Dec. 17, 2013

OTTAWA — Today’s decision by the Canadian Dairy Commission to increase dairy prices by another 1 per cent as of Feb. 1, 2014 adds up to a $26-million hit to Canada’s restaurant industry and exceeds the CDC’s own price projections.

This price increase comes on the heels of­­­ a Ways and Means motion by the federal government in late November that suddenly shut down a pizza cheese import process that the courts have twice upheld.

“Weeks ago we presented to both the CDC and the federal government proposing a collaborative approach to set dairy prices and to modernize the current dairy system,” says CRFA President and CEO Garth Whyte. “It is clear the CDC and the federal government are not listening.”

Given these two latest developments, CRFA is looking for answers from government on these questions:

  • Canadians currently pay milk prices that are among the highest in the world; what needs to be done to finally bring our prices in line?
  • Who is behind these decisions that have the greatest impact on those least able to pay for rising milk prices?
  • Why does the government continue to protect the privileged dairy sector interest group?
  • Who is looking after the national interest in the recent dairy sector decisions?
  • How can the voice of consumers and key stakeholders be heard in Ottawa under the current supply management system?

Dairy prices in Canada have historically outpaced both the consumer price index, and the farmer’s own cost of production. “We have told the CDC that they are pricing dairy off the menu,” says Whyte.

CRFA is one of Canada’s largest business associations, with 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada’s $65-billion restaurant industry employs more than one million people in communities across the country.

Click here (PDF) to see how dairy price increases have outpaced other economic indicators.


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