Cow milk production worldwide has been increasing in recent years, with figures reaching over 544 million metric tons in 2022. Milk is clearly a popular dairy product worldwide, and Canada is no exception. However, the way in which Canadians package their milk could appear somewhat strange to those who purchase their milk in cartons. Milk bags have been around in Canada since the 1970s. DuPont, a Canadian food and packaging company, invented the thin, plastic bags to store and sell milk in 1967.
Milk production in Canada
Dairy farming is one of the largest agricultural sectors in Canada. There are strict milk quality procedures in place in Canada to ensure that consumers get the highest quality milk. Quebec had around 353,000 dairy cows on farms in January 2023 and produced the most milk out of all Canadian provinces in that year, with milk production being an essential part of their economy.
Changing consumption habits
With the rise of specialty diets in Canada, in particular veganism with three percent of the population not eating any animal products, it is no surprise that milk consumption per capita has been decreasing annually. In 2019, consumption per capita was 64.2 liters, a significant drop from around 82 liters ten years previously. Despite this decrease in demand, the retail price for homogenized milk has risen over the years.
For those consumers who do continue to drink milk, the way in which it is produced is becoming increasingly important. This is evidenced in the increase in the volume of organic milk produced in Canada, reaching around 1.48 million liters in 2021, and the growth of organic milk producers in Canada.
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