Letter: Deal Impacts More Than Farmers

July 22, 2015

I think your newspaper did a good job reporting the concerns local dairy and poultry farmers have concerning potential concessions the Canadian government may make on supply managed industries in the TPP talks, and what negative effect they would have on their livelihoods.

However, the reader may have the impression that the benefits of supply management and the effect of any changes to it go no further than the farm gate. When we talk about supply managed “industries” we are not just talking about farms, but the whole supply and processing chain that supports the farm; feed mills, equipment dealers, veterinarians, farm level jobs etc, but also the transportation and processing that brings these products to the grocery store.

One does not have to look too hard to see the impact the dairy and poultry industries have on our local economy, besides the obvious dairy and poultry farms, the presence of these sectors is also very visible in the commercial and industrial areas  which derive all or part of their business from the dairy and poultry sectors.  These businesses and the jobs they provide would all be impacted negatively to the degree dairy and poultry products are outsourced to other countries. Supply management also benefits consumers, no the recent fairy steep increases in the price of red meat and vegetables and compare that to the price and quality stability of Canadian dairy and poultry products. The recent depreciation in the Canadian dollar has greatly reduced the cross border shoppers buying power in the US, but the same shoppers buying power for milk, cheese and eggs has been maintained in Canada through the same time period.

Original article

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