OTTAWA -- Dairy farmers called on the Canadian government to ensure that any final NAFTA deal does not negatively impact the sector and Canadian consumers. Gathered in Ottawa recently, dairy producers from communities across Canada stated that the dairy sector has already paid the price in several recent trade deals with Europe and the Transpacific countries, resulting in the equivalent of 250 million dollars annually in lost milk production to dairy farmers from other countries.
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"This doesn't only hurt dairy farmers. From equipment dealers, to feed manufacturers to veterinarians to truck drivers, to processors, all are negatively impacted by these deals which will have long lasting effects across the entire Canadian economy," said Pierre Lampron, President of Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC).
Canadian dairy farmers are concerned that the US Administration wants to replace Canadian dairy and the Canadian dairy industry with U.S. interests by eroding the pillars of our Canadian system.
"Many American dairy farmers know that more access to the Canadian market isn't a viable solution to American overproduction. Canada has a population that is less than the state of California. For American farmers, the Canadian market is a drop in the bucket – for us – it is our livelihood," added Lampron.
Dairy is one of the top two agricultural sectors in 7 of 10 Canadian provinces. The sector employs over 220,000 Canadians, it contributes more than 19 billion dollars to Canada's GDP annually and 3.8 billion dollars in local, provincial and federal taxes.
"Canadians today have access to Canadian milk that is produced to the highest standards for quality, animal care, and the environment in North America. This is done all while ensuring Canadian retail prices for milk are in line with other countries – in fact, more affordable than many", said Lampron.
Canada's system of supply management ensures the Canadian supply of milk matches domestic demand, and allows farmers to receive a fair price that covers their costs of production – without the need for any direct taxpayer production subsidies like those granted to farmers in the U.S.
"We want to add our voice to that of Prime Minister Trudeau – that the dairy sector is worth fighting for - and we call on the Government to ensure that any final NAFTA deal has no further negative impact on our dairy sector," he concluded.
SOURCE Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC)
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