Dairy farmers will not support the Harper government agreeing to a deal with the EU that gives away the Canadian cheese market that Canadian dairy farmers and cheese makers have worked so hard to develop over the years.
Dairy Farmers of Canada is angered and disappointed with this news as the reality is that Canada would lose its small, artisan and local cheese makers and a world-leading industry with top quality products – within a short time frame. If this deal proceeds, the Canadian government will have given the EU an additional exclusive access of 32% of the current fine cheese market in Canada, over and above the existing generous access.
This deal would displace our local products with subsidized cheeses from EU and risk our small businesses being shut down or put out of business. This is unacceptable.
This potential deal is a loss for Canadian dairy farmers and industry. It would take income from Canadian dairy farmers and their communities and give it to the European industry. With this loss of farm income and squeeze on cheese makers, it is also taking economic development and jobs from Canadian communities.
For farmers, for communities and for every region of this country, there is no positive result to giving any additional access on cheese to the EU. Not when:
The EU already has a large proportion of the Canadian cheese market. Canada’s TRQ already allows imports of 20,412 tonnes of cheese tariff-free. Two-thirds of that is already allocated to the EU.
Consumers will not see any difference in price as a result of this CETA giveaway as the vast majority of EU cheese already comes into Canada with little or no tariffs.
Our farmers are demanding that the government matches its actions with its words by standing up for Canada and the Canadian dairy industry by not giving away this flourishing Canadian cheese industry and its contribution to local economies.
Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada