There seems to be some confusion regarding the intentions of the Conservative government at the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, particularly in regards to supply management. The entire dairy industry, the federal NDP, federal Liberals, and anyone that would never send a Christmas card to Stephen Harper feel that supply management is bound to be busted up.

Yet at the Ag Leaders Debate in Ottawa this week, Federal Ag Minister Gerry Ritz emphatically maintained that he and the Conservative government “have the back of dairy producers.”  (SEE THE VIDEO BELOW)

So why won’t the dairy industry take him for his word? Is the lack of trust just about left versus right wing politics?

What if Gerry Ritz and Ed Fast do have the dairy industry’s back?

What if TPP achieves the ultimate ability for dairy producers to maintain a strong domestic price structure while gaining them access to certain international markets?

What if Gerry Ritz comes out of the TPP negotiations looking like the best friend the dairy industry ever had?

His words will lead you to believe a friendship does exist. And it’s only a matter of time until we will know for sure.

One thought on “Gerry Ritz: “We Have Dairy Farmers’ Backs”

  1. It is interesting in the negotiations that the entire Canadian industry should pay, via restrictions and cost, for the dairy and chicken quota industries. I think there is a great opportunity for the dairy and quota industry if they would look beyond the quota and look at opportunities rather than their limited markets. There are small cheese producers starting to make better cheese now and I would assume they will be restricted in exporting their cheese. Times have changed and the world market is more accessible if you are innovative. I know this is missing (innovation) in the Dairy industry and it is clearly showing with their behavior. But, again, why should the rest of the industry pay? With negotiations there is always a give and take and if Canada is not willing to give on one subject there is no advantages given on another. Consumers are turning to alternate milk sources like goats because of the quality concerns with dairy and cultural preferences. The farmers worldwide that are protesting the loudest are the subsidized farmers. It is interesting, for example, that the largest butter exporting country has no subsidy and is doing not too badly. “With annual exports in excess of NZ$13.7 billion, the dairy industry is New Zealand’s biggest export earner, accounting for more than 29% by value of the …” http://www.dcanz.com/about-nz-dairy-industry/dairying-today. At this point Dairy farmers need to be more inventive and approach business more creatively as shown in other countries like New Zealand.

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