Voluntary and Open Membership

Gay Lea Foods Co-operative only offers membership to current, active dairy producers in Ontario, with a DFO license or OMAFRA license, (shipping to Hewitt's dairy) and in Manitoba with a DFM license.

Producer Membership

To become a producer member of Gay Lea Foods, you must be a shareholder or family member in a cow or goat milking operation licensed to produce milk in Ontario or Manitoba.  Goat producers are eligible for membership if they are shipping to Gay Lea Foods / Hewitt’s Dairy.  Producer members are required to purchase, or be working towards, 3 shares for every 1,000 litres of annual milk production for Gay Lea’s fiscal year October 1 – September 30th.  The par value of a producer share is $17 and your return on investment is comprised of patronage earned on milk shipments to DFO, DFM (cows) and milk shipments to Gay Lea Foods / Hewitt’s (goats).  Patronage is declared by the Board annually and all applications are subject to Board review and approval.

Producer Membership is open from October 1st until April 30th each year.

Producer Membership Options:

Option 1 – 1% Gross Milk Cheque Deduction (October Only)

Producers can apply for membership in October and agree to commit to 1% of their gross milk cheque to purchase producer shares (no down payment required) until they reach their minimum requirement of shares per 1,000 litres of milk shipped on an annual basis and paid by DFO, DFM (cows), or Gay Lea Foods / Hewitt's (goats).  Producers commit to the 1% gross milk cheque deduction until their minimum requirement is reached.

Option 2 – 1% gross milk cheque deduction + a minimum 10% down payment (October 1 – April 30)

Producers can apply for membership October 1st – April 30th by committing to 1% of their gross milk cheque + a minimum 10% deposit of the total share requirement to purchase producer shares.  Producers commit to the 1% gross milk cheque deduction until their minimum requirement is reached.

Option 3 – Complete upfront purchased of required shares (October 1 – April 30)

Producers can apply for membership October 1st – April 30th and purchase the entire minimum requirement upfront, which means a 1% gross milk cheque deduction is not required.

**Producers can do any of the 3 options in October.

Example to explain 3 shares  / 1,000 Litres of milk for minimum requirement

To calculate your minimum requirement, take your annual milk volume (let’s use 650,000 litres), divide by 1,000 and multiply 3 and you should get 1,950 producer shares as your requirement.  This is now the minimum number of shares you need to have or be working towards as a producer member, which is based on your annual milk shipments to DFO from October 1 – September 30th each year (what DFO paid you for); butterfat and components are not relevant in calculating this number.

Want to learn more?  Contact a Member Services Rep below:


Pam Emmott – 1-877-342-3636  – Princeton (SW Ontario)
Wendy Hasson – 1-877-940-5813 – Orangeville (SW Ontario)
Amelie Lemire – 1-855-845-9039 – Vankleek Hill (Eastern and Northern Ontario)
Sandra Alton – 1-877-638-7728 – Moorefield, Manager of Member Relations

Or download our Membership Brochure

If you have any questions, please contact Member Relations.

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