Raw milk opponents sometimes imagine that raw milk is undermining Canada’s supply management quota system for dairy farmers. But really it’s international trade issues, such as the one described in this story, that pose the real threat to the dairy farming status quo in Ontario and Quebec. Here’s an excerpt from the story in yesterday’s Globe and Mail, by John Ibbitson:
The prospect of Canada's conventional dairy farmers being hit with in-your-face competition from the likes of New Zealand is just a government decision away, as supply management systems come under increasing pressure from trade cartels like the newly formed Pacific region free trade agreement.
“Canada has been shut out of a potentially historic Pacific free trade agreement involving the United States and seven other countries.
When asked in 2006 to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations that only recently got under way in Australia, the Harper government refused, largely to protect the Quebec and Ontario dairy industry from foreign competition. When Canada changed its mind earlier this year and asked to join, we were told it was too late, according to several sources. Continue reading
Colin Busby and William Robson discuss possible solutions to the damage caused by supply management to Canada’s food economy. Here’s an excerpt from their opinion piece in the Financial Post, titled “Free up our food supply — phase out farm quotas“:
“Since the early 1970s, “supply management” has subjected Canadian dairy, poultry and egg production to government-mandated cartels. Introduced to increase producer power vis-à-vis intermediaries and consumers, and thus raise farm incomes, supply management supports higher-than-market prices by administering producer prices and restricting farm output through production quotas, while high tariffs prevent food processors and consumers getting alternative supplies from abroad. Continue reading