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Industry News

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Updated: May 23, 2017
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Dairy Farmers of Ontario Appoints Graham Lloyd as New General Manager

May 23, 2017

Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) has announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Graham Lloyd as General Manager effective August 1, 2017.

View News Release

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Dairy Farmers of Ontario announces new General Manager

May 18, 2017

On behalf of the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) Board of Directors, it is with great pleasure that I announce that Graham Lloyd has been promoted to the position of General Manager of DFO.

Click here for the full announcement.

 

Got milk? Wisconsin has too much, but that’s not Canada’s problem

May 17, 2017

Americans are milking a Canadian import-policy change to heap blame on their northern neighbours.

By BRUCE MUIRHEAD

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Hill Times

U.S. President Donald Trump recently denounced Canada’s dairy system. His animus resulted from a long-advertised change to Canadian dairy import regulations that affected ultra-filtered milk. The public face of the dispute is the about 75 dairy farmers in and around Wisconsin who were told that their milk was no longer needed by their processor, Grassland Dairy, because of its market loss following the tariff change.

Trump blamed Canada for messing up U.S. dairy, suggesting that this country get rid of its system of supply management, which is quota-based, matches domestic demand with domestic supply, and does not engage, by and large, in the international market. Indeed, he seemed to link his distaste for NAFTA more generally with Canada’s tried and true dairy system, which suits Canadians’ need and which provides a high-quality product at a very reasonable price to consumers.

What do we make of this? Most importantly, that this is not Canada’s problem. Indeed, Wisconsin dairy farmers have been working to seal their own fate for the past several years, as they increased production to meet, or so they were told, limitless export potential. As it turned out, that was a false promise, even as production right across the U.S. in 2016 soared by 2.5 per cent and farmers continued to struggle with oversupply.

Moreover, in 2016, long before Canada legitimately altered its dairy import regime to respond to Canadian issues, 400 Wisconsin dairy farmers had shuttered their farms, unable to make a living wage. Danielle Endvick, the communications director at the Wisconsin Farmers Union, has observed that “It is insanity to continue with unthrottled production.” She is so correct.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel picked up on this idea in late April: “It’s not just a Wisconsin problem. Dairy producers in other states and countries are also in trouble because there’s a global surplus of their products.” This raises the obvious question: why have U.S. producers not cut back on milk production, given this continuing situation? Is that not how their market-based system is supposed to work?

In Wisconsin, farmers are to some extent the authors of their own misfortune. Endvick, who grew up on a dairy farm, likened the industry to “a runaway train that was only headed for heartache.”

If the president is so concerned with dairy in Wisconsin, or Scott Walker, the state’s governor, wants to help out its dairy sector, why not start by preventing cut-rate milk imports into Wisconsin from neighbouring states. Processors buy this out-of-state milk for US$5 per hundredweight (cwt, or 100 pounds) less than they pay their own farmers and truck in massive volumes of the stuff.

Some reports are more pointed. Michigan dairy farmers have taken Wisconsin markets in their own desperate search for any place to offload their product. They are willing to part with a hundredweight of milk for US$6, well below the cost of production, which generally runs at about US$21 per cwt. Wisconsin milk generally costs processors about US$14 per cwt.  

Given Michigan’s massive dairy surplus, farmers are desperately seeking any advantage. It is either that or dump it in lagoons, spread it on fields or drain it away using some other method. Last year, U.S. farmers denatured 43 million gallons of milk because no market could be found, not even at a cut-rate price. What a waste!

Given all this, how is it possible that Trump can tweet completely unsubstantiated alternative facts about Canada’s system of supply management/fair farm pricing? Canadians have nothing at all to do with the downturn in the U.S. dairy industry; it is all of American making.

Indeed, Canada has been sideswiped by that runaway train that Endvick has mentioned, despite the fact that we have been minding our own business. Supply management has provided our rural economy with a certain resilience that does not exist south of the border. Indeed, without our Canadian dairy system, the very dire American environment would be visited upon Canada, with incalculable effects on our countryside.

Moreover, despite the Trump tweets, Canada has been a willing partner to the United States in terms of importing dairy products, buying about $550-million every year from American dairy farmers, while exporting only about $110-million to our southern neighbour. Overall, we are the top global importer of U.S. agricultural products, taking US$24-billion each year, far more than we sell in that market.

U.S. hypocrisy knows no bounds. To follow this story suggests that the future of NAFTA and the free world depends on what happens to those Wisconsin dairy farmers, although all have now found an alternative processor. The Americans remain fixated on a Canadian dairy system that is sensible, reasonable, is a bastion of Canadian food security and sovereignty, and which is fair for both producers and consumers alike.

