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Opinion

Supply-managed sectors must be protected

By NDP MP Alistair MacGregor      

The unfortunate reality is that with pieces of our domestic market continually being carved off as bargaining chips in trade disputes, there may be little left of these once-thriving industries for the next generation of farmers.

In the case of the dairy sector, alone, recent trade deals signed by Canada: CETA, the CPTPP, and now NAFTA 2.0 (USMCA), have resulted in a combined 10 per cent loss of our domestic market, writes NDP MP Alistair MacGregor. Photograph courtesy of Pixabay

Supply management is a way for farmers, specifically, those who produce milk, chickens, turkeys, and eggs, to control, through a marketing system, the supply or quantity of their commercial products. It was set up in the 1970s to combat against wild price fluctuations that were hurting farmers, notably price instability and interprovincial trade disputes. The system guarantees a minimum price for the products that farmers produce, based on production costs and market conditions, and it ensures farmers have a guaranteed income based on the quota they hold. It also means availability of locally-produced, high-quality, Canadian-made products with a higher standard than many other jurisdictions have.

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