Dairy industry’s new pizza cheese class remains mozzarella only

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According to this article, mozzarella cheese for the Canadian fresh pizza market is estimated to be 35,000 tonnes (about 2% of the total butterfat market) annually, yet, by way of comparison, an October 18 article on this site noted that the recent CETA trade deal would increase imports of European cheese by 17,000 tonnes (from 13,000 tonnes to 30,000 tonnes) and which is less than half the amount of now-discounted cheese to be used in our fresh pizza industry, and/or another 1% marginal change in the market, if the figures are correct.

Methinks our dairy industry is trying to be a whole-lot slippery with the truth, any truth, when it comes to their ability to continue to rake in rip-off profits at the expense of Canadian consumers. For example, it would appear that the incremental amount of cheese to come from Europe would be about 1% of our total butterfat market, not 4%, as is widely cited by our dairy industry.

In addition, our frozen pizza makers pay $7.54 per kilogram for mozzarella cheese (supposedly to allow them to compete with foreign frozen pizza makers), while fresh pizza makers will now pay $10.56 per kilogram, whereas the current supply management Kremlin-style "complete rip-off" price for mozzarella cheese is $14.12 per kilogram - meaning that fresh pizza makers still pay 40% more than they need to pay for mozzarella cheese, and that anyone not in the pizza business pays over 87% more than they need to pay - meaning that Canadian dairy farmers are rip-off artists, and bandits, of the highest order.

Or, to look at it another way, given that dairy farmers are already forced to give frozen pizza makers the world price for milk in order to allow them to compete, and after ten years of lobbying, they have finally, and grudgingly, agreed to give fresh pizza makers a token price break on what is an extremely small amount of the total market for cheese, why are they now crying doom and gloom over less than half the amount of product to come from Europe as they have conceded, albeit grudgingly, just to the fresh pizza industry alone?

The question remains - "Why would anyone who doesn't own quota ever go to a rally to support this type of banditry, and outright-selfishness, on the part of the Canadian dairy industry?"

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

It's really something to watch this huge beureaucracy bumble along feeding on itself and growing ever bigger and more expensive to upkeep. I wonder how many employees it took to set up this process and sort through applications? Sort of reminds me of a huge dinosaur trudging along stepping on anyone that gets in it's way.

Get a rally to protest SM food?

Every day, Canadian consumers "rally" at the closest supermarket to them in the US when they go there to buy dairy and poultry products - yet our supply managed farmers, and the farm organizations which pander to them, are completely-obvivious to any of it, and all of it.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

all summer the consumers could purchase canadian cheese for
$4-5/500g....also butter goes on sale regularly for less than $4/lb ....how much cheaper do you want it for ??
eggs are pretty an inexpensive protein source ...often less than $4/dz.
G Kimble

I can, and do, buy eggs for the posted farm-gate price of $1.75 per dozen at one farm, and for $2.00 per dozen at a number of other farms. These prices obviously cover the farmer's "cost-of-production", or else they wouldn't be doing it - and that's also why the "egg police" restrict non-quota egg farmers to 100 hens, instead of the 500 hens they used to be allowed to keep.

In addition, there's not much argument for you to make when dairy farmers, not the market, set prices of mozzarella cheese to fresh pizza makers at 40% above the prices charged to frozen pizza makers, and set the price of mozzarella cheese to anyone not in the pizza business at 87% more than what frozen pizza makers pay.

What is it about the truth that supply management supporters just can't accept?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

l haven't seen a lot of Pizza joints going out of business the last 10 years,being overburdened with the price of Mozzarella ! If fact the opposite is true, there are more than ever!

Supply management supporters continually avoid the point that, even now, fresh pizza makers are forced to pay 40% more than frozen pizza makers to buy mozzarella cheese, the most expensive ingredient in any pizzza, while anyone not in the pizza business is forced, for no other reason than the unmitigated greed of Canadian dairy farmers, to pay 87% more for mozzarella cheese than they need to pay. It's the inability to see nothing wrong with gouging consumers to this extent, that defines Canadian dairy farmers as bandits.

In addition, supply management supporters can't "see the forest for the trees" because while they see the proliferation of pizza outlets as a sign that there is nothing wrong, they avoid the first principles of business and economics which dictates increases in sales when businesses aren't forced by greedy dairy farmers to pay rip-off prices for the most-costly item in their product.

I mean, really, why do farmers fall all over themselves to deny the significance of figures released by the organizations representing dairy farmers?

More to the point, given that farmers would be the first people to scream blue murder if they were forced to pay 87% more than anybody for anything, why do they see nothing wrong when they are the ones doing the gouging?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I guess the pizza makers don't mind since they keep making pizza's so I kind of think your rant is a moot point...

My "rant" has everything to do with the undeniable truth that Canadian dairy farmers are still forcing fresh pizza makers (an industry which could easily employ more people than dairy farming) to pay 40% more than they need to pay for mozzarella cheese, the most expensive ingredient in any pizza.

What is it about the dismissiveness of even the Dairy Farmers of Ontario pointing out that anyone who doesn't make pizza pays 87% more for mozzarella cheese than frozen pizza makers, that supply management supporters just can't, or refuse to, understand?

Thankfully, it isn't likely to be (hopefully) too long before the "rants" we hear most often, are going to be, as they were last week, the rants of dairy farmers about to lose 1% of their market to European interests - and, nobody will listen, or will even want to listen to dairy farmers who, not long ago, had the President of their organization, Wally Smith, boast that the farm-gate price of milk in Canada, was the highest in the world.

Only in Canadian agriculture, would the national President of a producer organization boast about how badly they are screwing their customers.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

One would almost think that you are looking for Martyr or Saint status with how you are obsessed with this trivial issue . When are you going to start advocating for Agriculture . Remember Equity With US Farmers ! as you had on your trailer that you pulled around the province !

Only in Canadian agriculture would people think it is a trivial issue for close to 35 million people to be forced to pay almost 87% more for certain types of cheese than they need to pay, solely to support the greed of somewhere around 13,000 dairy farmers.

Instead of obsessing about why I appear to aspire to sainthood, why not admit that supply management really is the Devil?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Going by the local paper a while back,there is a big discrepancy(US/Can.) in baby diapers prices.35 million Canadians would appreciate you getting on your white horse for that one as well.

Nothing serves to "advocate for agriculture" better than trying to get rid of the scourge of supply management, and its ability to pit farmers against consumers, and its ability to pit farmers against other farmers.

Indeed, while equity with US farmers is a goal, the real goal, and one which would serve 90% of Canadian farmers far-better, would be to level the playing field in Canada by getting rid of the supply managed sector which hides behind 200% tariff barriers in order to enjoy incomes and purchasing power which give them an absolute advantage over every other farmer, as well as driving job-creating companies like Chobani as far away from Canada as they can get.

And, with no respect whatsoever, it's not a trivial issue - because this schism/two solitudes is THE major issue facing Canadian agriculture, it is demeaning and dismissive for anyone to try to trivialize it, in any way.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I believe it was also Wally Smith that claimed they had never stood in the way of any trade agreement for any export related farm commodity...I guess with the rant from dairy about the EU deal, we won't have to listen to that claim again.

When you buy dairy on sale its a good deal but at regular price it sends shivers up your back. Just look at the other SM products and even beef, pork and the other food where sometimes it just sad to walk into the store and see the price and look into your wallet and say what do I need not want today. The rest of the money goes to hydro , gas and paying big taxes before I even think of going to get some food , so where is it that the farmers should be the one to sell at a loss so others can eat like at a buffet and the farmer has to check his wallet to make sure they have enough to buy the food for the week. Isn,t there some countries like that even today where the government owns the land and the people work on them for next to nothing and the food is still out of this world to buy? Some people must have some tunnel vision that can,t see the whole picture just whats in their little world, dream on.

They were turned down on the other types cheeses because the Pizza makers have failed to pass on the Mozzarella discount to consumers, when it was media hyped back in June that they would be doing just that! If fact now we are being informed some Pizzerias never intended to lower their prices after getting a discount on Mozzarella.With that kind of attitude they could be waiting longer than 10 years for their next discount.

At the time the price concession on mozzarella cheese to fresh pizza makers was announced, a number of them indicated they had been holding a lid on their prices so as to try to keep their sales up, and made it perfectly clear that they weren't likely to lower prices because a price rollback on cheese was simply going to restore their normal profitability.

Only Canadian farmers would try to make fresh pizza makers the villians, when all they got was a token price rollback which still left them paying 40% more than they needed to pay for mozzarella cheese, the most expensive ingredient in pizza.

The real villians in this story are, of course, and as always, Canadian dairy farmers - and tellingly enough, it's the dismissive and patronizing attitude of Canadian dairy farmers towards their customers, in this case fresh pizza makers, which is exactly why supply management is not well-liked, and will not be missed.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

So your say the Pizza guys have been losing money all these years and now with the Mozzarella discount they can return to normal profiability ?? what Bull!
Whether its Pizza,Burger and Fries,KFC chicken or Subs, these fast food places are all making money and they will continue to make money.
Yes, l support Dairy farmers and Chicken,Pork,and Beef as well.If Pizza places tell me they have to raise prices to survive,then so be it...but when Pork and Beef farming neighbours relate to me how much money they are losing per/animal like they have in the past few 7-8 years then l have to ask why do Hamburgers or Ham subs not drop in price?Why does Pork in the Grocery stores not drop when l hear Hog farmers losing $50/hog.Exactly who are we supporting when this happens ? certainly not the farmers.

One of the shibboleths continually proffered by supply management supporters is that of "reasonable prices", and this story outlines exactly why that claim is completely absurd.

For example, if frozen pizza makers are allowed to pay $7.54 per kilogram for mozzarella cheese, and if fresh pizza makers are forced to pay $10.56 per kilogram (40% more) and if everyone else is forced to pay $14.12 per kilogram (over 87% more), which one of these three wildly-differing prices is the "reasonable price" that supply management supporters always boast about?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I think you need to work back to see how the price is arrived at . To me the farmer is the price taker . I would think some where in the Gov chain there is a regulation/legislation that rules how things work . You can't blame the farmer himself for producing for a set price . The provincial or federal board may well keep the farmer in the dark as to how price is derived or agreed upon with the gov regs/legislation .

It is my understanding that you are an OFA PAC representative . Has this ever been discussed at OFA ? Will it be brought up at OFA convention later this month ?


Farmers have, for over 40 years, boasted that supply management results in "reasonable" prices for the products produced by supply management - yet the three wildly-differing prices set for mozzarella cheese, and set by the farmers who run supply management, based solely on whether you produce frozen pizza, fresh pizza, or home-made pizza, shows that the boasts made about supply management are empty, and so-wrong as to be the sort of thing normally featured on shows like Saturday Night Live, the Air Farce, or 22 Minutes.

