A plea for supply management

Wayne Easter defends supply management.

By eliminating supply management and opening our border to “cheap” milk and dairy products we would be doing indirectly what is illegal directly, namely placing on the retail shelves dairy products produced through the use of a growth hormone. Currently in the US, 17% of the 9 million dairy cattle are injected with this growth hormone.

Criticizing supply management in favour of the “blameless market” is relatively easy. What is more difficult is to ensure a system that provides Canadians with safe and secure food products at reasonable prices while returning fair prices to producers. The current supply management system does that. Why some promote transferring market power from producers and consumers to a system that allows the exploitation of both by global corporations is beyond me.

See previously: Martha Hall Findlay Maverick Watch and The milk wars




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A plea for supply management

  1. If supply management goes will the consumer be informed of milk that contains growth hormone? I for one do not want this in milk or milk products that I buy. For this reason alone I support supply management

  2. Not necessarily. It is possible to lower the tariffs on imported milk, but still maintain a ban on growth hormones in milk. Not all foreign milk contains hormones.

    • Let alone the tariffs on dairy products, like French cheeses, which are made with non-BGH milk… Supply management may make it feasible for all milk produced in Canada to be of the same quality as “organic” milk in the United States, but that’s a side effect rather than the purpose, which is to maintain high prices for domestic producers.

  3. What is more difficult is to ensure a system that provides Canadians with safe and secure food products at reasonable prices while returning fair prices to producers. The current supply management system does that.

    Isn’t the real point that supply management helping with that is an unintended side benefit of supply management and not its purpose? Sure, the effects of supply management may be helping to keep hormones out of the domestic milk supply. And nuking my house would take care of my ant problem too.

  4. Received this this afternoon from England
    “1 litre of 1% milk at Tescos was 75p ($1.22) in England

    The UK dairy farmer gets 22.98p (37.6¢) which is half of what
    an Ontario dairy farmer receives.

    2 L of 2% milk at Hansons is $4.29 = $2.15/L

    4L of 2% at Shoppers Drug Mart is $4.89 =
    $1.22

    The Ontario dairy farmer gets about 75¢/L.

    As you can see, the dairy farmer in the UK gets less but the
    retail price there is about the same as here. The processor and retailer just
    take more. The dairy farmer is victimized and the consumer is victimized. Many
    will argue the consumer in Canada is victimized by supply management. As you can
    see, without supply management, the consumer is still victimized and without
    market protection the farmer also becomes a victim. Unfortunately I never had
    the time to go down the meat isle and check out the price of eggs & poultry.

    Farmers Weekly magazine quoted as “markets are very fragile,
    with record milk production, both home and abroad”.

    I asked some dairy farmers at the show about this and they
    said that “there is no money in producing milk. The industry is in shambles. You
    cannot afford to make any capital expenditures at all. England does not want
    livestock farmers”.

    Every dairy farmer is trying to make ends meet by cranking
    out as much as they can but it’s all self defeating they said.”
    You are not going to save didly

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