When MPP Bill Murdoch put forward his private members bill in the Ontario Legislature back in 2006, proposing to study the issue of raw milk, it became clear that the chief opposition to re-opening the question of raw milk at the legislative level, arose from the “The Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO)”, and their two lobbyists, Hill and Knowlton.
The DFO (formerly the Ontario Milk Marketing Board) runs the quota-based supply management system which limits production to ensure predictable market prices for milk and milk products in Ontario.
You might wonder what possible common ground there could be between an organization like the DFO and a bunch of raw milk “nuts”. Well, to start with, we’re all “nuts” about milk. Unlike a lot of people these days, we strongly believe that it’s neither unnatural nor unhealthy for human beings to drink a substantial amount of bovine milk and to eat milk products.
Next, we all believe in the family farm. Ontario’s quota system has had the effect of keeping production units smaller than in say, California, where 5,000 cow farms are not unusual and where increases in scale are necessitated by low prices paid to producers. In order to be confident in the quality of the product, raw milk fans like to know that there’s genuine human responsibility at work in the production process, which is really only feasible in a smaller scale of production — like the family farm. Continue reading