For as long as I’ve run Modern Mix Vancouver (and it’s been nearly 10 years), not only have I focused on the Canadian products and services I’m using, but also the stories behind the brands. I would like to think of myself as a conscious consumer, where I care about what I spend my money on, and who my dollars go to.
To me, the taste and flavour of a food product is important. So is the quality of the ingredients. But, another important aspect I’m becoming more aware of, is to vote with my dollar, and know that my choices as a Canadian are supporting our economy and going fairly to the people who provide the product or service and make up our country.
Especially in giant industries like dairy, there are a lot of faceless corporations that provide our milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, and ice cream. Often, we don’t even think twice about how these everyday food products get to us. With Agropur, it’s different. Agropur is Canada’s largest dairy cooperative and directly owned by 3,290 dairy famers who have joined forces to process and market the high-quality milk they produce on their farms.
You may not recognize the Agropur cooperative name, but I am certain you’ve seen their brands at our local grocery stores, if not tried them for yourself. iögo yogurt, Natrel, and OKA cheese are all products that come from the Canadian farmers who make up Agropur. To buy Agropur products means you are supporting 13,000 Canadian families who are passionate about fuelling the economies of their town, city and region
When you can number the farmers and families involved in this cooperative business model, you know there is a commitment to ensuring fairness and quality from farm to table. In fact, when making decisions, every farmer gets a vote, regardless of the size of their farm.
Maybe as a single farmer, they don’t have the resources or power to bring dairy from their farms to our tables on a national scale. But through collaboration in a cooperative, there’s strength in numbers. Agropur is now one of the 20 largest dairy processing companies in the world with six billion dollars in sales and shared wealth between its members.
So, the next time you’re scooping iögo yogurt for a breakfast bowl, blending up a smoothie with Natrel milk, or creating a cheese platter with OKA cheese, think about who you’re supporting with the conscious choices you’re making. You can feel good about supporting Agropur and contributing to the Canadian economy — I know I do!
This post was written in collaboration with Agropur. For more information, visit: agropur.com/pride.