Gas and milk

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Lately there has been a debate
circling around the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations) and the effects it may have on family farms and their consumers under supply

Lately there has been a debate
circling around the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations) and the effects it may have on family farms and their consumers under supply
management. It has been said, “consumers may stand to save some money at the supermarket if supply management is dismantled” and “except for the rare occasion when world dairy markets are on an extraordinary upswing, farm gate prices would presumably be lower”.
Another popular topic of discussion lately is how the price of gas can be so high when a barrel of oil is so cheap. Are gas and milk that different?
If supply management is dismantled, the players that stand to gain the most are the middle men between the raw product and the consumer: processors, distributors and retailers. The providers of dairy products are going to charge whatever cost the consumer can bear at any given time; that’s how the market works.
This phenomenon takes place regardless of the price or availability of the raw
material. For the most part, the only thing that changes is the margin earned between the cost of the raw materials and the selling price of the finished product.
So why isn’t gas cheaper? That’s the oil and gas industry – they’re big, mean and greedy! Companies producing food
products wouldn’t and couldn’t act like that, could they?
World dairy markets are at a 6 year low and consumers in New Zealand, a country without supply management, are wondering why the price of dairy goods have not gone down. My guess is because, so far, the consumer is willing to bear the cost while middlemen are reaping stout profits off the backs of defenceless farmers who have two options: hang on and keep producing at a loss, or find another way to make a living.
Supply management is not perfect; we, the milk board, are always struggling to improve it, but there are a few things it does better than any other system in the world. We can self-regulate the quality of our raw milk according to the standards processors demand and we can offer a fair return to those who choose to milk cows for a living. And we can do it without government
subsidies or handouts.
Do you think the New Zealand government and other countries with similar problems in their dairy industries are going to leave their farmers hanging out to dry? Not likely; they’ll probably provide some sort of government money, if there isn’t already an existing subsidy program in place.
Dairy farmers of Canada want a system that is fair! So, what can you do to help? First, contact your MPs and let them know your concerns about the TPP and other trade talks that could affect supply
management in the future. “Like”, “Share” or “Retweet” some of the facts and “good news” stories about supply management on social media. Lastly, shop for dairy products with the “Little Blue Cow” logo on them, which indicates the product is made with 100% Canadian milk.
Robbie Beck
Pontiac Dairy Farmers of Quebec
representative
SHAWVILLE