According to the Hallmark’s Website today, January 20th, 2011, is National Cheese Lovers Day in the United States. For me everyday is cheese lover’s day.
I think today is a good day to also celebrate the Canadian Cheese industry.
According to Canadian Dairy Information Centre, Canada produces more than 1050 cheeses that are listed in the Canadian Cheese Directory.
Canadian cheeses are classified according to the moisture content. There are six categories and their distribution is illustrated in the following diagram.
Canada’s total cheese consumption has been on the rise since the 1980s. Since 1997, annual consumption has remained above 11 kg per capita, reaching 12 kg per capita for the first time in 2005.
Over 80% of fine cheeses are made in Quebec.
Created in 1938, Agropur is a dairy co-operative owned by 4,060 dairy farmers. Agropur’s fine cheese division is comprised of two plants in Quebec. In 2004, this co-operative held a total of 18% of the Canadian market share for cheese.
Kraft has been in Canada since 1928 and many of its cheeses are part of the Canadian culinary tradition. Kraft operates two cheese-making plants in Ontario and one in Quebec. In 2004 Kraft held a 20% share of the Canadian market for cheese.
Parmalat Canada, a subsidiary of the Parmalat Group, held an 11% share of the market for retail sales of cheese in 2004. Parmalat has two cheese-making plants in Western Canada, five plants in Ontario and two in Quebec.
Saputo is the biggest cheese processor in Canada and its specialty is Italian cheese. It also manufactures the greatest variety of fine cheeses in Canada. It produces 35% of all processed cheese made in Canada. Saputo’s Canadian cheese division operates 17 plants. In 2004 Saputo held a 28% share of the Canadian retail market for cheese.
All this cheese information is making me hungry. I think I’ll go enjoy a piece of cheese now and celebrate Cheese Lover’s Day with all of the Americans.