OTTAWA, October 5, 2015 – Restaurants Canada congratulates the federal government for reaching an agreement in principle that will ensure Canada is a full participant in the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. We are concerned, however, that the deal gives yet another unfair advantage to our competitors in the food manufacturing sector, through preferential access to dairy products at world market prices.
The deal states that a significant majority of market access for dairy products will be directed to value-added processing, providing a price advantage for that sector.
“More open markets for dairy and poultry are the missing ingredients in this agreement,” said Joyce Reynolds, executive vice president of government affairs with Restaurants Canada. “The 40-year-old supply management model is broken, and the time for change is long overdue.”
As one of the largest food buyers in the country, the restaurant industry has long called for the modernization of supply management to bring more innovation, efficiency and growth in the poultry and dairy sectors – and to position these sectors for success as the world moves toward freer trade in agriculture.
Restaurants Canada also recognizes that the government must assist the small number of supply managed farmers who will be affected by this agreement and from the outset has supported:
- short-term transition measures that help supply-managed farmers adjust to a new global trading reality;
- full reciprocity that guarantees Canadian dairy and poultry farmers are not disadvantaged by continued domestic assistance to farmers of our TPP trading partners.
“The restaurant industry looks forward to being part of the dialogue on modernizing supply management and continuing to grow demand for Canada’s high quality farm products,” said Reynolds.
Restaurants Canada is a growing community of 30,000 foodservice businesses, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and suppliers. We connect our members from coast to coast, through services, research and advocacy for a strong and vibrant restaurant industry. Canada’s restaurant industry directly employs 1.2 million Canadians, is the number one source of first jobs, and serves 18 million customers every day.