Recent remarks in the media have Canada’s system of supply management and the dairy industry under attack. As a proud Canadian dairy farmer, I would like the public to be aware of a few key points.
- At no time did Canada block the import of diafiltered milk. Canadian processing plants made the choice to produce their own, and Canadian dairy producers voted to take a price hit to compete on the world market. American diafiltered milk is still welcome in Canada with no tariffs. Our processors have freely chosen Canadian diafiltered milk
- The goal of supply management is to ensure that Canadian food producers (chicken, egg, turkey and dairy) produce the exact amount of product that Canadian families need. This prevents an oversupply and disasters like the one currently unfolding in WI
- Supply management does not inflate prices. In countries where supply management does not exist, farmers are given hundreds and thousands of dollars in farm subsidies. The supply management system in Canada makes sure that farmers receive a return that covers their cost of investment. Canadian farmers are not subsidized.
- In countries where supply management has been removed, the price of the goods continued to rise with inflation. Consumers received no benefit to the end of supply management
- American consumers pay the equivalent of $0.31/ litre in subsidies on milk
- The average European dairy farm receives 41% of its income from farm subsidies
Canadian dairy farmers have been horrified to hear of the 70+ Wisconsin dairy farms that will have to find a new home for their milk. Our hearts go out to them. However, blaming their oversupply problems on a system that works for Canada will not solve anything.
To learn more about supply management and why it helps Canadians, please visit www.dairyfarmers.ca or ask a local farmer. We love what we do and we love sharing our passion with consumers.