Canadian Dairy Commission
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Harmonized Milk Classification System

Most provincial marketing boards and agencies purchase milk from producers and sell it to processors for the manufacture of dairy products. The milk produced in Canada is sold to processors through a Harmonized Milk Classification Systemand prices vary according to class.

Class     Products

Milk and milk beverages, partly skimmed or skimmed, whether or not treated for lactose intolerance, whether flavored or not, with or without vitamins or minerals added, for retail and food service

  • egg nog
  • cordials
  • cultured milk
  • concentrated milk to be reconstituted as fluid milk
1(b) All types of cream with a butterfat content not less than 5% for retail and food service
1(b)ii Fresh cream with a butterfat content of 32% and higher used to make fresh baked goods which are not eligible for a Class 5 permit. All utilization of this class requires a Class 1(b)ii permit.
1(c) New 1(a) and 1(b) fluid products for retail and food service as approved by the provincial authorities during an introductory period
1(d) 1(a) and 1(b) fluid products marketed outside the ten signatory provinces but within the Canadian boundaries (e.g. Yukon, NWT, Nunavut and cruise ships)


Class Products
2(a) All types of yogurts including yogurt beverages, Kefir and Lassi, excluding frozen yogurts
  • All types of ice cream, ice cream mix, whether frozen or not
  • Other frozen dairy products including frozen yogurts
  • All types of sour cream
  • All types of milk shake mixes
  • The following products: fudge, puddings, soup mixes and Indian sweets

Class Products
All cheeses other than those identified in Class 3(b), Class 3(c)1, Class 3(c)2 and Class 3(d)
  • All types of cheddar cheese
  • Stirred curd
  • Cream cheese
  • Creamy cheese bases (cheese mixes)
  • Cheddar and cheddar-type cheeses sold fresh1
  • Asiago
  • Canadian Style Munster (Muenster)
  • Feta
  • Gouda
  • Havarti
  • Parmesan
  • Swiss
  • All types of Mozzarella except when declared in Class 3(d)2
  • Brick
  • Colby
  • Farmer
  • Jack
  • Monterey Jack
3(d) Standardized Mozzarella cheeses to be used strictly on fresh pizzas by establishments registered with the Canadian Dairy Commission under terms and conditions approved by the Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee (CMSMC)

1. Definition of cheddar-type cheese: a cheese of descriptive nomenclature will be recognized as a cheddar-type cheese for the purposes of classification if it is a firm or semi-soft, unripened, unwashed curd cheese, with a minimum milk fat content of 25% and a maximum moisture content of 45 %.

2. Types of Mozzarella include but are not limited to part skim Mozzarella, part skim Pizza Mozzarella, Pizza Mozzarella.

Class Products
  • All types of butter and butteroil
  • All types of powder
  • Concentrated milk as an ingredient in the food industry
  • All other products not elsewhere stated
4(a)13 Milk components for the manufacture of rennet casein (dry or curd), milk protein concentrate (dry or liquid) or skim milk (dry or liquid) to be used in the manufacture of non-standardized final products in the processed cheese category
4(b) Concentrated milk for retail sale whether sweetened or not
4(c) New industrial products as approved by provincial authorities for an introductory period
4(d) Inventories and losses4
4(m) Milk components for marginal markets as established from time to time by the CMSMC

3. Pricing and Administration

i. Provincial boards or agencies will set the butterfat price for Class 4(a)1 at the 4(a) price and will set the price for protein and other solids for Class 4(a)1 at the price established by the CMSMC on a semi-annual basis (August 1 and February 1).

ii. The CDC will receive the milk utilisation declaration from the provincial boards and agencies on a monthly basis for pooling of revenue purposes. Provinces agree that the revenues from Class 4(a)1 will be pooled at the P10 level.

iii. Audit of Class 4(a)1 will be performed by the usual organizations responsible for performing that task in the provinces. In the case of interprovincial movement of product, the CDC will coordinate the audit and supporting information with provincial auditors. The processor receiving the raw milk used to make rennet casein (dry or curd), milk protein concentrate (dry or liquid) or skim milk (dry or liquid) under Class 4(a)1 will be responsible for providing documentation which supports the claim that the components were utilized in the manufacture of non-standardized final products in the processed cheese category. Participating provinces will undertake to implement the proper audit procedures to ensure compliance within this class.

iv. All eligible products must be blended and mixed in the presence of emulsifying salts and heat with natural cheese and/or other dairy products/ingredients in the manufacture of the final product in the processed cheese category. The processed cheese product so-produced must include either rennet casein, natural cheese, or a combination thereof and fall outside of the federal cheese standards for processed cheese or processed cheese food. The rennet casein and/or natural cheese used in the manufacturing process must be heated to its melting point (70 decrees C or higher) to allow the blending and mixing with other dairy products and ingredients to take place. The eligible product is not covered by the federal cheese standards.

4. Losses: Explained losses (dumps, fluid returns, dead vats, etc.)

Special Milk Classes
This classification reflects the wording of the Comprehensive Agreement on Pooling of Milk Revenues.

All milk components which are necessary for the production of products containing dairy ingredients can be accessed through subclasses of Class 5 (Special Milk Classes) and/or exported dairy products (Class 5(d0 only ).

Class Products
5(a)* Cheese used as ingredients for further processing for the domestic and export markets.
5(b)* All other dairy products used as ingredients for further processing for the domestic and export markets
5(c)* Dairy products used as ingredients for the confectionery sector destined for domestic and export markets
5(d) Planned exports and other exports approved by the CMSMC, the total of which shall not exceed Canada's WTO commitments

*Under Class 5(a), (b) and (c) (Special Milk Class Permit Program), industrial milk is classified and made available for use in dairy products and products containing dairy ingredients at prices which vary according to end use. The volume of dairy components accessed under this class is monitored through permits issued by the CDC.