September 24, 2020 by Manure Manager
Yesterday’s Speech from the Throne included a renewed commitment to compensate Canadian dairy farmers for the import access concessions made under the last three trade agreements.
Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) has requested several times that this promise be fulfilled, particularly during the economic troubles brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. While DFC welcomes this statement from the federal government, they await the action to back it up.
“The Speech from the Throne sent a message to dairy farmers that the government’s commitment to compensate them for the losses they incurred from Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and more recently the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) is still part of its deliverables,” said Pierre Lampron, president, Dairy Farmers of Canada.
“When every year, you lose $450 million in domestic production being transferred to foreign dairy farmers, words aren’t enough – only when we see details will we know if a promise made is a promise kept.”
By 2024, 18 percent of Canada’s dairy production will be outsourced to foreign dairy farmers.
“By supporting its dairy farming families, the federal government would send a clear signal that they have heard Canadians when it comes to the issue of food security and sovereignty,” Lampron added.
The dairy sector is one of the largest agricultural sectors in Canada and is a key driver of economic activity in rural communities, where it’s needed most. It supports more than 221,000 full-time equivalent jobs, contributes $19.9 billion per year to Canada’s GDP and generates $3.8 billion per year in tax revenues. It is also an important source of employment for a whole array of professions, including veterinarians, machine dealers, truck drivers, mechanics, animal nutritionists, feed producers, and more.