Western Producer wrote a good article about the milky future of Canada's Supply Management ("SM") system for dairy. Many economists and Canadian farm leaders (including the Canadian Federation of Agriculture) question the sustainability of SM, and the sanity of continuing in its present form.
Our response to these issues is as follows:
Already, Canadians pay 38% to 300% more than what most of world pays for Supply Management foods (chicken, turkey, eggs, and dairy).
It will soon get worse.
This week, the Food Institute at the University of Guelph announced that food inflation in Canada is the highest in the world, topping 4.1% in 2015. It will be more of the same for the near future (see Agri007's Blog ).
The household savings rate of Canadians has dropped from 30% in 1980 to virtually zero for the last 10 years. In BC. they run at a -7% savings rate.
More and more Canadians have to make the tough choice of starve or freeze, as they can't afford to solve both problems simultaneously.
The 17,000 SM farmers have stolen the rights and freedoms of consumers and all other farmers so that their SM special interest group can become millionaires.
For example, the 60,000 or so small flock poultry farmers in Canada is one group that suffers under the despotic control of the SM system, so that 2,700 SM chicken farmers (just 4.3% of all chicken farmers) can rule the roost. See our Blog for the scary details.
As Canadians are squeezed more and more, do the SM farmers think they will find continued support for their ridiculous price gouging, or the arcane rules of SM?
Between 1990 and 2014, NZ’s non-SM dairy system enjoyed 17 times greater growth than Canada’s SM dairy system, primarily due to the export restrictions attached to our dysfunctional SM system by trade treaties. That has cost Canada and Canadians thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in lost tax revenue.
If Canada's SM system was efficient and effective, it might be worth all these excessive costs. However, SM chronically runs from mediocre to dangerous.
For example, 40% to 80% of Canada's chicken sold at retail stores is contaminated with deadly bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens. Canadian chicken farmers have a feed efficiency 25% behind the world leaders. Somatic cell counts and bacteria in Canadian milk swing wildly from acceptable to terrible, but on average Canadian milk is 21% worse than US milk for somatic cell counts (ie. puss in the milk).
Fortunately for SM farmers (and unfortunate for consumers), few Canadians understand the propaganda and trickery used to keep them asleep and in support of SM.
When some crisis finally wakes them up, Canadians will be shocked at first, then upset that this cheating, corrupt, and dysfunctional SM system was allowed to continue as long as it has.
Glenn Black, President
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada
Will anybody listen before it's too late?