Change to 3-litre carton of milk may challenge smaller dairies

New three-litre cartons of milk are coming to a grocery shelf near you.
Northern Ontario residents could soon see new 3-litre containers milk containers on store shelves. (Field Agent)
You could soon see 3 Litre containers of milk on shelves at your grocery store. We spoke with the president of Farquhar's Dairy about why the change is needed and what the effects of this change could be. 5:03
New three-litre cartons of milk are coming to a grocery shelf near you.

After years of back-and-forth between dairy producers and retailers, the highly regulated milk industry has given the new size the go-ahead.

But producing new packaging will be a challenge for smaller dairies, according to Don Farquhar, president of Farquhar's Dairy, based in Espanola.

“We don't have the resources certainly to put out a test market,” he said.

“There's minimum quantities we have to buy in packaging and such, so we'd have to really do our research and make sure it's something that we want to get into before we went ahead.”

The change is expected to help stores that have been losing money on four-litre packages.

“Currently the four litre bag in the retail locations are being sold as a loss leader, so I would think the three-litre package will be coming in at that price point of $3.99 or so,” Farquhar said.

Farquhar says his dairy is considering three-litre bags, but expects many companies will move to a plastic container for the new size.

He noted there are only a handful of small dairies left in Ontario.

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