Do big dairies illegally import milk solids to reduce the amount of industrial milk they need to buy from Ontario farmers through the DFO? Bernie Bailey seems to think so, and he says the impending price drop to Ontario dairy farmers of four or five cents a litre will be because of these illegal imports.
Bernie Bailey was the owner/operator of the last small dairy in Ontario. At Michael Schmidt’s Oct. 18th press conference, he told the story of how Sun Rise Dairy in Wingham came to an untimely end in 1998 due to what sounds very much like illegal manipulation by the marketing board. We’ll get that story up eventually on the Bovine.
Meanwhile here are some tidbits that Bernie has sent our way recently, that really make it sound like our public servants at the DFO are succumbing to pressure to ignore the law and favour the interests of “big dairy” over those of our own Ontario dairy farmers and the people of Ontario. While we hope it’s not true, the Bovine believes the provincial marketing board (now known as the “Dairy Farmers of Ontario”) would be failing in their mandate if they helped put local farmers out of business by turning a blind eye to illegal imports. Who but “big dairy” would consider offshoring Ontario’s dairy industry to China or South America as anything but a bad idea? Food security, food quality, and the need to reduce fossil fuel consumption for economic and ecological reasons all argue for strengthening our local agricultural base and reducing dependence on imports. And yet, here’s what Bernie Bailey is reporting (Note: some of this material is repeated from a comment Bernie made on our last post): Continue reading