More to the point, charging three completely-different prices for exactly the same product, in any zodiac except supply managed agriculture, would, in addition to making a farce out of any notion of "reasonable" pricing, be obscene, if not also totally-illegal.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton

I guess you would say the same for an autobody shop having a different price for an insurance job . Yes ??

Oh ye of incredibly-dimunitive comprehension - name me one body shop that charges 87% more for one customer than for another, and publishes price lists showing that they do so, and I'll show you a body shop that's gone out of business.

The point still remains that if body shops were allowed, by law, to buy Tremclad for $5/gallon, and if farm machinery dealerships were forced, by law, to pay 40% more, while farmers were forced to pay over 87% more, or $9.35 per gallon, then even the dumbest supply management supporter might understand the double standard.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Once again you go off avoiding the subject of the question asked .
It has long been known that there are two price systems for body work . Same thing at the dentist . You got your head stuck some where that is cutting off much needed oxygen .

If you watched CBC last night, they showed Economy Lube where people went
in to get a $20 oil change and came out $200 poorer. It was all caught on tape how they made up problems which needed to be fixed and never even did them.
3 different cars were used. They had been checked by a qualified mechanic and
1 woman and 2 men were over charged.

Don't blame the dairy farmers for the likes of McCain Foods Ltd. and other frozen-pizza exporters winning an exemption from Ottawa years ago that allows them to buy cheese at the cheaper world price.Ottawa gave them that lower price not the dairy farmers.McCain warned they couldn't survive without the excemption,with all the number of Pizza joints around it would be foolish of them to say the same thing!

That,s what I say all along the big guys get money or laws to help them out and the small guys go it alone. How many big companies get a pot full of money and end up going to another country with the money .

There's a conspiracy just past the farm gate to beat all farmers into the ground...led by McCain Foods etc.
Does anybody take this seriously...other than the NFU?
Without the raw product, there is no McCains. Without McCains, where do you think your produce will go to?
Maybe you should read a little of the George Morris Center's literature...you don't seem to grasp how things work.
Wait a minute...are you in SM? That would explain it.

Not knowing who the original poster is but I myself am not in SM .
Ah Ha moment for me was when you made mention of GMC . Need I say any more !!

l think you better read exactly what Supply Management means.If there is not McCains there we would compensate for that loss but l think you may be overestimating what share of the Mozzarella cheese market that McCain's uses.
As for the George Morris Centre,when making my farm decisions they would be last on my list for advice! They may be great for lecturing Politicians but please don't tell me how to run my farm!

I think the GMC is a highly respected organization, they approach issues without emotion, unlike people who are deeply involved in the production side of agriculture who tend to think with their heart and not with their pocket book.

Sean McGivern

It has many times been said to me that

Editor: Comment will be published if resubmitted and signed.

McCain's, and other frozen pizza makers, like the new Dr. Oetker plant in London, get the world price for cheese because they deserve to have the world price for cheese. Fresh pizza makers and consumers also deserve to have the world price for cheese, but greedy Canadian dairy farmers won't let them.

Only the distorted mind of a Canadian farmer would generate the "logic" that fresh pizza makers and consumers can afford, and therefore, deserve to pay 40% and 87% respectively, more than they need to pay for mozzarella cheese simply so that 13,000 dairy farmers can continue to be financial bullies in the farm community.

It doesn't matter who forced dairy farmers to sell mozzarella cheese to frozen pizza makers at the world price - the fact of the matter is that this three-priced system makes a complete mockery of claims by supply managed farmers that their product is "reasonably-priced" when, by definition, two of those prices are unreasonable.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Quote: "because they deserve to have the world price" Sure would be nice to also have the world price for machinery, farm equipment parts and auto parts as well as fertilizer and chemicals now wouldn't it. Perhaps you need to expand your wish list as well as your lobby agenda.

Name one thing produced in Canada for which you pay 87% more than some other Canadian - you can't, because it only happens in supply management, and it happens in supply management only because of the wretched greediness of about 15,000 farmers in a country of more-than 30 million people.

Supply management supporters are like a never-ending "whack-a-mole" game - they just don't know when they have nothing left to argue.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

While I am not disagreeing with your much higher prices for supply management, you ignored my added point. We also pay much higher Canadian prices for farm equipment, parts and fertilizer plus numerous other items. So, where is your lobby efforts on those items?

Do you really expect an answer ? I mean really now have you ever seen him answer a direct question !

I try to not respond to anonymous jerks, especially when they're really going out-of-their-way to be jerks.

Once again, for those anonymous jerks who still feel compelled to support policies which screw consumers and non-supply managed farmers, the entire story was about the three wildly differing prices for mozzarella cheese, a product produced in Canada, and sold to Canadians.

If anyone can produce an answer as to why anyone can still claim supply management results in "reasonable prices", given the range in prices demonstrated in the story, three magi are likely to arrive from the east on camels to see him/her.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Consumers only care about the final price they have to pay and in relation to this article its how much the final product (Pizza) costs! It doesn't matter if its frozen,fresh or home-made,
Its the same thing when we pull into a gas station,we all know the taxes involved,Federal,Prov,HST and how they contribute greatly to the cost but all we really care about is what we pay at the till! ..or the credit card bill we see at the end of the month.

Let's say there are three pumps at each gas station, and each pump distributes exactly the same blend of gasoline - however,

(1) pump #1 is for use only by trucks carrying frozen pizza, and the price is clearly marked, for all to see, as $X.
(2)The second pump is for use only by fresh pizza delivery vans, and the price is also clearly marked as 1.4 times X
(3) the third pump is for use by everybody else, and the price, also clearly marked for all to see, is 1.87 times X.

