The announcement on November 28th by the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, of the second year of promised compensation for concessions made to domestic dairy production as part of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) as well as the schedule of payments for the remaining balance provides more certainty for dairy farmers, according to Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC).
“Dairy farmers want to invest in their farms to innovate and increase efficiencies. Our objective is to be better prepared to face the intensification of competition from imported dairy products made from milk produced elsewhere, as a result of CETA, CPTPP and more recently the Canada-US-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). These important investments on the farm can only come with a level of certainty as it relates to the promised compensation. Reducing the timelines for the scheduled payments is recognition by the government of the importance of the foreign competition we face, this is why today’s announcement is so significant,” said Pierre Lampron, President of DFC.
In 2020, DFC had three items to achieve on its workplan with government:
- Obtaining the payment for year two of the government’s eight-year compensation package for CETA and CPTPP;
- Developing a schedule of payments for the remaining years; and
- Developing a plan for full and fair compensation for CUSMA.
“I want to thank Prime Minister Trudeau for following up on his commitment. We now turn our attention to the last item on the workplan, compensation for CUSMA, and we look forward to engaging with Deputy Prime Minister Freeland and Minister Bibeau,” Mr. Lampron added.
The House of Commons adopted unanimously last Thursday a motion in support of compensation for the supply managed sectors, including dairy. “I want to thank all MPs in the House of Commons who supported it, and I want to acknowledge their support on this file,” said Mr. Lampron.
The Canadian dairy farming sector is an important driver of the Canadian economy but its ability to succeed has been jeopardized by the signing of these three trade agreements. By 2024, 18% of our domestic dairy production will have been outsourced to foreign producers who will supply milk for imported dairy products that wind up on Canadian store shelves.
A healthy and vibrant dairy sector will also play an essential role in ensuring Canada’s post-pandemic recovery, and in providing greater food security for Canadians. The dairy sector supports over 221,000 full-time jobs, contributes $19.9 billion annually to Canada’s GDP, and generates $3.8 billion in tax revenue every year.