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June 20, 2018

Saputo CEO Criticizes Canada’s Class 7 Program

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

In a rare split with fellow Canadian dairy processors, Saputo CEO Lino Saputo, Jr., likens Canada’s Class 7 program “as having your cake and eating it, too” in a report filed by Global News Canada Monday.


He says the Class 7 program doesn’t make sense. “You can’t hold onto your milk supply-managed system and have a class of milk competing with world markets at the same time.”


Saputo is a major dairy processor in Canada, and has cheese plants in Australia, Argentina and the United States. It is the top dairy processor in Australia, the second largest processor in Argentina and among the top three cheese makers in the U.S. That global presence is likely a key reason why Saputo is critical of Canada’s Class 7 program, which offers dairy proteins on the world market at subsidized prices.


Nevertheless, the statement is a major break within the Canadian dairy processing sector, which to date has been largely united in supporting Canada’s supply management program and Class 7 program. One reason is that the system has proven profitable for dairy farmers and processors alike, and has to some extent allowed Canadian processors such as Saputo and Agropur to expand operations to the United States and globally.