Canada’s supply management system is an important institution that puts food sovereignty into action. Supply management ensures that Canadian consumers can get the chicken, turkey, eggs, milk and dairy products they require and that these are produced in Canada, avoiding shortages and waste due to excess production; that the farmers producing these commodities receive a fair price that covers their cost of production when they sell to dairy processors; and that Canada’s market is not destabilized by unregulated imports. Supply management is an institution that has made it possible for many small, diversified mixed family farms to remain viable during the continuing farm income crisis in Canada, without the need for government subsidy payments. It also provides predictable supplies of high-quality product to Canada’s food processing and retail sectors, which provides operational efficiency and reduces capital costs.
Today supply management, particularly for dairy, is faced with challenges from within and outside of Canada. Countries that produce surplus milk are pressuring Canada to allow them to sell into our market in an attempt to compensate for their product’s unsustainably low prices by increasing the volume sold. Within Canada, other industries (such as oil and gas), and sadly, some agriculture sectors, are urging Canada to use supply management as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations to gain concessions for their industries and commodities.
Supply managed sectors are economically stable, in contrast with pork and beef, which are subject to price volatility and currency fluctuations that trigger government safety-net payments. We would encourage trading partners to adopt their own supply management systems modelled after Canada’s and adapted to their own domestic situations instead of seeking to prop up their dairy sectors at the expense of Canadian farmers and their communities.
To conclude the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Canada gave the EU an additional 5 percent of our cheese market, bringing Europe’s total share of our market to 9%. If CETA is ratified, this concession will shrink Canada’s total dairy market, taking away income from our farmers and all who work in related food processing and supporting businesses. The federal government promises to compensate dairy farmers for these losses, but if it honors that promise tax revenues will have to be used to replace money EU dairy take out of our economy.
Supply managed sectors are valuable elements of Canada’s economy and form a stable foundation for many rural communities while ensuring Canadian consumers can rely on a safe, wholesome, steady supply of dairy products.
Will the next federal government resist international and corporate pressure and instead promote and strengthen Canada's supply management system?
|Election 2015 - Supply Management.pdf||749.09 KB|
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The National Farmers Union is a direct-membership voluntary organization made up of Canadian farm families who share common goals. It is the only farm organization incorporated through an Act of Parliament.
NFU members believe that the problems facing farmers are common problems, and that farmers producing diverse products must work together to advance effective solutions. The NFU works toward the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada.