A brief overview of the Co-operative

For over 50 years, Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. has provided a vital link between Ontario dairy farmers and consumers located across Canada. As Ontario’s largest dairy co-operative, Gay Lea Foods is owned and operated by milk producers in the province of Ontario. Roughly half of the Co-operative’s 4,000 members are actively engaged in the production of milk, representing about 26% of the dairy farms in Ontario.

Established in 1958 to process and market milk and milk related food products for the Co-operative’s members, today Gay Lea Foods processes approximately 15% of Ontario’s milk and enjoys a respected position as a major contributor to the success of the Ontario and Canadian dairy industries. Read More >

Other important benefits of membership in Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. include the following:

Democratic Control

Gay Lea producer members control the co-operative with their right to vote (one vote per DFO licence). Our producer members are also encouraged to seek election as one of our 60 Delegates or 10 Directors. The Delegates meet quarterly with Directors and Senior Management to review the operations of the Co-operative. The Directors meet monthly to discuss the business of the Co-operative and are involved in other industry committees. This grassroots involvement truly makes Gay Lea Foods a co-operative run by milk producers.

Profit Sharing

From 1958 to 2015, over $50 million in milk patronage and share dividends was returned to members. Return on investment for producer members at the minimum investment level has remained competitive. (Please note that patronage payments depend on the profitability of our Co-operative. If profits decline significantly, patronage payments will be affected.)

Build Share Investment Over Time

Through the retains system (an assignment coming off the monthly milk cheque to purchase producer shares in Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd.), members are able to build their required minimum share investment gradually over time. Investment in Gay Lea Foods should be looked upon as a longer term investment as there are rules and restrictions for the immediate redemption of shares. Contact a Member Services Rep for further information.

Purchase Product at Member Cost

Members can purchase Gay Lea products at a reduced cost from our facilities in Guelph, Teeswater, Salerno, Ivanhoe and Toronto or through one of our four product depot locations across the province at select times of year.

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