In a statement that some people will consider a surprise, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard mentioned to Bloomberg that Canada may want to consider appeasing the U.S. by changing its class 7 pricing system.
According to a story in the Financial Post the Premier said, “If that’s the main issue, let us see how we can approach that separate from supply management, of course our dairy farmers will need to be very adequately compensated for whatever will be done.”
Quebec is the largest dairy producing province with 5,368 of Canada’s 10,951 total dairy farms according to Statistics Canada.
“With the importance of the dairy industry to Quebec voters and an election coming up in the fall, any mention of compromising on this issue to appease the U.S. seems like political death in Quebec which is why I was so surprised to see the comment,” reflected RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney.
When asked about the Quebec premier’s comments, Dairy Farmers of Ontario general manager and CEO Graham Lloyd responded by saying the industry clearly has to do a better job of explaining the need for class 7 pricing to citizens and politicians.
Lloyd stated in an interview with RealAgriculture on Tuesday, “I don’t think the premier has a full appreciation for how class 7 works or why class 7 was introduced in Canada.”
Tinkering with the class 7 pricing system is exactly what U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has been saying all along as he has been routinely quoted as saying, “Canada can keep its supply management system but its class 7 that must be dealt with.”
Hear Shaun Haney’s full discussion with Graham Lloyd of the Dairy Farmers of Ontario below.