Dairy Processors Association of Canada (DPAC)

The Dairy Processors Association of Canada (DPAC/ATLC) is Canada's national industry association representing the public policy and regulatory interests of the Canadian dairy processing industry.


What Processors Do


The dairy processing industry represents a significant segment of the Canadian economy. In 2009, dairy processors shipped nearly $13.6 billion worth of products making up 15% of all products shipped by the Canadian food and beverage industry. About 26,800 people are employed in the processing of dairy products. The majority of these employees are concentrated in central Canada.

As of August 2009, the number of processing plants in Canada was 452. Of these plants, 272 were registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) entitling them to sell their products outside of their respective provinces. The majority of these processing facilities are located in Quebec and Ontario. A significant number of dairy plants are HACCP and ISO certified.

Over the past decades, the dairy processing industry has undergone a major rationalization. In 1965, there were 1,413 plants in Canada. In addition to rationalization, there has also been a trend towards expanding operations beyond the small regional scale on which dairies traditionally operated.

In Canada, fluid milk and cream production represents 38.5% of total milk production while the remaining 61.5% is dedicated to other manufactured dairy products.

Canadian Dairy Products and Ingredient Markets

In addition to these companies, there are a number of regional dairies that have strong market shares in their respective province. As well, the consolidation of the industry has left a gap in fine cheeses and other specialty products which is being filled by numerous small artisan cheese makers and dairies. This trend is particularly evident in Quebec. In addition to traditional dairy products such as Cheddar cheese, butter, ice cream and yogurt, Canada also manufactures value added products such as omega 3 milk, calcium added milk, ultra filtered milk, yogurt containing probiotics, organic dairy products and specialty cheeses. More than 660 fine and traditional cheeses, including raw milk, goat and ewe cheeses, are produced in various regions of the country and are recognized as some of the finest cheeses in the world.

Areas of Interest

CFIA Inspection Modernization

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is building on its strong foundation and strengthening Canada's current federal inspection approaches and tools. more »

CFIA Safe Food for Canadians Act

To protect Canadian families from potentially unsafe food, the Government of Canada tabled the Safe Food for Canadians Act on June 7, 2012. more »

CFIA Regulatory Modernization

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is undertaking a review of its regulations for food safety, plant and animal health to improve their consistency, reduce their complexity and strengthen consumer protection.more »

Health Canada Regulatory Modernization - Marketing Authorizations

The power to make Marketing Authorizations (MA) is an authority provided to the Minister of Health pursuant to sections 30.2 to 30.4 of the Food and Drugs Act. more»

Health Canada Regulatory Modernization - Incorporation by Reference

"Incorporation by Reference" is a term used to describe a mechanism which allows a document or list that is not in the text of the regulations to be made a part of the regulations. more »

Health Canada - New Food Additives Process

Health Canada's new modern process for regulating food additives does not change the thorough safety assessment that is conducted by Health Canada scientists for all food additives. more »

Health Canada – New Maximum Residue Limits for Veterinary Drugs Process

Health Canada’s new MA process for veterinary drug MRLs will continue to protect the health and safety of Canadians while also reducing unnecessary red tape. more »