How long, to the nearest second, is it likely to take the average motorist to figure out that he/she is paying 87% more than she/he needs to pay?

Just because something is hidden, or masked, doesn't make it right.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

You are describing Canda , the USA and Mexico . NAFTA .
Do I get a prize ???

You seem to have forgot one . The pump at the Indian Reserve which is cheaper yet !!

the gas "pump" operated by first-nations bands is a metaphor for cross-border shopping by consumers as their way of getting back at rip-off Canadian dairy farmers - or it's a metaphor for the gang of people arrested a few years ago for smuggling cheese in from the US, and selling it to restaurants.

I mean, really, you know you're on borrowed time, and you know you have lost the support of the public, when people smuggle stuff into the country to sell to compete against you.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

It does not matter . You did not say that you want to see SM gone so you MUST be an SM supporter !
It would be thought that he has the publics best interest in mind but then he would not sit at meetings reading news papers will being there to represent .
I don't think any one is going to throw thier coat on the floor for him to walk on and say hail Stephen .

I didn't see you answering the question that was posed to you...give us a list of items...there aren't any.

One Pizzeria owner likened the new Mozzarella price to gas going down 80 cents,the Media reported it was a good deal for Dairy farmers,Processors and Pizza makers.They should have been able to say it was a good deal for Pizza lovers as well but when the majority of Pizza Joints failed to pass on the cheese savings, it only became a good deal for them alone!

For about the thousandth time, because mozzarella cheese is the most-expensive component in any pizza, most fresh pizza makers had been walking a tightrope on their cost/volume/profit equation because dairy farmers had been holding them hostage.

What is it about the banditry of, and/or obscenity of, being forced to pay over 87% more than you need to pay, and then have it be reduced to only 40% more, that farmers can't see/won't see as still being fundamentally unfair?

And for again about the thousandth time, why do farmers insist on passing impaired judgements about cost/volume/profit equations, and about businesses, they simply don't understand?

Finally, why can't farmers understand that the true culprits in this sordid mess are dairy farmers who are still holding fresh pizza makers hostage to a 40% price gouging, and are still holding consumers hostage to a more than 87% price gouging?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

All I can say is the cheese not the most expensive on a pizza , I make them at home all the time so quit the BS.

Are you the pizza King?

Stephen you are jealous of the dairy farmers because you sold your quota and can not get back into it

I have never owned quota because I believe it is always ultimately a poor decision to invest in something, which like quota, is totally dependent on legislation, rather than economics, for its existence.

Secondly, I'm not jealous of anyone, especially dairy farmers - I, however, am incensed at the extent to which dairy farmers don't care about consumers, and don't care about other farmers - it's all about them, all of the time.

Thirdly, dairy farmers don't care that Canadian consumers have to pay 87% more for Canadian-produced mozzarella cheese than frozen pizza makers. Dairy farmers don't care that, even according to the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Ontario consumers were paying almost 37% more for milk than US consumers. Dairy farmers don't care about other farmers as they rush to buy all the land they can find because they can't buy any more quota.

Why would/how could anyone be jealous of dairy farmers? Pity maybe, disgust probably, but jealousy - not a chance.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

sorry about thinking you had Quota I got mixed up on another Steve. Why is it when you go to the states as you go south the dairy products in the store keep going up in price?

Last winter my wife and I visited the state of Kentucky. Beside our hotel was a Walmart with full grocery. One gallon of homo milk, labelled as hormone free was regular priced at $2.60 a gallon. The real shocker was chicken, as boneless fresh chicken breast was $1.99 per pound,(1/3 the price of here) regular priced. Raube Beuerman

Wisconsin is a dairy hub in the USA, from which prices are generally the base price + transportation charges. The farther away from Wisconsin you get, the higher the price (in most cases).

It works the same for gasoline. The closer to the refinery, the lower the price. If you are smack dab in between two or more refineries, you enjoy the lowest price of all, as the two refineries compete for your business. If you are at the end of the line, with only one economically viable source, you pay through the nose.

Where I live, there is no local abattoir that does poultry, the nearest quota-based chicken farm is 700 km away, so chicken is even more expensive than Southern Ontario, and Southern Ontario is 3 times more expensive than the USA.

I friend in Clearwater Beach Florida just reported to me that Grade A large eggs are four dozen for $5 and chicken breasts are going for $1.98 a pound this week.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers

You mean Wisconsin the "former" Dairy hub of the US, now they have to actually import milk from other states to meet their demand,Where the State Agriculture Dept. gives dairy farmers grants up to 5,000 in a goal to produce more milk,of course they don't call it a subsidy..that's a dirty word down there.

So are there not young people just lined up at their banks wanting to get into dairy ? Sounds like an opportunity to me for all of their young farmers . Could it be that the price is not high enough to entice young people to start milking cows ? Maybe they are selling too much cheese and too many cheese curds !

See now there is the problem . You don't pay enough and people don't want to do it and your world market price is the problem . Where as here you have people looking across the border saying look at how good it is over there . Funny part is those here don't know jack about over there other than what they make up to tell people . Sounds like a Supply Management system would be the answer for the USA also !

So why would there be a lineup of young people to get into Dairy in Wisconsin when the 50/60 age group has jacked the price of land up to ridiculous levels...and how many young people are lined up to get into Dairy in Ontario when the same age group here has not only jacked up the land price (fueled by SM and ethanol) but the quota too? Matter of fact quota can't be bought according to some. I think you're shooting yourself in the foot with that argument.
There are plenty of young people in my area that would/could make excellent dairy farmers...except for the barriers put up by the current crowd...who got in when it was possible and now have cut off the future generation.
Sounds to me like SM is part of the problem not the solution!

