Butter politics show our supply management system is outdated

The nationwide shortage of butter proves that our system of quotas and tariffs on imports is obsolete

Butter politics show our supply management system is outdatedButter politics are making a case for dairy supply management reforms, to the ultimate benefit of Canadian consumers. Canada is apparently experiencing a nationwide shortage of butter. Most consumers have not been directly affected yet — mainly bakeries, restaurants and other institutional purchasers have experienced supply shortages so far. But sporadic reports have filtered out about retail stores running…

New TPP trade deal offers huge long-term gain

Freer trade under the TPP will lower tariffs barriers, open up new markets, and provide new customers to Canadian producers

New TPP trade deal offers huge long-term gainMany words have been shared on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, a lot of them negative. This may be, as the French say, a lot of noise for an omelet. First, the TPP agreement is far from certain. It has to be ratified by the legislatures of 12 countries, many of which have political leaders…

Canada’s dairy industry has nothing to w(h)ine about

Dairy farmers can compete, they just need to embrace the opportunity

Canada’s dairy industry has nothing to w(h)ine aboutCanada dairy industry can compete globally, but it certainly won’t be easy, especially in light of the recent mega-transpacific partnership trade deal which has left many wondering whether our dairies can actually pull it off over the long term. More market access for foreign-based milk products means Canadian consumers will increasingly have choices. But most…

Supply management fixation may finally be coming to an end

Not to be part of the deal would have been tragic for Canada’s agricultural economy

Supply management fixation may finally be coming to an endWe shouldn’t kid ourselves, the Trans-Pacific partnership (TPP) trade deal was never really about Canada. It was, in fact, about the United States’ will to undermine China, increase its commercial footprint in the region, and connect with Japan. But whatever the motivation for the deal, it is time to redefine what competitiveness really means to…

McCracking the animal welfare puzzle

McDonalds Canada has committed to exclusively use cage-free eggs within 10 years

McCracking the animal welfare puzzleIf you’re looking for a recent textbook case of responsive supply management engineering, look no further than McDonalds Canada. Echoing its U.S. partners, the fast food giant committed to exclusively use cage-free eggs within the decade, already committing to the use of 5 per cent free-range eggs by the end of this month. McDonalds Canada…

Dairy farmers can no longer milk the system

Consumption per capita continues to decline

Dairy farmers can no longer milk the systemOur supply management regime in recent months, particularly in dairy, has been under fire as a result of recent trade talks with both Europe and the Asian-Pacific region. But the public discourse ignores the fact that Canadians are consuming less dairy products. Recent Statistics Canada data show that from 1995 to 2014 per-capita consumption of…

Farmers should stop milking supply management

Claims that supply management is essential to safeguarding the family farm is unsupported by the facts

Farmers should stop milking supply managementOur highly protectionist supply management system is under threat by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks. But rather than rebel against change, dairy farmers should see this as an opportunity. Supply management in Canada is supported by a quota system, a price-fixing mechanism, and high tariffs on imports. As a result, anyone beyond our borders who…

Canada last holdout to dairy quota reform

Canada cannot afford to replicate the EU strategy that ended its dairy quota regime

Canada last holdout to dairy quota reformThe end of the European Union’s (EU) dairy quota regime on March 31 leaves Canada as the only developed economy in the world with a highly-protectionist quota and tariff system in the dairy sector. The EU is hoping to take advantage of the growing Asian demand for dairy products by increasing the productivity of its…

Quebec maple syrup cartel finds itself in a sticky situation

Its attempt to maintain high prices is leading to more international competition

Quebec maple syrup cartel finds itself in a sticky situationMaple syrup is a sticky business in Quebec. The establishment of a government-sanctioned cartel in 2000, which was later backed by a stringent quota-based system in 2004, compels over 7,000 producers to sell high volumes of the golden syrup. About 700 small farms are exempt from this system, and can sell directly to the public.…

Dark days ahead for supply management

Drop in milk price presages threat from CETA to supply management

Dark days ahead for supply managementDark days are ahead for supply management in Canada. For the first time in 22 years, the Canadian Dairy Commission has decided to reduce the price of milk at farmgate by 1 per cent. The price reductions will commence in February. Under its supply management regime, established in 1966, the Commission’s mandate has been to…
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