Study highlights growth, impact and importance of the Canadian dairy sectorA new study from the Dairy Farmers of Canada touts the significance of the economic impact the dairy sector has on the country.

Conducted by EcoRessources, the study, titled “The Economic Impacts of the Dairy Industry in 2013,” is the third in a series, which tracks the changes and impact of the sector over the years, beginning in 2009.

“The Canadian dairy industry is a mainstay of the economy and represents one of the largest food industries in the country," said Wally Smith, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada. "We continue to grow – creating jobs, increasing milk production and generating greater revenues. Our system is benefitting Canada and Canadians."

According to researchers, some key findings of the study include:

-In 2013, the Canadian dairy industry contributed $3.6 billion in local, provincial and federal taxes.

-The sector's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution has increased from $15.2 billion in 2009 to $18.9 billion in 2013.

-Jobs have changed, decreasing at the farm level and increasing in value-added processing level, resulting approximately 215,000 in 2013.

-Canada's 12,234 dairy farms sold more milk in 2013 than in 2009.

"The dairy industry has an important presence in all Canadian provinces, and leads the agricultural economy of seven provinces," Smith said. "Its farms generated $5.9 billion in sales from the farm in 2013. At the same time, Canadians enjoy affordable, quality food as they spend less than 10 per cent of disposable income on food, one of the lowest in the world. Of that, 1 per cent is spent on dairy products."

Though the report is specific to the economic impact of 2013, current growth trends (between April 2014 and April 2015) show a continued increase in sales of milk products at the national level, according to researchers. Specifically, the retail sales of cream (+5.5%), butter (+4.4%), cheese (+3.2%), and organic milk (+15%) registered stimulating growth rates over that period.

 The study is available online here