Dairy Farmers of Ontario

Dairy Farmers of Ontario

January 13, 2006 14:29 ET

DFO: Support For Canada's Dairy Marketing Systems Must Remain Strong In Trade Negotiations

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 13, 2006) - Strong support for Canada's successful dairy marketing systems from all federal parties and all provincial legislatures has been key in the ongoing international trade negotiations, says Bruce Saunders, chair of Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO). He says this support will be increasingly important and must remain strong as Canada continues to deal with the remaining trade risks as the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations head towards a possible conclusion in 2006.

In his address to the more than 600 people attending DFO's 40th annual meeting, Saunders highlighted these issues and a number of others the industry had faced during the last year.

"We have to express our appreciation to all the provincial parties for this level of support and I would ask you to express your appreciation to your own MPP," Saunders said. Equally important was the motion that passed unanimously in the House of Commons. "The all-party support for direction to the negotiators to seek a deal that resulted in no over-quota tariff reduction and no within quota access for supply management commodities affirmed the level of support for supply management within the political parties,' he said.

Saunders added that the industry greatly appreciates the work of Andy Mitchell, federal Agriculture Minister, and Steve Verheul, Canada's agricultural trade negotiator, at recent WTO talks in Hong Kong.

"I would also like to recognize the efforts of Provincial Minister of Agriculture Dombrowsky as well as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Bountrogianni for their participation and presence in Hong Kong," Saunders said. The Federal Ministers briefed the Provincial Minister every day and the Provincial Minister then gave a briefing to the Ontario delegation and offered to be a conduit to the Federal Ministers if we had concerns, he added.

One of the other issues highlighted in the address was the fact that the meeting marked the 40th anniversary for the organization. "This is a special time for our organization and our system of marketing milk," Saunders said. "For 40 years producers have participated in a supply management system that has benefited all participants in the supply chain from producers, transporters, processors, retailers and consumers."

He said that farmers and politicians took very visionary steps to create the system that has been modified over the years into the successful current program. "It has worked; the pooling of revenues, pooling of transportation, allocation of milk to processors, is all about fairness," Saunders said. "There is stability in our industry which has allowed for capital investment as each farm strives for more efficiencies but more importantly is the youth investment." Commenting on the young average age of Ontario's dairy farmers, he said, "It is a vigorous, dynamic business that has a future. A future that all of you will have the opportunity to participate in."

For more information or a copy of the Annual Report, check www.milk.org

Dairy Farmers of Ontario is the marketing group for all dairy farmers in Ontario and is totally financed by them.

Contact Information

  • Dairy Farmers of Ontario
    Bill Mitchell
    Assistant Director Communications and Planning Division
    (905) 821-8970
    (905) 821-3160 (FAX)