the milk wars


This is the back door of the Baxter’s Dairies milk processing plant. I really should say Saputo, although the milk still carries the Baxter’s label. Baxter’s grew out of a milk route started in 1924 and expanded to buy out many smaller dairies in the region before being acquired by Saputo in 2001. (The ice cream side of the business was bought out by Scotsburn.)

I remember drinking Baxter’s chocolate milk in elementary school. At home, Baxter’s milk arrived on our doorstep once a week, in exchange for coupons left out for the milkman in an old glass milk bottle. In fact, I was surprised to realize not long ago that my parents still get their milk delivered by a milkman every Tuesday morning.

However, I rarely buy Baxter’s milk products now. I want to support local producers whenever possible, and Baxter’s is no longer local. Oh sure, the company tagline now reads: “New Brunswick’s Oldest and Largest Dairy.” But I’ve been buying milk from the Northumberland Cooperative Dairy instead — their tagline reads: “The only dairy that’s pure New Brunswick.”

Now that’s good advertising.

Taken on April 22, 2010

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5 thoughts on “the milk wars

  1. We see the Baxter commercials on TV occasionally. Interesting to learn more about them.

    I feel quite nostalgic about the days of my childhood, when the Royal Oak dairy and Jackson’s Bread delivered daily to our house in Hamilton, not far from the steel mills. Now, that’s dating yourself.

    • Home deliveries were a hallmark of the time, weren’t they? Now the only thing that you can’t get online is food, and you have to pay quite the premium for that privilege (unless you live in a pizza free delivery zone).

    • I know what you mean, Leanne. So many independents and family farms have had to either go big or go out of business to compete in today’s market. Thankfully there is still room for the small and smart niche producer, and look at the growth in the organic side of things lately. Sure, buying local organic garlic costs a lot more than the bounty of China-grown bulbs we see in our grocery store, but it is fresh (my eyes are still watering from some I chopped up this evening)!

  2. Interesting read. I knew about the Saputo part, I’ve seen it on their trucks. Didn’t know that you still could have your milk delivered, even though I’ve seen little, funny-looking lorries.

    I drink milk with every meal. Started as a kid, and just never stopped, like most other people seem to have done.

    Recently, I tried to cut back a little on my milk consumption and started buying 1 liter packs instead of two. Northumberland are the only ones that have the screw-on thing on 1L so I’ve changed to them 🙂

    In Quebec the milk brand was Lactantia and another one that I’ve forgotten.

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