New Dairy Farmers of Canada president faces a full plate of issues

Dairy Farmers of Canada’s new president certainly has his work cut out for him.

Pierre Lampron, a 51-year-old organic dairy producer from St. Boniface, Quebec, was elected at DFC’s annual general meeting in Edmonton on Wednesday, replacing Wally Smith who served his maximum three terms dating back to July 2011.

Lampron took some time to introduce himself and discuss several critical files facing DFC. Listen to the interview below to hear more about Lampron’s background and his perspective on the full plate of issues in front of him.

On NAFTA renegotiation set to begin in mid-August:

“We are on the spot. We have strong support from the government. This week, again, they told us ‘we support you. We continue.'”

On whether Canada’s dairy industry would compromise on the new dairy ingredient strategy, which the U.S. ag secretary and dairy groups have specifically referred to repeatedly, in trade talks:

“We think we are okay at the WTO with all their rules. Our classes conform. They focus on that, but we think we are okay with our ingredient strategy. The problem in the U.S. is not the supply management of Canada.”

On Dairy Farmers of Ontario planning to withdraw its tens of millions of dollars in funding for DFC’s marketing and promotions as of January 1, 2018:

“We need negotiation. We need to talk together and understand why the Ontario producer board decided that…I asked them to invite me to be at their board meeting next week to talk about the situation.”

“It’s why we didn’t vote on the (2018) budget this week. It will be at our next meeting in February…we need to have a good contract or MOU with each of the provinces.”

On proposed changes to the Canada Food Guide:

“We need to show why dairy products are important for the health of the population. It’s not yet, but we know dairy is very important in the diet.”

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