Dairy farming is a branch of agriculture which involves the processing raw animal milk into dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. For many consumers, dairy products are an important nutritional source. For dairy farmers and processors, it is a source of livelihood. In 2015, Nestlé and Dean Foods and Canadian company Seputo Inc. were the top three dairy food processors in North America, based on sales. Similarly, Seputo Inc. and Agropur Dairy Cooperative were among the key market players in Canada. In 2016, Saputo generated approximately 10.99 billion Canadian dollars, while the sales of Agropur Dairy Cooperative amounted to 5.87 billion Canadian dollars in 2015.
Regarding international trade, the trade balance of dairy products in Canada amounted to approximately -735.1 million Canadian dollars in 2016, meaning dairy imports were valued at around 735.1 million Canadian dollars more than dairy exports from Canada that year. In 2015, the trade value of dairy and eggs imported to Canada from the United States amounted to approximately 371.58 million U.S. dollars, followed by New Zealand with imports valued at only 49.31 million Canadian dollars. By 2018, the retail sales of packaged dairy goods are forecast to be valued at approximately 11.86 billion Canadian dollars, up from 11.73 billion Canadian dollars in 2016.
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