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Canadienne Cow Cheese

With global markets getting more and more competitive, Canadian food products need to be able to stand out and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) scientists have been instrumental in making this happen. For example, as a result of their work, an official trademark term "Canadienne Cow Cheese," was granted for a set of Canadian cow's milk cheeses.

This trademark identifies cheese manufactured from the milk of the Canadienne cow, which is the oldest breed of dairy cow in North America. The breed descended directly from cattle imported from France that proved hardy enough to survive the harsh Canadian conditions. Before the product was trademarked in 2016, research was conducted on the Canadienne cow's genetics, farm management, and the cheesemaking properties of its milk.

Tests performed by scientists at the Saint-Hyacinthe Research and Development Centre, in collaboration with Laval University, showed that Canadienne cows produce some of the richest milk of all dairy cattle containing high levels of protein, fat and mineral content, including calcium. The milk also takes longer to coagulate (the first step in cheesemaking) than the milk of any other breed. These properties have a profound impact on all types of cheese. These whole milk cheeses have a distinctive appearance and texture. There are several kinds of cheese made from Canadienne milk on the market, including Pied-de-Vent, which has won numerous awards.

The trademark wording guarantees the authenticity of such a unique food product and helps distinguish them in the global marketplace. The official term is protected in Canada under the Trademarks Act. This application was submitted by the Quebec Council in charge of reserved designations and added-value claims.

This collaborative effort is a great example of how AAFC scientists are helping producers get recognition and protect themselves against imitations. With cheese exports bringing in over $58 million in 2016, this work will help producers gain a comparative advantage over their main competitors.

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