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Supply management of the dairy industry in Canada causing issues within CPTPP CPTPP panel sides with New Zealand over Canada dairy supply-management rules

OTTAWA — A Pacific Rim trade dispute panel has found Canada's dairy-sector protections violate obligations that Ottawa signed with New Zealand and other countries. The Liberal government, however, insists the ruling is a win, pointing to a clause that confirms Canada has some discretion over its imp...

CPTPP panel sides with New Zealand over Canada dairy supply-management rules

Cheese. It's expensive in Canada. 400g of grocery cheddar goes for $10.50 unless it's on sale.

I love cheese. I wish I could have more cheese in my life. Cheese and wine, but I'd settle for cheese. I know, it's ridiculous.

Canada has a system of supply management to control dairy prices in the country. This system doesn't get a ton of attention, but recently (today) made the news because New Zealand, who is part of the CPTPP, is having their cheese imports into Canada denied due to our regulations against imported cheese. Canadian dairy farmers are happy to continue posting year over year profits, consumers suffer, and our trade partners are unhappy.

Back in the day this made sense because it supported smaller local farms, but it's 2023 and there are only a handful of large dairy farmers that dominate the industry. Other countries subsidize their dairy industry to help keep prices low.

The most compelling reason I can think of to reverse supply management is that in doing so the government could subsidize grocery items. It would cost billions, but I like the idea of using tax dollars to make it easier for people to eat.

I don't think I'd vote on this issue, but I'd take it into consideration.

  • Its funny but I used to work on a diary farm, and I can tell you the quota system has a lot of advantages over other more wild wild west approaches, but even 20 years ago you needed to milk 100 head min to survive. This has not been for small operations for many years.

    I would love if the system was updated to focus on price reduction/stability. Increase the quota (more milk on market = cheaper milk) and remove or reduce the limitations on import (but still block nasty US style hormone buffed products). I like our dairy quality but I doubt New Zealand has lax standards comparatively. I would think the extra cost to ship it here would make it a premium fancy type product anyway.