Survey says: Consumers happy with status quo
The large majority of Canadians (92%) are happy with the range and quality of dairy products available in Canada, and two thirds are satisfied with prices, according to a poll conducted by Abacus Data Inc.
By a broad margin, 77 per cent, Canadians were inclined to feel that “like the US and other countries, Canada has policies that are designed to support a healthy Canadian dairy farm sector and they work well enough to meet the needs of consumers too.”
Only 23 per cent chose the alternative argument that “Canada should change our rules and allow more foreign dairy products to compete in our market because it would mean more products would be available and possibly lower prices for consumers.”
Only seven per cent of respondents felt Canada ought to yield to pressure from the Americans.
In every region of the country, and across rural and urban and all major party lines, a majority is satisfied with the range, quality and price of Canadian dairy products.
More than 70 per cent in every region, among both genders, all age groups, among all major party supporters and across rural and urban Canada believe Canada’s policies are working well enough. Only 23 per cent of Conservative voters believe Canada should open up markets; that suggestion gets the support of 24 per cent of Liberal supporters, and nine per cent of New Democratic Party voters.
According to Abacus Chairman Bruce Anderson: “The Trudeau government is not alone in facing important challenges in our trading relationship with the U.S. These results show that most Canadians want Ottawa to show a combination of firmness and pragmatism in dealing with trade irritants, an instinct that probably would extend to other trade challenges beyond dairy as well.”
“For Canada’s dairy producers the results show that Canadian opinion is more instinctively aligned with them than not – but in a qualified manner. Canadians will consider the overall shape of the relationship with the U.S. and expect their government to mount a strategic defense of Canada’s interests. That means defending dairy policy if necessary, but not necessarily protecting dairy rules if other strategic interests outweigh that consideration.”
DETAILS: Nutrition facts have become required reading for consumers.