Lauch of the CDC’s Workforce Development Initiative on April 12, 2018

OTTAWA, April 12, 2018 – The Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) supports the dairy industry in recruiting and training a highly skilled, diverse workforce to meet the current and future needs of our dairy producing and processing sectors.

Today, the CDC launched the Workforce Development Initiative (WDI) – a three-year, $5 million investment to support the attraction and education of a qualified workforce in the Canadian dairy industry. The WDI is composed of four key funding programs:

Scholarship Program: scholarships for graduate students in fields related to the dairy industry
Career Promotion Program: promotion of careers in the dairy industry
Education Program: creation of government-certified, full-time educational programs in order to train qualified staff to work in dairy plants
Continuing Education Program: opportunities for continuing education for current dairy plant and farm staff

Organizations eligible for funding include industry associations and learning institutions. The CDC will evaluate applications during the summer and funding will start in the fall.


“The CDC’s Workforce Development Initiative will help attract new and qualified workers to the dairy sector, which is of vital importance to remain competitive and foster continuous innovation. Canada’s dairy sector creates good jobs, helping to grow the middle class, strengthening the economy, and ensuring that Canadian families enjoy our country’s high-quality dairy products.”

– Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“When we consulted representatives of the dairy industry, they were quite clear that one of their major challenges now and in the years to come, is to attract and retain qualified workers, especially in the cheese plants. We hope that this initiative will help attract young people into this exciting industry.”

– Mr. Alistair Johnston, Chairman, Canadian Dairy Commission

Quick facts

The milk processing industry ships $15.2 million in products and employs about 22,900 people in 471 plants.
The Canadian dairy sector includes 10,951 farms where 945,000 cows produce close to 8.5 billion litres of milk per year.
The Canadian Dairy Commission, a Crown corporation created in 1966, is a key facilitator within the Canadian dairy sector. The CDC helps design, implement, and administer policies and programs to support milk producers and processors. It is mandated to provide efficient milk producers with the opportunity to get a fair return on their labour and investment, and to ensure that Canadian consumers are provided with adequate supplies of quality dairy products.

Associated links


Guy Gallant
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay

Canadian Dairy Commission
Ottawa, Ontario
Follow us on Twitter: @CDC_Dairy