Bruce Muirhead is associate vice president, external research, and a professor in the department of history at the University of Waterloo. He has written extensively on Canadian trade negotiations since the Second World War. His more recent work, which was funded by the Norwegian Research Council, has focused on the evolution of Canadian agricultural policy, and especially dairy and egg supply management. He is the Egg Farmers of Canada Chair in Public Policy, where his research focuses on issues surrounding the relevance and usefulness of supply management.

The Hill Times

CBC interviews farmer on why supply management still works

May 16, 2017

On Monday, May 15, The Morning Edition, a CBC Radio program in Kitchener-Waterloo, interviewed dairy farmer Bruce Sargent about supply management. Sargent discussed some of the reasons why dairy, egg, and chickens are supply managed, how the system protects farmers, and the importance of including farmers in the debate on supply management.

Below is a link to the audio version of the interview.  A full transcript will be available in the May 12 to 18 E-clippings. 

Farmer says we haven't heard both sides of the supply management story
http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/944030275584

Activism verdict an issue of food safety – farmers prepared to respond

May 4, 2017

Farm & Food Care Ontario, Ontario Pork, Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario will release a joint statement today in response to the anticipated verdict by Justice David Harris on Anita Krajnc’s charge for criminal mischief related to interfering with farm animals while in transit. Representatives from the four organizations will also be in attendance for the verdict at the courthouse and available to talk to media at its conclusion.

The charges relate to interfering with farm animals while in transit which puts food safety and animal welfare at risk. Ontario farmers work hard to provide high standards of animal care and quality food for Canadians. They support the right to peaceful protest, but not to interfere with farm animals.

Ontario farm organizations are concerned that activists will continue to engage in such activities that are a growing threat to animal welfare, food security and human safety. These activists are putting livestock, farm families, communities and farmers’ livelihoods at risk.

A Message from our Chair

April 28, 2017

In the upcoming issue of Milk Producer magazine, Ralph Dietrich shares his thoughts on U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments about dairy trade between the U.S. and Canada.

Our system deserves protection because it works

April was a busy month for Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) and dairy farmers across Canada. There was DFO’s strategic planning session, Les Producteurs de lait du Québec’s annual meeting, a Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee meeting, a P5 meeting resulting in additional incentive days, as well as DFO board meetings. All these meetings were essential to growing our industry. All in all, our Canadian dairy industry is very strong, innovative and growing.

It was also a busy month with respect to trade, particularly in light of President Donald Trump’s comments in which he said the Canadian dairy industry was unfair and led to harm for American dairy farmers. We believe this started when a Wisconsin-based dairy processor announced it was cancelling its milk supply from 75 dairy farms.

First and foremost, Canadian dairy producers feel very badly for farmers who are facing the prospect of having no market to supply their milk. Frankly, it is a feeling I do not believe Canadian farmers can understand given the Canadian dairy system would not allow such a thing to happen.

Secondly, DFO believes it is important for all concerned to know there has been no change to any regulations affecting imports or border controls between the United States and Canada. All exports from the U.S. and imports into Canada are permitted as has always been.

Contrary to any suggestion that Canada is protectionist, the U.S. enjoys a significant dairy trade surplus with Canada each year. The simple fact is the U.S. exports more dairy products—$450 million worth—to Canada than it imports from our country.

April was also busy in that we had to respond to what we now understand to be “fake news” or “alternative facts.” We should be proud federal government representatives—from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to the Minister of Trade, Minister of Global Affairs and the Canadian Ambassador to the U.S.—have all publically defended the Canadian dairy system. As well, in Ontario, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal have staunchly defended the Canadian dairy system.

Canadian dairy producers are very grateful and need to publicly recognize this ongoing support. As we have said on many occasions, our dairy system is a privilege we continually ask the government to support.

This caused me to reflect on why it is so strongly supported. The simple answer I came up with is because it works. It is vital for all of us to remember that what is happening in the U.S., particularly with farmers going bankrupt and cancelled milk contracts with only 30 days’ notice, was once the norm in Canada. We emerged from that with our current system—a system of which I am fiercely proud. It protects the economy, shows record growth, treats farmers fairly, and assures consumers a regular, predictable and stable supply of some of the highest quality milk in the world, at fair pricing.

Our system deserves protection because it works. We are grateful our governments recognize its importance and are not returning us to an era where we could be facing the same failure and uncertainty so many are experiencing in countries that do not have or have abandoned a system like ours.

Download pdf

Conservative party to lose points with Maxime Bernier

April 28, 2017

On April 28, 2017, results form an Angus Reid survey showed that if Maxime Bernier were to lead the Conservative party, he would not gain them any seats in Quebec.

The original story can be found in French here: http://plus.lapresse.ca/screens/f74ae969-698c-4cd6-abf0-d73bab390e22%7CotxUPhGXF~DT.html

The English translation is below.

