Dairy Farmers of Ontario teams up with SickKids and Mondelez

A giving program, based on leaving cookies and milk out for Santa, is the first step in more potential collaborations on CSR.


The Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) is supporting SickKids and children’s hospitals in Ontario as it continues to held kids “reach their full potential” and explore more CSR partnerships with brands.

From now through the end of December, a portion of the proceeds of all milk and Oreo cookies sold at select retailers in Ontario will benefit children’s hospitals across the province, thanks to a partnership between DFO, Mondelez, Sobeys, Walmart Canada, Longo’s and dairy companies Agropur and Lactalis Canada.

A campaign promoting the partnership, led by a spot called “Big Believers,” features kids – including one being treated at SickKids – leaving milk and cookies out for Santa to the tune of Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams.”

Sean Bredt, chief marketing and business development officer for the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, tells strategy that throughout its history, the DFO has been committed to supporting local communities where families work and live. This includes programs like the Dairy Education program, the Elementary School Milk Program, as well as its ongoing partnership with local food banks.

“It is especially important for us to contribute to helping youth reach their full potential,” Bredt says. “This is just the start of what we plan to do to continue supporting youth through our marketing programs.”

Regarding the Mondelez partnership, Bredt says there is a natural alignment between milk and cookies, especially on Christmas Eve. But beyond that, he says the DFO sees this as a first step in a long-term partnership that will “allow for even more collaborative opportunities across portfolios and brands,” and that the organization’s new CEO Cheryl Smith has an extensive background serving with charitable organizations and industry associations.

“We are confident we will be able to grow our CSR programs even further with her additional expertise,” Bredt says.

The goal and communications strategy from a brand perspective, Bredt says, is to continue to showcase dairy as an inspired food choice and educate consumers on its versatility. The brand platform, Dairy Done Right, launched earlier this year by celebrating the values of Ontario dairy farmers and giving back to communities.

Ontarians can also support the campaign by engaging with DFO on Instagram using the hashtag #SmallHeartsBelieveBig to share what they think Santa’s “perfect milk glass” would include. For every idea shared on Instagram, DFO will donate $1 to SickKids.

The campaign includes TV, cinema, digital, social media and public relations, all managed by No Fixed Address.