‘Strong, in­no­va­tive, grow­ing’

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

“Our Cana­dian dairy in­dus­try is very strong, in­no­va­tive and grow­ing,” says Ralph Di­et­rich, chair of Dairy Farm­ers of On­tario.

In a mes­sage posted on the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s web page, he notes that Spring started with a ker­fuf­fle over trade, “par­tic­u­larly in light of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s com­ments in which he said the Cana­dian dairy in­dus­try was un­fair and led to harm for Amer­i­can dairy farm­ers.”

Mr. Di­et­rich ob­serves, “We be­lieve this started when a Wis­con­sin-based dairy pro­ces­sor an­nounced it was can­celling its milk sup­ply from 75 dairy farms.”

“First and fore­most, Cana­dian dairy pro­duc­ers feel very badly for farm­ers who are fac­ing the prospect of hav­ing no mar­ket to sup­ply their milk. Frankly, it is a feel­ing I do not be­lieve Cana­dian farm­ers can un­der­stand given the Cana­dian dairy sys­tem would not al­low such a thing to

hap­pen. Se­condly, DFO be­lieves it is im­por­tant for all con­cerned to know there has been no change to any reg­u­la­tions af­fect­ing im­ports or border con­trols be­tween the United States and Canada. All ex­ports from the U.S. and im­ports into Canada are per­mit­ted as has al­ways been. Con­trary to any sug­ges­tion that Canada is pro­tec­tion­ist, the U.S. en­joys a sig­nif­i­cant dairy trade sur­plus with Canada each year. The sim­ple fact is the U.S. ex­ports more dairy prod­ucts -- $450 mil­lion worth -- to Canada than it im­ports from our coun­try.” Mr. Di­et­rich has ap­plauded the fed­eral and On­tario gov­ern­ments have staunchly de­fended the Cana­dian dairy sys­tem.

“Cana­dian dairy pro­duc­ers are very grate­ful and need to pub­licly rec­og­nize this on­go­ing sup­port. As we have said on many oc­ca­sions, our dairy sys­tem is a priv­i­lege we con­tin­u­ally ask the gov­ern­ment to sup­port.

“This caused me to re­flect on why it is so strongly sup­ported. The sim­ple an­swer I came up with is be­cause it works. It is vi­tal for all of us to re­mem­ber that what is hap­pen­ing in the U.S., par­tic­u­larly with farm­ers go­ing bank­rupt and can­celled milk con­tracts with only 30 days’ no­tice, was once the norm in Canada. We emerged from that with our cur­rent sys­tem -- a sys­tem of which I am fiercely proud. It pro­tects the econ­omy, shows record growth, treats farm­ers fairly, and as­sures con­sumers a reg­u­lar, pre­dictable and sta­ble sup­ply of some of the high­est qual­ity milk in the world, at fair pric­ing.

“Our sys­tem de­serves pro­tec­tion be­cause it works. We are grate­ful our gov­ern­ments rec­og­nize its im­por­tance and are not re­turn­ing us to an era where we could be fac­ing the same fail­ure and un­cer­tainty so many are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing in coun­tries that do not have or have aban­doned a sys­tem like ours.”

BRIGHT FU­TURE: The fu­ture for young farm­ers is bright, if quo­tas are pro­tected.

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