‘Strong, innovative, growing’
“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.