Grain groups call federal dairy compensation "shameful"


Non-supply managed agriculture sectors are raising concerns over the recent federal announcement of compensation for the dairy sector.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Marie-Claude Bibeau announced last week that Canada’s 11,000 dairy producers will receive $1.75 billion over eight years, with $345 million being paid the first year as direct payments to dairy producers in proportion to their quota.

Calling the move “shameful,” the Western Canadian Wheat Growers (WCWG) didn’t hold back when responding to the news.

“This is simply electioneering on behalf of our federal government. Dairy farmers in Quebec are receiving funding whereas grain farmers across the prairies are only offered ways to increase their farm debt through the Advanced Payment Programs,” says president of the WCWG, Gunter Jochum.

For the last three years, non-tariff barriers have blocked durum exports to Italy, Saudi Arabia, Peru and Vietnam, the Wheat Growers list in its press release, plus pulse exports to India are similarly being blocked, and a trade war with China has suspended canola exports to the country.

The Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) have called the payout “disappointing” and say grain farmers are being neglected by the federal government.

“The China/U.S. Trade war and Canada’s strained relationship with China are having an impact on our farmer members’ ability to market their crop. We should have been included in the trade compensation package announced late last week,” says Markus Haerle, chair of the GFO.

GFO also says that dairy farmers, “have yet to experience the trade impacts on their sector.”

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