Proud to Be Farming Canadian Dairy

Canada flourishes in falling world milk prices

Milking dairy cows in Canada two or sometimes even three times every day of the year is strenuous labour intensive work, but at least in Canada we know that it is profitable.  Unfortunately this situation is not the same for the rest of the world, as milk prices have been and continue to decline.  In times like this it makes farmers happy to sit back and relax knowing that their quota system will continue to provide them with a fair price for their product.  Farming is a tough industry to be employed in and yes many people farm because it is what they love, but love will get you only so far.  Earning a profit to ensure your business will be successful is an essential key element that thankfully the dairy quota system provides.

At two recent important international dairy meetings, International Association of Milk Control Agencies and International Dairy Federation, both the US and Europe were blown away by the fact that the Canadian dairy industry has remained flourishing over the past year.  Meanwhile, the world price of milk continues to drop lower and lower.  With prices continuing to decrease it is becoming increasingly hard for many farmers to stay a float with a positive attitude that prices will increase in the near future; without an increase in price many farmers will be forced to close up business.  In a situation like this Canadian farmers cannot be more happy to have such a wonderful system, where they are assured a set price for their fluid milk.  Talk of abolishing the Canadian quota system by the WTO (world trade organization) petrifies many farmers, as their money invested in quota costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, which they plan to retire on.  Eliminating the quota system would essentially cause more headaches in the short run and the long run for Canadian dairy farmers and the entire dairy industry.  Why would we want to reduce our farmers incomes, take away their retirement funds and put them in a constant state of stress wondering what the price of milk will be next month?  Our system works perfectly fine and there are very few minute possible reasons as to why eliminating the Canadian quota system would be beneficial for our Canadian farmers.

To have other countries look at the Canadian dairy industry and ask what we are possibly doing because of our continued profit over the past year is an extreme compliment and ego booster to our industry.  Yes, we are doing dairy business right over here in Canada and have continued to every since the quota system was put in place.  Sure when the world price of milk is high and other international farmers are making a larger profit they laugh in our face and say ‘silly Canadians and their quota system, they don’t know what they are missing out on!’.  But it is the total opposite scenario when prices being to drop and continue to drop.  Now I’m not saying that the Canadian quota system is completely flawless, but it does give farmers peace of mind to know they will have an income every month and be able to pay off bills and expenses.  The WTO would be making an enormous mistake my eradicating the quota system in Canada, it does prove to be a successful setup and allows farmers to produce milk for their fellow Canadian!  I cannot express how much I love sit down to a cold beautiful glass of Canadian milk, it really an authentic Canadian experience!

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2 thoughts on “Proud to Be Farming Canadian Dairy

  1. Owen says:

    The public discussion about the quota system is not whether it’s good for (established) farmers, but rather, its impact on consumers and free trade. The dairy industry will need to ramp up its appeal to the public if it wants the federal government in particular to continue fighting for supply management. I agree with you — the full effect of abolishing the quota system in Canada is scary.

    • Yes, I completely understand the public’s opinion on the quota system and how it must benefit both consumers and free trade to withstand being abolished. I agree as well that the dairy industry must appeal to the federal government to keep supple management afloat, it seems to me that consumers are wanting more and more local grown food. I feel that this is not necessarily another trend that is arising, but rather another up and coming market that is here to stay and the quota industry will continue to provide Canadian grown and produced dairy products. I tried to take the farmers stand point in my blog so that others can understand just how ugly the dairy industry could get if supply management no longer existed in Canada.

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