I think you have answered your own questions . But just incase you can't see it . Land price here and there is a wash although cheaper there . As for quota here we have people waiting to buy and produce where as there there is no quota , a shortage of milk and no one wanting to get in and produce for the price being offered in a non SM system .
Clear enough ?

Maybe you should take your rose colored glasses off and read what was said...I repeat SM is pert of the problem!

Even where there is no barrier as you like to think there are not persons wanting to get in and produce . So SM is not part ( pert according to you ) of the problem . Things are so much better for dairy producers south of the border but they can't get people to want to produce enough or start in .

Perhaps your friend in Florida needs charity. 4dz eggs for $5.00 and chicken breasts for $1.98/lb .........the farmers and merchants should just give the food away!!!!.........such low prices is a joke.
maybe people will demand all items so cheap .........lets just give and give and work for nothing

g kimble

When it comes to understanding price-setting and/or price-discovery, the OFA is the best of a bad lot. The NFU seems to believe, and fiercely-so, that anything beyond the farm gate is a vast conspiracy against farmers, while the CFFO is so welded to supply management that they are, by-and-large, unwilling/unable to understand the profound absurdity of selling a commodity product at three wildly-differing prices, two of which must be, by definition, "un-reasonable".

Of course farmers are price-takers - that is part-and-parcel of producing commodities. If you don't want to be a price taker, produce something other than commodities, period.

The OFA generally doesn't discuss things like this because it's an issue where, if you have ten farmers, you're going to get a dozen opinions, pretty-much all of them based on some sort of mis-understanding of the basic economic principles involved.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

You seem to be pretty good at excuses as to why they don't discuss it but then you never bring it up yourself . If they don't hear it from their grass root representatives then how are they supposed to know it is a problem ?

Maybe some one from pork will have the gonads to bring up at convention what you are proclaiming since you seem to be short of drive to do the right thing as you like to say .

You say that farmers are "price takers". I understand you to mean that farmers have little or no ability to set a sale price, others set the prices, and farmers can decide to accept the price set by others, or walk away. Is that what you meant?

I find your opinion hard to understand in a Supply Management system such as chicken. For example, CFO (Chicken Farmers of Ontario) is run by 9 farmer-producers for the 1,400 quota chicken farmers in Ontario. The 9 Board Members decide the price of chicken in Ontario.

I don't see how that can be anywhere close to "price takers". They have a government created monopoly, and they call the shots.

Airlines were one of the first and best at market segregation; charging 2 or more prices for the same goods. If you ever want to start a great discussion on an airplane, say to your nearest seatmate beside you, "I paid $X for my ticket, what did you pay?" Either they or somebody else in earshot can't resist the bait, and they will pipe up with, "What, you paid $X, well I paid $Y !!!" After that, it's off to the races as everybody compares prices, gouging, unfair marketing, and so on.

They do it because they can get away with it.

They used to do it a lot more with gasoline, but now the consumer has tools such as ontariogasprices.com

Perhaps we need an "anti-gouging system" for the supply management systems of Canada? This would record the on-going abuse, and allow Canadians to vent their anger, and discuss what consumers want to do about it.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

While grocery shopping today with my darling wife I could not help but see that chicken breast's , bone in skin on were substancially cheaper in a pack of 4 than what they were in a pack of 2 . paid about $7.50 for a 4 pack . A 2 pack was $5.50 and a 2 pack of boneless skinless was around $8.00 for a 2 pack . I do not think that the chicken farmer or SM is to blame for this price difference . The stores play a large part in consumer gouging how or when ever they can .

Regardless how any retailer establishes his/her pricing strategy for chicken, he/she still has to face the reality of 200% tariff barriers for his/her purchases of the product in the first place.

Therefore, go shopping next weekend in the US and compare the prices for both package sizes - the farm gate is still where 99% of the price gouging for dairy and poultry products takes place.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

There have been many Supply Management farmers in the past willing to suspend upcoming raises at the farmgate or even rollback prices in order to give consumers a break at the grocery store but the retailers have never been trusted to pass that on to the buying public.We see proof of that in the Pizza joints now!The same applies with Beef and Pork,while they were losing money on every shipped animal the Grocery stores made sure they were NOT!
That's why not a single Supply Management farmer should feel guilty about actually making money..the Retailers/Grocery giants don't !

A recent item in the Financial Post noted that Loblaws was laying off 275 people, mostly at its head office, as the "grocery war takes toll".

Only in Canadian supply managed agriculture would/could farmers be consistently so dumb as to believe there is excess money to be made at any sector of the food chain, except at dairy and poultry farms.

Therefore, the title of your posting could be/should be changed to "not a shred of retailing intelligence" among supply managed farmers.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Give me a freaking Break! You are comparing the Loblaws chain letting go 275 people to the farmer losses in the Pork and Beef industries the last 6 or 7 years??That really is unbelievable,l am sure you have seen the boarded up store fronts in many small SW Ontario towns and l guarantee none of those store fronts are Grocery stores!
Big Grocery Chains eat up smaller Grocery Chains,its that simple but none of them lose money!

The belief, by farmers, that grocery stores make windfall profits, is exceeded in preposterousness only by the intensity of the belief, held by too many people, that Elvis is alive.

Every year, Forbes magazine publishes data about the sales and profitability of businesses in various sectors of the US economy - and every year since I started analysing this data, now over 30 years ago, the retail food sector consistently lags other sectors in both sales growth and profitability.

