Supply Management, the TPP & the Potential for Dairy Exports: Muirhead

What does Canada’s participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership really mean to supply management? Will Canada give up some or all of the supply management pillars in the face of trade opportunities for other agricultural products? While there are no clear cut answers as of yet, TPP negotiations are most certainly a topic of interest for Canada’s dairy farmers.

Bruce Muirhead, professor with the University of Waterloo, spoke at this year’s Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, and outlined what the countries involved in the TPP were pushing for. In this video, Muirhead explains why he believes supply management is a good system for Canadian dairy farmers and what would have to happen for Canada to participate in more dairy export markets.


If you cannot see the embedded video, click here.


10 thoughts on “Supply Management, the TPP & the Potential for Dairy Exports: Muirhead

  1. You have to think that Canada needs to lose this crazy system that just subsidizes milk producers and negatively impacts my ability as an American Dairyman to compete.

  2. As a Canadian Consumer I do not want the U.S. quality of milk and desire to pay our prices. John has not done his homework because the Canadian Dairy Producers are not being subsidized. What I do not care for is that the Canadian Farmer whom chooses not to be in the Quota System can not by private contract make available Fresh Unpasteurized Whole Milk to a person that can not afford a farm. These Regulations must be changed soon because phosphatase, an enzyme needed for the body to absorb calcium is killed by pasteurization. Also lactase, lipase, and CLA plus more is lowered or killed.
    For better research go to

    1. I am overwelmed by some of the opinions. I am a US dairy producer, I am not making money, I do feed anything that will make milk and am proud of it, I have a 140,000 t0 160,000 scc consistantly and do not use bst and sign a document that guarentees that I will not. my cows are drug free so I have no idea what you mean when you say you do not want US quality milk. We are starving to death financialy in my area milking cows and cull very heavy because of it. I would welcome anything that would put stability back in the dairy business, Gerry at Harmon Co Dairy

      1. Thanks for sharing Gerry. What coments are overwhelming? FYI I personally do not belive the canadian dairy industries view that canadian milk is so much better and safer than US milk. What would you like to see to bring stability to your industry? Not that i think anything in agiculture can truly be stable.

      2. For all Dairy Farmers South of the 49th,
        To make farming worth while, check out The good old U.S.A. needs you. We can not keep up to the demand when the public gets educated.
        Sorry to all that have had to leave the farm.

  3. A consumer subsidy is still a subsidy. You pay it out of your grocery bill instead of your taxes, and it needs increasing import tariffs to get consumers to pay for more subsidies.

  4. Richard how is the canadian industry not subsidized? Quota in essence is proping up dairy prices and burdening the consumer with higher milk prices than are nessesary, I Would call that a subsidy. Milk is 1/3rd cheaper in the states, for this household that difference is about $700 a year. How is charging me $700 per year more to support dairy farmers any different than taxing me $700 more and giving it to the dairy farmers as subsidies?

    For this farmer the quota system is a doubble wammy. As on the personal side it costs me more to feed my wife and kids. On the busniess side having this system makes it harder for us to negociate for things like the TPP that will benifit my family farms bottom line by increasing my access to global markets.

    The quota system hurts this farmer. And hurts alot of ordanary working class canadians who have to pay more for milk. Especially poor canadians who dont have alot of extra income to buy essentials such as milk at inflated prices.

    1. Shorter growing season results in less food grown for the cows which results in less food for the cows which results in higher prices for feed. The TPP will bring in cheaper food than a Canadian Farmer can produce and no country will want our exports because our milk will be too high price to produce for the farmer to stay in business.
      As a farmer, you may buy a cow to reduce your personal food cost. I wonder why you have not done so.
      Does any Canadian really want U.S. produced milk at less cost if they know that the cows may be fed chicken manure, M & M candies, expired baked goods, etc. just so the U.S. Dairy Producer can make enough to feed his family? Also, do you want Bovine Growth Hormone Milk? Not all is but?

      1. As far as the hormones and other things that may or may not be in American milk, what does that have to do with the quota system? That is a regulatory thing not a supply managment issue. weather to drink one kind of milk or the other should be up to the consumer.

        As for the short growing season, beef farmers (of which I am one) also have the same short growing season. We are making a great living with these feed costs which are on par with producers in montana or washington. Yesterday I loaded a truck of dairy hay bound for a washington dairy. Because the non supply managed Americans can pay more than the canadian dairy farmers for the same product.

        Also by that logic there would be no dairys in New York state and Michigan, as they have the same short growing season as southern Ontario and Quebec, but we know that there are many profitable dairys in that region.

        As a farmer I could buy a cow and lower my food costs but many canadians do not have that option and are forced to pay more for their milk to susidise canada’s milk, and poultry producers.

        Unless you can explain how supply managment is not a subsidy.

  5. Access to Canadian dairy markets will not change anything fr the individual American or European farmer. Instability is bred into their system. Only a change to their system may make a difference. Supply management anyone?

Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.