What is Supply Management?

Supply management is a national agricultural (dairy, poultry, eggs) policy that uses import controls, production discipline and producer pricing to make sure milk supply remains secure and fairly-priced for farmers. This means Ontario consumers can access high-quality milk, and farmers have a secure stream of revenue.

The objectives

Dairy supply management helps:

  • Make sure farmers receive a fair profit that they can invest back into their farm
  • Provide stability to processors (avoiding surpluses or shortages)
  • Producers provide high-quality milk to consumers at a fair price

The benefits

Having supply management in place means the dairy industry can better prepare for economic fluctuations. As mentioned above, it gives farmers access to better income security, and means they can continue to produce high-quality milk for consumers.

Supply management creates a system for farmers to think more long term for the economy, the environment and their animals.

The Three Pillars of Supply Management

How producer pricing, production discipline and import controls help to make this system run smoothly.

Producer pricing

The Canadian Dairy Commission sets the price of milk based on how much it actually costs to produce. They factor in capital and labour costs, and take into consideration the state of the Canadian economy.

Production discipline

Canadian dairy production must equal the demand from consumers. Production discipline helps avoid overproduction and provides security for farmers, allowing them to invest their profit back into their farm.

Import controls

Tariff rate quotas (TRQs) allow a preset quantity of milk to be imported at a preferential rate quota. Not having any import controls can lead to overproduction and instability within the system.

We have answers

You can support Canadian dairy by buying Canadian dairy products at the grocery store. The Canadian dairy system is designed to minimize waste and help support some of the highest milk quality standards in the world. When you buy Canadian dairy, you know you’re getting milk made by real farm families who are dedicated to producing milk of the highest quality.

The Canadian dairy industry is the backbone of Canada’s rural economy, employing more than 220,000 Canadians. Canadian dairy is safe and nutritious, and Canadian dairy farmers take pride in producing high-quality 100 per cent Canadian milk, providing top-notch animal care, and committing to environmental sustainability.

Look for one of two 100 per cent Canadian milk logos on the packaging of dairy products. Please note, not all 100 per cent Canadian dairy products have these logos on their packaging. If you’re unsure, you can contact processors directly to ask about their products. Packaging on Canadian dairy products usually includes the processor name and location.

Find out more about our farmers, cows and operations.

See all FAQs

how dairy farmers maintain quality standards


We’re always working to reduce our waste to help protect the environment and keep farmland viable for future generations.


Milk on the move

Curious about how we get our milk from the farm to your fridge? Learn more about how our milk is tested and transported. 


Regulatory procedures

Dairy farmers work with government organizations and industry partners to help maintain Ontario’s high milk standards.