Canada's Dairy Supply Management System Has Stood The Test Of Time, Remains Relevant & Resolutely Modern
by Agropur Cooperative
Posted: 2018-01-22 15:28:23 EST

MONTREAL - Since its inception, Canada's supply management system has evolved into a modern system. It reflects the challenges of the industry today and responds to market realities. Agropur believes that, in the age of globalization, the system on which Canada has chosen to base the development of its dairy industry still provides stability for farmers without the need for subsidies, a balanced market for processors, support for Canada's rural economy, and a vast selection of quality products at fair prices for consumers.

Canadian dairy consumption has increased by approximately 25% in the last three years.

Impact of eliminating supply management

No one in Canada would gain from the elimination of the supply management system. That conclusion is supported by the results of a study commissioned by Agropur in 2015. The Boston Consulting Group found that ending supply management would mean:

  • $2-3.5 billion decrease in Canada's GDP
  • Survival of 40-50% of farms in doubt
  • 24,000 jobs threatened, many of them in outlying areas where they would be hard to replace
  • About 40% of processing, including a large proportion of manufacturing of consumer dairy products (cheese, yogurt, butter) at risk of being shifted to countries with lower processing costs, mainly the U.S., New Zealand and European Union, with no guarantee of lower prices for consumers
  • Increase in Canada's trade deficit in dairy products, which already stands at $6.8 billion; $6‑7 billion in bank financing at risk of default

See the full study.

Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): The stakes are high

"First of all, at Agropur we understand the importance of international trade agreements," says René Moreau, President of Agropur. "However, we also believe such agreements must reflect the circumstances of all stakeholders and their industries. We trust in our government to fully protect Canada's supply management system and defend our interests in the NAFTA talks. We assure the government of our full cooperation."

Agropur will continue keeping a close eye on the work and discussions surrounding the renegotiation of NAFTA as the talks enter their 6th round.

About Agropur Cooperative

Agropur Cooperative is a North American dairy industry leader founded in 1938. With sales of $6.0 billion in 2016, the Cooperative is a source of pride to its 3,345 members and 8,000 employees. Agropur processes more than 5.9 billion litres of milk per year at its 39 plants across North Americaand boasts an impressive roster of brands and products including Natrel, Québon, OKA, iögo, Farmers, Agropur Signature, Agropur Grand Cheddar, Island Farms, BiPro and Olympic. Agropur's head office is certified LEED Silver.

Source: Agropur Cooperative