Conservative party to lose points with Maxime Bernier

Joël-Denis Bellavance La Presse

April 28, 2017

A Conservative party headed by Maxime Bernier would have difficulty making gains in Quebec in the upcoming federal election. It may even lose some of the 12 seats it currently holds, according to a survey of 824 voters across the province by Angus Reid Forum on March 8 and 9.

This survey, commissioned by Friends of Supply and Regions Management, a group formed in recent months by farmers who oppose the promise of the member for Beauce to abolish this system, He took the lead of the Conservative Party and succeeded in forming the next government, demonstrating that the slope promises to be abrupt for Maxime Bernier if he wants to snatch seats from the Liberals Justin Trudeau.

According to the poll, the Liberal Party headed by Justin Trudeau would reap 44% of the voting intentions in Quebec, while the Conservative party led by Maxime Bernier should be content with 11%. The NDP, which is temporarily headed by Thomas Mulcair until a successor is appointed in October, would get 21%, while the Bloc Québécois led by Martine Ouellet would come third with 17%. The Elizabeth May Green Party would be the last one with 4% of voting intentions.

At the last election, the Conservative Party won 12 seats and won 16.7% of the vote in Quebec. The Liberal Party won 40 seats with 35.7% of the vote, while the NDP won 16 seats with 25.4% of the vote. The Bloc Québécois won 10 seats and won 19.3% of the vote.

Dominated everywhere

According to the poll, which has a margin of error of 3.4%, 19 times out of 20, the Liberal Party would be the leader in all regions of Quebec, including the Quebec City area, Conservative Party since 2006. In the Quebec City area, the Liberal Party would get 38% of the vote, while the Conservative Party would be second with 25%.

In the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, where the Conservative Party has a seat, Roberval, represented in the House of Commons by Deputy Party Leader Denis Lebel, the Liberal Party would reap 47% of voting intentions, compared with only 6 % For the Conservative Party. In this region, the NDP is second with 27%. The poll, however, does not measure the popularity of the Conservative Party if it was led by Saskatchewan MP Andrew Scheer or Ontario MP Erin O'Toole, for example.

Maxime Bernier is considered the leader of the race to succeed Stephen Harper at the helm of the Conservative Party. On Wednesday, his main rival, controversial businessman Kevin O'Leary, threw in the towel after three months of campaigning and gave his support to the member for Beauce on the grounds that he cannot win the race - and eventually The general election - because of its weak support in Quebec.

During the campaign, Mr. Bernier said on several occasions that the Conservative Party could win up to 40 seats in Quebec if elected to the May 27 election in Toronto. Despite the withdrawal of Mr. O'Leary, there are still 13 candidates running in the race for the leadership of the party.

DFO thanks government for support in National Post ad

April 25, 2017

In light of the negative attention the Canadian dairy industry has received in the past week, Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) ran a full-page ad in the National Post’s Tuesday, April 25 edition.

DFO wanted to formally recognize the support it has received from the government, Premier Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal, and the federal leadership. The ad is also an opportunity for DFO to share its messaging on the benefits of the Canadian dairy system.

The ad ran for Ontario distribution.

Visit DFO’s Twitter and Facebook accounts for more updates.

 

P5 Quota Announcement

April 21, 2017

Incentive Days Conventional

The P5 Boards have approved that one incentive day be issued per month on a non-cumulative basis to conventional producers for the months of May, June and July 2017.

 

Incentive Days Organic

No change to incentive days for Ontario and Quebec certified organic shippers whose milk is marketed as organic.

 

Market Demand

This decision is intended to ensure P5 milk production continues to fill all current demand, as butter stocks have surpassed their target level of 30,000 tonnes. Demand for dairy products continues to be strong while P5 processing capacity continues to be closely monitored.

 


 

Journée additionnelle conventionnel

Les Offices de producteurs du P5 ont approuvé une journée additionnelle pour les producteurs de lait conventionnel, sur une base non cumulative, pour chacun des mois de mai, juin et juillet 2017.

 

Journée additionnelle biologique

Aucun changement aux journees incitatives pour les producteurs de lait certifiés biologiques de l’Ontario et du Québec dont le lait est commercialisé pour des fins biologiques.

 

La demande du marché

Cette décision vise à assurer que la production de lait du P5 continue à combler la demande sachant que les inventaires de beurre ont dépassé le niveau-cible de 30 000 tonnes. La demande pour les produits laitiers continue d’être forte tandis que la capacité de transformation continue d’être surveillée de près.

