Canadian dairy cooperatives Agropur and Farmers Co-operative Dairy plan to merge their operations.

Announcing the move, the dairies said it would benefit their farmer-owners by providing national scale and accelerating a process of consolidation that – they hope – will help make the Canadian dairy industry more sustainable.

“We believe that the new merged entity will be well equipped to ensure a sustainable dairy industry in the Atlantic Provinces” said Farmers Co-operative Dairy chairman Jeannie van Dyk yesterday (11 February).

Agropur said the deal would benefit its members and customers. “The merger will allow us to better serve our customers on a national basis, and support the overall objective of consolidating the cooperative milk processing sector for the benefit of the member dairy farmers,” Agropur chairman Serge Riendeau said.

Agropur dwarfs Farmers Co-operative Dairy. The company’s has 25 plants in Canada and the US and generates annual sales of over C$3.6bn (US$3.58bn). Farmers Co-operative Dairy turns over C$176m a year.

The proposed merger will be submitted to members for approval during separate meetings on 12 March. The companies aim to complete the merger by 2 April.