For years, about the only food company which made decent returns, was McDonalds, but a good argument can be made that McDonalds is more of an entertainment company than a food retailer.

In addition, you may have heard of the village of Hensall, and if you go there, you will clearly see an empty grocery store - Hensall now has no grocery store, and therefore, your "guarantee" would seem to be worthless.

The undeniable fact of the matter is that anyone who can, and does, read and understand financial statements and the business press, and few farmers seem to have this ability, knows that food retailing sucks, and has for at least a generation - and supply management's exorbitant pricing policies don't help anyone in the food industry, especially retailers, at all.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Good Gawd man ! Did you just notice the grocery store in Hensall is closed ? It has likely been closed for 15 years . Your "Hensall now has no ..." is an al out deception and a lie to any one who does not know better . Makes one wonder how much other BS you are spewing out to unsuspecting people . Stores close all the time . Just because you are in business does not mean you will be successful .

Now did you happen to turn your head the other way and did you notice if the Hotel in Hensall is open ? I think the demise of the grocery store was once the Hotel quit having strippers !!

I was responding to a poster who made a specific claim that no boarded up stores were grocery stores - I pointed out just one example to demonstrate that his/her claim, and therefore his/her understanding of the profitability of food retailing, was incorrect.

On the other hand, all you are doing is shooting the messenger, and being nothing more than an anonymous jerk about it.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Your facts are not relevant because once again you wish to pick US info that does not mean any thing here because we are not under the same tax laws , rules , prices , gov etc. You make things too easy dude !

It's always distressing to see so many farmers armed with no relevant education, no talent, no experience in retailing, and who obviously never read any Canadian business newspapers, make such sweeping, and completely-incorrect, statements about something they not only know nothing about, but also refuse to learn anything about.

The ariticle I cited in the Financial Post, definitely a Canadian newspaper, clearly used the term "grocery war" - yet farmers all over this site seem to not only want to deny everything printed in the Financial Post, they also seem to want to deny that newspapers like the Financial Post even exist.

Food retailing is tough everywhere, and supply management's ability to charge 87% more for milk going into the cheeses destined for the retail level than what frozen pizza manufacturers pay, simply makes food retailing just that much more difficult.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Who said windfall profits? l did not compare food retailers to Banks,only that they seem to never be in the year end red like a lot of Beef and Pork farmers were.Strangly enough when you mention Hensall's Grocery store closing, so too do small banks and it has nothing to do with losing money.l suspect the good people of Hensall shop at a newer,bigger grocery store down the road, maybe its even beside a bank!
Whether its Forbes,Globe and Mail or the Financial Post,they can go on and on about growth and profits but it does not not mean the Food retailers are losing money, its just more of them competing for the consumers wallet! People get all in a tither over BlackBerry losing market share,their revenue was 2.67 Billion in the last quarter down from 2.72 Billion in the same quarter last year.They are hardly ready for the Soup line!..and neither are the Grocery store chains.
A quick note on McDonald's, the DFO tried for years to get them to add milk in their burger combo's, they never would of course saying there wasn't enough of a profit.A soft drink at that time costed them 6 cents and that included the cup!..and your telling me they make a decent return..really!

Yet we have an Ag minister who is wanting Ag to double the jobs and make or create new jobs . The only thing worse is people like you believe it along with some other unmentionable farm group who can't seem to understand they are being played .

Comment deleted by editor in accordance with our guidelines.

Previous posting of this was deleted by Editor for violation of "Guidelines". It would be nice if BF put a link to these Guidelines so we all know, and can then more easily comply.

Until Guidelines are publicly available, I have guessed at what my sin may have been, and re-posted. Here is my revised posting:

You mention that many farmers have been willing to suspend or roll back price increases to help consumers.

On our SFPFC Blog posting of Feb. 28, 2013 we showed a graph of the Chicken Monopoly's handiwork for Canada Grade "A" chicken retail prices from 1995 to 2012. It shows steady, managed growth in retail chicken prices of 3.54% per year, non-stop for 17 years (all available Stats Can data).

Whether they were willing or not, the Chicken Monopoly didn't do retail price rollbacks.

That consistent price increase was part of the Chicken Monopoly’s Strategic Plan, and they implemented their plan on the backs and life blood of Canadian consumers.

What they could have done was say something like the following:

"Boys, we need to get a lot better, a lot more quickly. Our chicken monopoly isn't our God-given right, it was given to us by the government as a sacred trust on behalf of the Canadian people.

Canadians want and need us to do an excellent job for them. They don't want chicken charity. Canadians want affordable chicken. They want us to be 3-way sustainable; environmentally, financially, and in a generational sense so the next generation of chicken farmers have a future.

That's why your leadership has prepared plans to help you rapidly improve your operations, so that you can achieve a reasonable return for your work and investment, and at the same time, the retail price of chicken in Canada keeps getting cheaper and cheaper.

We think we have a pretty good plan, but it needs to be a lot better. That's why we have come to you today, the true experts on chicken farming, to seek your input and help us build an even better plan.

With that plan and much hard work by both you and your leaders, we will be the world's best chicken farmers; something that your family, all Canadians, and the world will marvel at, recognize, and appreciate.

After that leadership by example, we will share all that we have done with all other producers and farmers world-wide, so that they can more easily follow in our footsteps.

Of course, that sharing and helping other chicken farmers world-wide will mean that us Canadian chicken farmers will have to continue working hard and continuously improving, or we will soon lose our position of chicken leadership. But we believe that all of you are up to that challenge; if not today, then soon, for we will all work together and help each other.

