Dairy Farmers of Canada reacts to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food’s announcement for the Canadian dairy industryNovember 10, 2016 - Ottawa
Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) was pleased to see that the government has decided to invest $250 million into dairy farms, as well as $100 million in funding to help spur investment into updating Canada’s dairy processing infrastructure. This is a step that will foster the continued growth of the sector, for the benefit of all Canadians, however this only partially addresses the damage that will be caused by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. (CETA).
CETA will result in an expropriation of up to 2% of Canadian milk production; representing 17,700 tonnes of cheese that will no longer be produced in Canada. This is equivalent to the entire yearly production of the province of Nova Scotia, and will cost Canadian dairy farmers up to $116 million a year in perpetual lost revenues.
“With today’s announcement, the government has taken a significant step in demonstrating their commitment to supply management, and to the continued innovation and growth of Canada’s dairy sector; for that, DFC gives thanks,” said Wally Smith, President of DFC. “However, in order to ensure the continued sustainability and viability of supply management, there is still work to be done and the government has a significant role to play.”
The details of the implementation and accessibility of these funds will be established through a future consultation process, where DFC will insist upon the effective and equitable delivery of the entire funding envelope.
“Canadian dairy farmers appreciate seeing the government deliver in these two key areas,” said Bruno Letendre, President of Les Producteurs de lait du Québec (PLQ) and member of the DFC Board of Directors. “We are concerned that several of our other issues remain outstanding. Canada’s domestic regulations and border measures were not addressed in today’s announcement, as the government led us to believe they would be. I am hopeful that the government will balance today’s announcement with concrete action to stop further damage to Canadian dairy farmers to show they fully support the supply management system.”
Canadian dairy farmers want to continue to be strong contributors to Canada’s economy, and DFC wants to continue to work in partnership with the government to ensure the sustainability of the supply managed dairy sector. This government clearly recognizes that investments into infrastructure generate many economic benefits. An investment into the dairy sector is an investment into the Canadian economy, which generates positive impacts across numerous other sectors.
“We are pleased that the government is providing financial incentives for processors, so that our industry can continue to invest in the modern infrastructure required to meet the demands of Canadian consumers,” said Ralph Dietrich, Chair of Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) and member of the DFC Board of Directors.
About Dairy Farmers of Canada
Founded in 1934, Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is the national organization defending the interests of Canadian dairy farmers and striving to create favourable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry. Working within supply management, DFC promotes safe, high quality, sustainable, and nutritious Canadian dairy products made from 100% Canadian milk through various marketing, nutrition, policy, and lobbying initiatives. Driven by a strong sense of community and pride, DFC and Canadian dairy farmers actively support a number of local and national initiatives. Visit dairyfarmers.ca for more information.
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