Following the establishment of an interim national program to encourage the use of Canadian milk in cheese manufacturing, Agropur Cooperative, Canada, announced plans to immediately discontinue the use of imported diafiltered milk, becoming what is said to be the first major national processor to do so. The interim national program supports access to Canadian ingredients at competitive prices for a 3-month period.

"We are proud to be taking the lead in the industry by immediately halting all use of diafiltered milk," says Serge Riendeau, president. "While the interim national program is temporary, its creation is good news since it makes it possible for us to stop using imported diafiltered milk while remaining competitive and supporting our members and all Canadian milk producers. We had pledged to stop importing diafiltered milk as soon as conditions allowed. Today, as a result of this program, we are in a position to do so."

The national program is a stop-gap solution that applies from May 1-July 31. As a result, the federal government must act quickly to enforce the Canadian cheese standards established in 2008, as promised to do so during the election campaign.

"The dairy industry makes a significant contribution to economic activity in all parts of the country," adds Riendeau. "As well, a national ingredients strategy including all provinces must be agreed on as soon as possible."

The interim national program was established by the Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee (CMSMC), which includes representatives of the marketing boards and governments of all the provinces. The CMSMC is chaired by the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC).