Ontario Dairy Council Fights Milk Container Size Restriction

Jul 28, 2014

By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com

The province’s milk processors, represented by the Ontario Dairy Council, are pushing to open the market entirely to 3-litre milk jugs, giving processors and grocery stores the freedom to sell it as an alternative option to the 4-litre milk containers.

Currently, Mac’s Convenience Stores are the only retailers allowed to sell 3-litre plastic milk containers on a trial basis. In December, the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission, granted Mac’s permission to sell the new size of milk jugs as part of a one-year pilot initiative.

But the Ontario Dairy Council disagrees with the move and would rather see no restriction on container size. The battle will be taken up by the quasi-judicial Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal. According to the tribunal website, no date has been set for a hearing between the commission and the Ontario Dairy Council.

Milk container size is regulated under the province’s Milk Act, which is covered in Section 8 of Regulation 753: Size of Containers. The act prohibits containers smaller than 500 millilitres or larger than 4 litres, but there are currently no restrictions on 1L, 1.5L, 2L containers, however, 3-litre containers are forbidden.

In an emailed statement, Graham Lloyd, general counsel for Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) provided comment on the disagreement, and said that the Ontario Dairy Council is opposed to the commission’s decision to test the milk market for 3-litre plastic jugs, not DFO.

“Dairy Farmers of Ontario wants to grow and develop the fluid milk market and supported a test market for another option for consumers. We supported a test market to see if that would grow the fluid market,” he said.

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