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A gouda’mount of data—all you need to know about cheese

June 3, 2022, 11:00 a.m. (EDT)
cheese and fruits on wooden cutting board.

June 4 is National Cheese Day in Canada, and we at Statistics Canada are happy to dig, er, shred out some cheesy data for your consumption.

Canadians love their cheese, and the country produces a lot of it. There were 14.4 kilograms of cheese available per person in 2021, up 15.1% from 2011.

And it’s a good thing there is variety because production varies by type.

There were 13,016 tonnes of cheddar produced in March 2022, compared with 12,266 tonnes a month earlier.

We hate to poke holes in your argument that they’re the top speciality cheeses, but monthly production of Emmental and Swiss cheese amounted to 516 tonnes in March 2022, a slight decline from 541 tonnes in February 2022.

Monthly production of mozzarella—the top-produced among speciality cheeses—ticked up slightly during the same period to 13,112 tonnes in March 2022. Seems like Canadians are steady in their love for pizza.

After mozzarella, cream cheese (2,575 tonnes), cottage cheese (2,001 tonnes) and Parmesan cheese (1,517 tonnes) accounted for the next highest production among speciality cheeses.

And like many other food products, cheese has risen in price—7.3% from April 2021 to April 2022. Over the course of five years (April 2017 to April 2022), cheese prices rose 12.1%.

Slicing up the profits

On January 1, 2022, Canadian farmers held 1.4 million dairy cows and heifers on their farms, up slightly (+0.1%) from a year prior.

Dairy farms made up 5% of all farm types in Canada in 2021, ahead of poultry and egg production (2.8%) and hog and pig farming (1.6%), but less than beef and feedlots (20.9%). 

At nearly 20 cents per dollar of revenue in 2020, dairy cattle and milk production had the fourth-highest profit margin among all 11 farm types.

And the industry sector for butter, cheese and condensed dairy product manufacturing reported nearly $10 billion in revenues ($9.93 billion) in 2020 while paying out over $940 million in salaries and wages (direct and indirect labour).

Those are no mild figures, but they aren’t old either. This is an industry that will continue to age well!

OK, that’s enough cheese information for one year. Go enjoy some cheese, and be sure to tell your family and friends about all of these cultured data.

Contact information

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