Telling the story of a thousand dairy farmers
In a dairy market increasingly dominated by corporate farms, Gay Lea has found a niche as a co-operative of smaller producers who remain independent yet take advantage of the shared resources. Not only does each member produce the milk products that end up on the grocery shelf, each is also invested in the manufacturing processes, product development, and distribution of those products. But the fact is, while the Gay Lea brand is well known to anyone who walks into an Ontario grocery store, consumers are not aware that it is a co-op and what that means. Since that knowledge must first start from within, for Gay Lea’s annual reports, our strategy was to help these farmer-investors know and own the brand that they’ve all created together.
Each year through different themes related to taking stock of the Gay Lea brand, we used bold statements and concept-driven photography to reinforce for members the higher quality of product and higher ethical standards that result from its unique structure.
Maclean’s included Gay Lea in their list of Canada’s 100 top employers, citing its profit-sharing and share-purchase plans for all workers, full health benefits for retirees, tuitions subsidies, and flexible work options.