Mission & Vision
Inspiring, innovating, and collaborating to build a healthy Canadian dairy industry.
Better together for Canadian dairy.
Every year I look back and reflect on how far we have come, but this year feels a little bit different. We have made so many strides in our transformation within the Western Milk Pool, and Alberta Milk has started to evolve as a result. I’m proud of the work our staff and our Boards have put into this progress; we are already seeing benefits of this collaboration as we streamline processes across the provinces and have much more planned.
Stuart Boeve, Chair
Western Milk Pool (WMP) Timeline
- March 1, 1997 Original agreement to form the Western Milk Pool.
- July 23, 2009 The Canadian Dairy Commission receives the Serecon study commissioned to ‘identify ways of improving the effectiveness of milk allocation to processors
- November 20, 2019 Announced that a new dairy concentration facility, Dairy Innovation West (DIW), will be built in Alberta.
- May 25, 2022 Engaged Lactanet to provide proAction validation services.
- September 9, 2022 Announcement made that all five western provincial boards unanimously agreed to support a new modernized governance model for working together.
- February 22, 2023 Updated strategic plan is announced.
- April 26, 2023 WMP board is formed. Members are drawn from the dairy associations of all four provinces.
- May 29, 2023 Announced the appointment of Nolan Berg BSc. Ag., MBA, P.Ag. as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the WMP.
- August 21, 2023 Construction of Dairy Innovation West (DIW) is getting underway.
This year saw big changes for milk quality testing and the penalty program. On Jan 1, 2023, Alberta adopted the WMP Harmonized Progressive Penalty Program (PPP) which was the most significant change in milk quality penalties in over 20 years. In support of the introduction of PPP, the Lactanet Central Milk Testing (CMT) lab and provincial courier services are now operating six days a week.
These improvements reinforced Alberta producers’ commitment to being a trusted source of quality milk.
Provincial PPP compliance numbers demonstrated that producers are consistently achieving very high milk quality standards.
These standards continue to assure Canadians that they are consuming quality milk.
Congratulations to the River Road Hutterian Brethren for winning the provincial milk quality award for the first time!
Alberta Milk continued to work with producers, milk transportation companies, dairy processors and our Western Milk Pool (WMP) partners to ensure that the most cost-effective transportation logistics were utilized, for both provincial and interprovincial loads.
There was an increase in the volumes delivered to Saskatchewan and Manitoba for additional processing that was available in the WMP.
Below are a few provincial transportation statistics:
Average number of routes every two days: 174 (175 in 2021-2022)
- 1 tandem route: (1 tractor) Utilised for partial deliveries in Edmonton.
- 159 triaxle routes: (57 tractors) Utilised for single, double, triple and interprovincial loads.
- 14 b-train routes: (7 tractors) Utilised for interprovincial loads.
Number of milk transportation companies: 13
Alberta Milk, along with the other livestock commodity groups as well as the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) have been actively engaged in conversations with the Natural Resources Conservation Board’s (NRCB) Policy Advisory Group (PAG) regarding its approvals policy.
Discussion topics included:
- cumulative effects
- balanced decision -making in the public interest.
- alignment of approval process with municipal processes
- consideration of impacts outside scope of AOPA legislation
NET ZERO 2050
This initiative is about Canadian dairy farmers identifying on-farm practices which make economic and environment sense in reducing the amount of GHG emitted from their farming operation.
Effective October 1, 2022, the Western Milk Pool (WMP) partners, including Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, SaskMilk, Alberta Milk and the BC Dairy Association (BCDA), transitioned validation services to Lactanet. The intent of the transition is to provide greater consistency of validation, rigour, and assurance across all WMP dairy farms.
This dairy year, most Canadian dairy producers completed an on-farm full validation that included requirements from all of the proAction modules:
Food Safety, Animal Care, Livestock Traceability, Biosecurity and Environment.
This year Alberta Milk began working in partnership with BC Dairy to deliver marketing and communications initiatives under a new collaborative model.
The BC Alberta (BCA) team was established in the fall of 2022, combining resources to meet shared objectives in a more efficient and impactful way.
Make it With Dairy
To maintain positive sentiment for dairy farmers and dairy products, we developed the Make it with Dairy campaign to position milk and dairy as a positive and relevant part of young consumers’ lives.
Major partnerships were established Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, and with Food Banks Alberta. Alberta Milk attended the events Aggie Days, Calgary Stampede, Breakfast on the Dairy Farm, Open Farm days.
2023 saw the realization of the Nutrition programs of AB, SK, MB come together under one united Western plan.
The main goal is to be a trusted source of nutrition information (including dairy) and have a strong reputation with our stakeholders.
- Improve educators (early childhood, schools, and post-secondary) dairy related knowledge, attitudes, and professional practice skills.
- Demonstrate the connection between improving eating competence and improved sentiment towards dairy products.
Management Discussion & Analysis
The 2022-23 year represented that final year in the three-year Strategic Plan developed by the Alberta Milk board in 2020.
Through this work, seven strategic goals were identified:
- Ensure high-quality milk is consistently produced to meet processor and consumer demands for dairy products.
- Advocate for supply management.
- Work together across the value chain for the industry’s success.
- Lead and influence alongside provincial, regional, and national organizations.
- Alberta’s marketing and promotion work is conducted within a national framework.
- Develop innovative solutions to increase efficiencies and effectiveness in the industry.
- Model good governance and efficient resource management.
Government Relations and Advocacy
Dairy Innovation Investment Fund
The federal government recently announced the Dairy Innovation Investment Fund:
An investment of up to $333 million over 10 years to support research and development for new solids non-fat (SNF) products as part of the compensation package negotiated by DFC to dairy farmers for CUSMA.
As part of its strategy on net-zero and sustainability, DFC has engaged in partnerships with organizations like Tree Canada, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Cleanfarms, Alus, and Bioenterprise. Through these partnerships, we invest in research, support the next generation of farmers, and actively manage and restore ecosystems to protect the natural environment.
Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank
Following joint advocacy by DFC and other livestock-based associations, this year’s federal budget announced $57.5 million over five years, and $5.6 million in ongoing funding for a Canadian Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank.
Provincially, we collaborated with many other commodity group partners to welcome our new Agriculture and Irrigation Minister and continued to align with as many other commodity organizations as possible to collaborate on shared goals and messaging throughout the year.
A thorough review of the Alberta Milk Marketing Regulation led to several amendments that were approved by government in October 2022.
For more information on Finances and Regulations and Bylaws, read the full PDF report.