Maintaining standards on the farm

Verification is an important element of any quality assurance program. Here are three main types of verification to which all dairy farms in Ontario are subject.

On-farm audits help ensure compliance

Independent validations and third-party audits are performed on each farm once every two years to assess performance in a range of areas from animal care to standard operating procedures.

Farmers declare their commitment

Self declarations are documents submitted by farmers between validations that indicate their ongoing compliance with proAction, a national quality-assurance program.

Keeping regulations on track

Dairy farmers undergo regular, third-party internal audits to help ensure the proAction registration system meets the standards of national agencies and organizations.

Dairy farmer checking the milk grade tank

Government regulations

Dairy farming in Ontario is regulated by federal government organizations, as well as policies and programs developed by the Canadian Dairy Commission in conjunction with provincial marketing boards and industry partners.

On the farm

The proAction program ensures dairy farmers follow requirements for milk quality, food safety, animal care, livestock traceability, biosecurity and the environment.

Read about proaction

On-site testing

To help ensure quality and purity, milk is assessed by a Bulk Tank Milk Grader (BTMG) before it leaves the farm, and a tank of milk will be rejected if it shows signs of spoilage or contamination.

Laboratory testing

The milk grader collects a sample of the raw milk in the bulk tank to send to the University of Guelph's Laboratory Services Division for testing to ensure it meets strict Canadian standards.

Read about lab testing

Questions?
We have answers

The bar for 100% Canadian milk is high! There’s rigorous inspection and testing that happens before the milk from the cow gets into the carton. In fact, there are more than 100 regulations that have to be met. Dairy farmers are committed to making sure the milk you consume is safe, high quality and sustainably produced.

If pesticides are used on crops on the farm (i.e. organic farms do not use synthetic pesticides), dairy farmers are extra careful with handling and storing them to prevent any cross-pollination with feed, water, bedding and more. However, all pesticides used must be registered and approved by provincial organizations. Farmers are also restricted from entering stalls if they’ve been in contact with chemicals, so they don’t contaminate the cows’ environment.

To make sure farms are in compliance with federal and provincial regulations, they are audited every two years.

Find out more about our farmers, cows and operations.

See all FAQs

Explore how our farmers work

Silhouette of dairy farmer petting young calf

How do farmers get it all done?

Meet our farming families

how dairy farmers maintain quality standards

Sustainability

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

arrow-circle

Animal Care

Happy, healthy cows are more productive cows – and caring for them is an important responsibility.

arrow-circle

Managing supply

Milk supply is managed so that high-quality milk is always being produced for consumers.

arrow-circle