Dairy Factory Production and Stocks

Detailed information for May 2014





Record number:


This survey collects data on production and stocks of various dairy products and sales of fluid milk and cream from dairy processors in Canada.

Data release - July 22, 2014


This survey collects data from dairy processors in Canada related to their monthly production and inventory of dairy products. The data are used by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Dairy Commission, libraries, provincial governments and the dairy farmers of Canada to assist in the development, administration and evaluation of dairy policies. Numerous government and non-government organizations are involved in the administration of the dairy sector and require detailed information particularly because this sector operates within a supply-management framework that manages farm-level production, imports, exports and prices.

Reference period: Month

Collection period: Last two weeks of the month


  • Agriculture and food (formerly Agriculture)
  • Food, beverage and tobacco
  • Livestock and aquaculture
  • Manufacturing

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The universe consists of all dairy processors in Canada.

Instrument design

The paper questionnaire has remained stable over the decades, although formats and wording have been modified to maintain its relevance based on feedback from respondents and users.


This survey is a census.

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore, no sampling is done.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents and extracted from administrative files.

In all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta are collected by the provincial Department of Agriculture, Milk Commission or Milk Marketing Board. These agencies are empowered to audit the purchases and end use of milk processors to ensure that price paid and end use correspond. Milk processors are sent monthly questionnaires, and are required to report all products manufactured, and stocks on hand at the 1st of the month. The provincial agencies then forward their monthly provincial summaries to Statistics Canada, to be incorporated in the Canada total.

Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta questionnaires are returned to Statistics Canada for compilation.

Telephone follow-up procedures ensure a high rate of return during data collection.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s).

Error detection

Both monthly reports and provincial totals are scrutinized to ensure that they are consistent with previous periods and industry trends.


Missing reports are manually imputed based on previous reports, historical averages or ratios. This is required if the current month's data are not available and the data are usually updated with completed questionnaires the following month.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

The survey results are evaluated through comparisons to previous estimates and other sources when available. Biological factors are used as a guide when evaluating the data or comparing to other data sets.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

For each quarterly release, the previous periods' data are revised if necessary. The revisions can be necessary when revisions are done to survey or administrative data.

Data accuracy

As this is a small census style survey with rigorous follow-up as required, data quality is deemed to be very high. Data are collected in most provinces by the agency responsible for ensuring that industrial milk is used for the production class in which it was paid for. Questionnaires are audited quarterly and revised as required. In the case of a late report, telephone follow-up results in a high response rate. If the data cannot be obtained, estimates are made, and the data are revised the following month.

The data accuracy of this survey is high as the response rate is normally over 90% covering over 95% of the industry.

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