I now put the motion to a vote. Do you Canadian chicken farmers accept your recommended destiny of working towards doing the best we can for Canadians, and being the best chicken producers in the world?


To the best of my knowledge, Canada's chicken farmers haven't done that yet. But if they so choose, they could do it tomorrow.

But they won't.

That's why Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada (“SFPFC”) exists.

SFPFC will work tirelessly towards encouraging (or forcing) the changes that must occur in the Supply Management systems of Canada.

Glenn Black, President
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

Editor's note: Mr. Black seems to have overlooked several emails he exchanged with one of our editors. He was advised that our guidelines appear below the space where comments are entered. He was specifically asked to stop name calling and using words like Mafia to describe groups.

I acknowledge the email exchange between BF's editor and myself, and I now understand BF's Guidelines. Unfortunately, I had re-submitted my modified comments before I had received BF's answer to my query on the reasons for the deletion of the previous submission. Unfortunately, the re-posting was already made, and no longer under my control once I had received BF's answer. I now understand that BF's Guidelines are posted at the bottom of the page.

BF sets the rules, it's their website. I will follow the rules, or go elsewhere; just like everybody else.

Similarly, if we could get the Supply Management monopolists to "follow the rules" created by the government legislation that created their monopolies, it would be a much better world.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

Maybe you could explain those rules created by gov legislation before you get painted as sounding like sour grapes .

AGREEMENT FOR CHICKEN, posted on CFC's website.

I have explained it in the fullest of details on our Blog.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

I find it hard to believe that you are asking people to lower the price they get for their product when costs keep rising . Santa died or did you not get the memo ! You can with your SFPFC sell all the chicken you want at a loss and I won't feel sorry for you but don't whine to me that you can't make money or survive .

Many G&O farmers have paid thier dues or given to charity over the years . Even at times we could have given our below COP priced corn to livestock farmers and they still would not have made a profit . They kept saying feed prices were too high when the truth was the price for their product was too low and they were telling every one they were willing to produce for that price .
There really needs to be a reality check done with some and thier way of thinking . Lets ask our civil servants to start taking wage roll backs to help lower taxes and costs for gov . You better be prepared to take less yourself if you exect others to do the same . Look at your hydro bill . You conserve , use less but your bill keeps increasing . Makes sense does it not !

You misunderstood my point, or questioned my logic. Let me re-state it more plainly.

CFO and CFC currently state that under Supply Management, farmers are receiving a fair return for raising chicken. Let's assume they are correct.

Let's also assume that next year, the farmer's feed costs, taxes, electricity, etc. go up in cost by an aggregate average of 3% for all costs (some by more, others by less, but 3% on average).

What SFPFC has suggested is that they implement continuous improvement on their farm so that they are significantly more efficient and effective than last year, and if they work really hard, I mean REALLY HARD, they can achieve a productivity improvement of 6.65%.

That means the farmer has an extra 3.54% profit above what he had the year before (ie. costs up 3%, productivity up 6.65%, this gives profits up 3.54%, mathematically 1.0665/1.03= 1.0354).

Since CFC and CFO has stated that the farmer is already reasonably compensated for his work and investment, what should be done with that extra 3.54% windfall profit?

I'm suggesting that it be given back to the consumer; starting to roll back all the price gouging the chicken monopoly system (not just the farmers) has unfairly extracted from Canadian consumers for the last 17 years. This will drop the retail cost of chicken each year for the next 17 years (eliminating all past sins).

If the farmers want to be greedy and keep their windfall profits all for themselves, they can do so if Supply Management monopolies are done away with.

Can farmers achieve productivity improvements of 6.54%/yr? They will likely tell you they are already equal to the best in the world, they already do that, they can't do any more, and similar unsubstantiated propaganda. No verifiable facts, just trust us, they'll say.

However, others in competitive markets have achieved more than 10%/yr productivity improvements, each and every year, for more than 20 years.

The Canadian chicken farmers, after being bedridden for 50 years under Supply Management, they have very weak and atrophied muscles for productivity and continuous improvement.

For example New Zealand has an FCR (Feed Conversion Ratio) of 1.38 vs. Canada's 1.72 (ie. Canada chicken farmers are 24.6% worse than New Zealand; see SFPFC's Blog posting of Mar. 13, 2013 for details).

Today, most or all of Canadian chicken farmers couldn't punch their way out of a wet paper bag on the world's competitive chicken markets.

However, with excellent leadership, much work and practice, they can soon compete again, and start winning fair & square without government created monopolies and protection.

My research and knowledge is primarily in poultry, but I believe the conclusions apply equally well to the dairy and turkey side of SM too.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

Hi Glenn, I was reading through your blog recently when one sentence caught my attention. "The value of quota represents the amount of money someone will pay for the legislated ability to steal from the public". Well said. Raube Beuerman

Thanks Raube.

Interesting discussions on the food supply chain.

On the chicken chain, the historical markup from wholesale to retail is 40.2% in USA, virtually constant for the last 22 years The wholesale chicken price in Canada is twice what it is in the USA, and by the time it gets to retail, it's 3 times the retail price in the USA.

I'm not exactly sure who it is, but 1 or more steps in the chain are gouging the Canadian consumer.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

Seems you have a different opinion from some on just how the consumer gets gouged even though we know it happens . Refreshing to see that .
So many things are more expensive here compared to the USA but for some reason some think food is or should be exempt . Guess I should look at filling my cart with cheaper import products .

