Canadian Dairy Commission Leading to Shortage - Cowsmo

Canadian Dairy Commission Leading to Shortage

Four tonnes of foreign butter is coming to Canada after the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) was granted permission to do so last month amid a butter shortage leading up to the holiday season.

Over the past year, the CDC says butter sales has increased by about 3.5 to four per cent, making it tough to build stocks.

“We’ve never seen butter consumption do what it’s doing now,” says CDC CEO Jacques Laforge at the Manitoba Dairy Conference in early December. “We can’t keep up milk production fast enough with the demand. To increase milk production by two per cent a year is not too bad if you know in advance, but when it goes to four or five per cent, we’re not used to it, so we need to gear up in advance.”

Sylvain Charlebois, a professor of distribution and food policy at the University of Guelph’s Food Institute, says Canada’s inability to adjust to this shift in consumer trends speaks to the supply management system.

“I think we need to address two things,” he says, “the one we need to make sure our industry is more productive and that our intent is to actually produce more, and secondly, we need a more loosened regime. Right now, our current supply management scheme is anything but flexible, so obviously if demand changes, we need to make sure our mechanisms are adequate in order to address these changes.”

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