Latest articles


After milk quotas

French dairy farmers look for a way ahead after Brussels gives up the European supply management system

French dairy farms are in turmoil. France is the second-largest dairy producer in the European Union, and for the past 30 years, governments there had used quota to tie milk production to assigned farm regions. But then Brussels pulled the plug on the EU quota system in 2015, and now decisions about where and how […] Read more


The most hated dairy farm in France

Milk After Quotas: Some dairy farms in southern France are facing an existential crisis

The least we can say is that Michel Welter, director general of France’s biggest dairy farm, is a tough cookie. At 51, this former dairy producer works not only under daily pressure from the citizens of his village, Abbeville, located in northern France, but from the whole country for having built an “industrial farm” of […] Read more



Organic milk: 1,000 farms for one cow

Milk After Quotas: In the past decade, Biolait has seen its production double in size

When I meet him at their brand new headquarters in Saffré, a village in western France, it’s clear Théofile Jouve, director general of Biolait is a proud man. “In 2013, when the price of conventional milk was almost the same as organic milk, we had 60 farmers ask to be part of our business,” he […] Read more


Setting their own quota

Milk After Quotas: Milk producers find more success with cheese

Jean-Marie Guinchard looks across his ancestral farm located at la Sommette, a hamlet near the Swiss border. “We are cheese producers before being milk producers,” he tells me. “That’s saved us because we get a much higher return than conventional milk.” With his herd of 160 milking cows of the Montbéliarde breed, the 58 year […] Read more



White Revolution 2.0

While Canada and the U.S. clash over NAFTA, Cargill, Nestlé and other global dairy giants are pumping their money into India

India is the world’s largest dairy producer, thanks to the “White Revolution” that it launched shortly after the country’s independence in 1947, when it first gave itself the goal of replacing dairy imports and promoting self-sufficiency. Now, the country has embarked on a White Revolution 2.0 that will keep its borders closed to imports of […] Read more


Large, commercial… and organic

Agri-Fusion says its choice to go organic is a business no-brainer, with a collaborative new management design to make sure it pays

Agri-Fusion’s four owners of Quebec largest organic farm never looked back at their choice to go organic. Whether it’s wheat, corn, soybeans, beans or peas, organic crops earn them twice as much per acre as conventional crops, and they cost much less to produce. It’s a point I heard again from 67-year-old Gilles Audette, one […] Read more



The slow death of the Green Revolution

Even as the negative impacts of the great Green Revolution pile up, there is hope

It saved one billion people from starvation. It won a Nobel peace prize for its founder, and it transformed India, all by discovering new varieties of high-yield rice and wheat, and new ways of growing them. Yet today, 50 years later, the Green Revolution is sputtering. Those high-yield crops have touched off ecological disasters, and […] Read more


Feeding the Indian tiger

Move over China. Food sales to India are set to roar

“The Indians are crazy for red lentils… potential sales are incredible,” says Lance Walker, head of Lazer Enterprises Inc. in Borden, Sask. Walker was working in a trade show booth as he told me this, one of the representatives of the 23 Canadian businesses that were participating at the 31st Aahar Food Hospitality Trade Fair […] Read more



Soil testing by laser beam

A Quebec company has developed a soil-test system using laser technology that reports more accurate results in just three days

Iké Nault regularly stops his ATV on a 25-acre freshly cut hayfield belonging to a producer from Howick, 30 kilometres south of Montreal. Probe in hand, the young technician methodically collects soil samples. Each stop is georeferenced as a green dot on a field map on his cellphone screen. It really is “space age” technology, […] Read more


After the animal abuse video went viral

What’s it like for a Canadian farmer at the centre of an international animal rights media frenzy?

A year and a half later, Jeff Kooyman is still disturbed by a video produced on his farm, Chilliwack Cattle Sales, by the advocacy group Mercy for Animals. Broadcast during prime time on CTV national news on June 2014, the video let the whole world see young workers shouting “f***ing bitch” at cows, kicking one […] Read more