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Gay Lea Foods' statement on USMCA

The agreement that the Government of Canada has announced with the U.S. as part of a new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will have destabilizing and detrimental impacts on the Canadian dairy industry, our co-operative business, and dairy farmers.

Our 100 per cent Canadian-owned and operated co-operative has been focused on growing the market for Canadian milk through the development of high-quality dairy products and ingredients.  Since 2014, Gay Lea Foods has been investing heavily in our existing operations, made strategic acquisitions to grow our business, and committed over $300 M to new processing capacity and capabilities to modernize Canadian dairy.  This included a record investment of $140 M to build a dairy ingredients hub in Ontario with a $68 M ingredients facility in Teeswater and $3 M innovation centre in Hamilton to start; as well as a joint venture to build an ingredients and butter facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

These financial decisions were not without risk; but were made with an understanding that industry and government shared a commitment to the growth of a thriving, innovative and uniquely Canadian dairy sector.

We will be reviewing the proposed USMCA and what it could mean for the co-operative, our member farmers, the more than 1,000 people we employ, and the communities where we currently have processing facilities. Over the coming days and weeks, we will work with federal and provincial governments to assess the full impact and what would be required for the continued viability of our facilities, current expansion projects, and our future as a dairy co-operative that wants to see a thriving and growing dairy sector in Canada.

For the last 60 years, our co-operative has been growing with Canada as a preferred dairy supplier, product innovator and engaged partner in the agriculture, food and manufacturing sectors. Our focus will be on how we can continue to move forward as an innovative, market-driven, sustainable dairy co-operative.


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