition communications, milk and cheese. It will pay for advertising in different types of media, such as television, magazines, newspapers, radio, and the Internet along with events and sponsorships, market research, online advertising, and retail, grocery and foodservice promotions. In the nutrition category, DFC’s work includes consumer advertising, communications with health professionals, programs in schools and universities and helping to develop health and food policy with government authorities. BF