“We welcome the Canadian government’s announcement of the dairy producer compensation program for CUSMA. With this announcement, the government is keeping its promise. The announced program will compensate producers for a large portion of their market losses while helping to stimulate investment in our milk processing capacities,” stated Daniel Gobeil, Chair of Les Producteurs de lait du Québec.
It should be remembered that CUSMA grants additional Canadian market access to the tune of 100,000 tonnes of dairy products, or about 3.9% of the market, on an annual and permanent basis. Not only were these market shares ceded forever, but changes had to be made to our dairy policy in order to comply with the requirements of the agreement and the cap on skim milk powder and protein concentrate exports, all of which comes with their own significant costs. “We produce milk to meet the needs of Canadian consumers, but our sector has suffered from the concessions that were made to conclude an agreement that benefits other sectors of the economy. So producers needed to be fairly and equitably compensated,” declared Bruno Letendre, Chair of Les Producteurs de lait du Québec.
“This compensation will be spent and reinvested locally, which will benefit our economy, our food autonomy, and our food security. Dairy farms can play a crucial role in all regions in response to the difficult economic situation facing Canada in the coming months. This announcement will help the dairy industry keep making its major contribution to the Canadian economy, despite the losses resulting from the three agreements. Our dairy farms are not relocating abroad. In other words, the government’s assistance will be spent and reinvested in the Canadian economy,” concluded Mr. Gobeil.
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