 

 

Month/Mois Conventional Only/ Conventionnel seulement Organic Only/ Biologique seulement
April/Avril 2017 1 3
May/Mai 2017 1 3
June/Juin 2017 1 3
July/Juillet 2017 1 3
August/Août 2017 2 5
September/Septembre 2017 3 6
October/Octobre 2017 3 6
November/Novembre 2017 2 5
December/ Décembre 2017 0 3
January/Janvier 2018 0 3
February/Février 2018 0 3
March/Mars 2018 0 3

Facts about Canada/U.S. Dairy Trade

April 20, 2017

April 20, 2017

Facts about Canada/U.S. Dairy Trade

In light of recent comments made about the Canadian dairy system and its impact on some American dairy farms, Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) is taking this opportunity to provide you with some feedback and perspective.

  • DFO believes it is important for all concerned to be made fully aware that there has been no change to any regulations affecting imports or border controls between the U.S. and Canada. All exports from the U.S. and imports into Canada are permitted as has been and there are no new trade policies. 
  • Contrary to any suggestion that Canada is protectionist, the U.S. enjoys a significant dairy trade surplus with Canada each year. The U.S. exports more dairy products to Canada than they import from Canada.
  • The fact is the U.S. enjoys a massive dairy trade surplus with Canada.
  • The fact is Canada runs a significant annual dairy trade deficit, such that we are a significant net importer of dairy products.
  • According to the Canadian Dairy Commission and Government of Canada public statistics, in 2016 Canada imported a total of almost $1B ($971M) in dairy products, and ran a total dairy trade deficit of almost $735M.
  • In 2016, almost two-thirds (2/3) of Canada’s imports were from U.S. ($557M), and the U.S. enjoyed a net trade surplus with Canada of almost half a billion dollars ($445M). 
  • This lopsided dairy trading relationship (in favour of the U.S.) is long-standing. In fact, Canada’s dairy trade deficit has more than doubled in the last 10 years alone such that Canada’s trade deficit in 2007 was $338M.
  • Canada’s dairy system is designed to avoid the very crisis that some farmers in the U.S. are facing with the sudden cancellation of dairy contracts. However, Canadian dairy practices are not to be blamed for the conditions U.S. processors and farmers are facing.

Top Line Numbers

  • Canada imported $970M, exported $235M, trade balance was $735M.
  • Canada imported $557M from U.S., exported $113M, so U.S. enjoyed a net trade surplus of $445M (i.e. 61% of Canada's overall trade deficit).

For the most up-to-date information and media links, please visit DFO’s Twitter page: https://twitter.com/DairyOntario

Dairy Farmers of Canada has also posted a blog entry on the topic.


Farm Policy

This week, Grassland Dairy Products Inc. announced that it would be reducing its milk intake. As a result, 75 U.S. dairy farms will need to find another place to sell their milk. In the letter explaining their decision, Grassland took aim at the Canadian dairy industry, suggesting that there have been changes to regulations in Canada that impact their business, and, therefore, that Canada is to blame for their decision. Canadian dairy farmers can’t express enough how unfortunate it is that our fellow American producers and their families will now face the repercussions of the decision made by Grasslands. Canadian producers can certainly sympathize – and would never wish this upon anyone. However, we must nonetheless point out the reality that there have been no changes to Canadian regulations related to dairy imports, or changes to Canadian dairy tariffs, and we want to set the record straight.

At the root of the American dairy sector’s argument is the recent implementation of a new class of milk (Class 7) in Canada. Unfortunately, their argument is filled with falsehoods and half-truths. Despite what has been said by the American dairy sector, Class 7 is a domestic policy, the sole purpose of which is to allow the Canadian dairy sector to be able to respond to a changing Canadian market environment. To be clear: the implementation of Class 7 does not block imports, or restrict American access to the Canadian market - Canadian businesses are still free to choose their own suppliers, just like American companies do.

The truth is, both the U.S. and world dairy markets are currently over-saturated, which has led to low prices at the farm-gate and a lower price received by the processors. Simply put, in the U.S, and around the world, too much milk is being produced. In the U.S, the oversupply of milk is exacerbated in an environment where processing capacity is lacking. When too much milk is produced, prices crash and there is no incentive to invest in increased processing capacities. The end result is job loss, loss of income for farmers, and in some cases, farmers having to shut down their farms. By contrast, in Canada, supply management (literally matching supply with demand) avoids overproduction, and reduces the impact of devastating market fluctuations, such as those that the U.S is currently experiencing.

We know that dairy producers in the U.S are going through tough times; however, incorrectly laying the blame on an unrelated Canadian domestic policy will not improve their situation. To further put things into perspective, Canada only has a population of approximately 36 million people - less than the state of California.

No matter how one views the situation, exports to a comparatively small Canadian market - one that is already filled with Canadian milk - are a drop in the bucket that will not solve the problems currently impacting the U.S dairy industry.

It is wrong to use Canada as a scapegoat for the situation in the United States.

Facts about Canada/U.S. Dairy Trade (PDF)

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