In Ontario livestock feeders have a feed cost advantage, basis adjusted, most of the time. Feed is the biggest cost. You ignored that Glenn did mention that the wholesale price of chicken is twice as much here. Is it that COP's are reflected to pay off quota, although denied? Or is it just that there is no accountability on the price setting boards? Or both? Raube Beuerman

The word "gouged" has become a people's favorite,even to the point of being paranoid about it.
When it comes to airline tickets why is it so hard to believe a large big city Travel agency can charge less for air tickets than a small town agency can ?You could start a conversation in the coffee shop about car insurance and find no one pays the same,gouging has nothing to do with it!
What do you suggest with Chicken? that every one of those 1,400 quota holding farmers have a different price simular just about to every gas station? That does not hold with what Supply management is about.
Also,Gas stations must be able to read Ontariogasprices.com as well, that is the reason some stations change their prices 3 or 4 times a day.There are many that never have the same price at 6pm as they did at 6am...and that doesn't take it account for the weekend price.

Anybody can start up a new gas station, buy or sell an existing gas station, and set their prices wherever they wish.

Not so with Supply Management.

There is a barrier to entry with astronomical quota prices, and you can't buy it for it is deliberated a controlled, limited club. Somebody has to leave before you are allowed to join.

The law says they have to source the additional supply (eg. population growth, more market share, etc.) from those suppliers who are most efficient. However, they don't do that. They give the additional quota away for free to their friends on an equal percentage basis, with no thought of the consequences to consumers.

Comment modified by editor in accordance with our guidelines

Thanks for clarifying that,l now know that the next time the gas stations jack their prices up just before a long weekend that they are only thinking of the consumers!
You better check out DFO's new entrant program,it would be far cheaper than buying a gas station!

First off I am not pro or anti SM . I will say though that the new entrant program might be well and great if you have the money to get in but really in the big picture it is smoke and mirrors . Do you really beleive that you can live and raise a family with the new entrant program ? I am asking because I want an honest answer .

It won't be long before the new entrants and the smaller producers are pushed out because of trucking of milk alone . It is becoming more clear that DFO does not care about the family farm and are only putting up a front to make it look like they are . They are starting to show a red color like the liberals and a no respect for rural Ontario and only want all things big to hell with the little guy .
I know many will claim to family farms who milk hundreds of cows but truth is it is not a family operation it is more times a whole bunch of hired help who are not family . Really looks like the DFO board members if they really believe what they are putting out should all be ready and willing to live on a new entrant income and milk the number of cows that a new entrant will milk . I guess put your money where your mouth is .
I remember being told when BSE happened that DFO did not want to be involved with a group looking for solutions because they only deal with the marketing of milk . I really wonder if they know where it comes from !

In farming like so many things we see things grow into monsters . Now I really don't care what type of agriculture you are involved in , there comes a time when things really need to be looked at . Many will say size matters . Well I guess it does because if you need to milk hundreds of cows to make a living , you must be one piss poor dairy farmer . How many will a new entrant have to milk ?

On April 15, 2013 SFPFC posted on our Blog a detailed review on the finances for a new chicken farmer just starting out.

The new guy, after buying quota and all the equipment, has a return on investment of 2.99%. You can get that paultry return on a totally risk free GIC while you enjoy sitting on a beach in Florida, no work required. Without paying for quota, you earn 17.82%, which is reasonable.

As Aaron Hiltz, a small flocker in Nova Scotia currently under attack by the Chicken Police, you can only get into monopoly chicken farming by marriage or inheritance.

The Chicken Monopolists have signed their own death warrant; extinct once the last of them dies.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

We milked 35-45 cows for almost 30+ years,it can work! The new entrants will have some payback but no different than payments l made to my Father for virtually all of those 30+ years.The key is your cost of producing 1 Litre of milk and for the small guy that usually means not carrying a high debt load,it means no shiny new equipment or truck.It also means that a new Entrant with a wife and 3 or 4 kids to support will find it tough going at the first.
My DFO rep milked 50 cows, how much better can a board member be to recognise the challenges of a small dairy farmer than being one himself!
With the big Dairy farms comes big headaches,big debt and they pass that on to their children.l was always grateful for my father not doing that to me.

Your statement that new entrant programs can work, and your statement about the need to not have high debt, are inconsistent, and don't make sense.

The only way a new entrant program works is to either:

(A) have the farm and start-up quota (if, for example, in dairy, any can be found) given to you for nothing
(B) you and/or your spouse work off the farm for the entire duration of your involvement with the program
(C) both (A) and (B) above

The unvarnished truth about new entrant programs is that they are little more than a Ponzi scheme based on:

(1) the hope that quota will even exist in ten years
(2) willingly ignoring the dilemma that while an increase in quota values may increase the equity new entrant farmers have in the initial quota, it makes it just that much more difficult to cash flow the obligatory quota repayments in the last half of the new entrant program.

In many ways, Pigeon King was a better investment model than new-entrant farming schemes.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

l would wager none of the new Entrant Program farmers have the money to invest in the way the Pigeon King suckers did.
Your confusing milking cows and being in a Supply management system with trying to run a Cow/calf operation, where both husband and wife need to work out! Milking cows,even a small operation is full time for both spouses.
You have to have your cards on the table and have a financial plan in hand before even submitting an application for the Program and when it comes to financing most applicants will find that buying/renting a small farm for the purpose of milking cows is one of the few plans that a banker will listen to these days.
Your quip about whether Quota will be here in 10 years is laughable compared to some of the other Non-Supply Management Sectors who can't count on making money from one year to the next..try running that by the banker.

I deal with a credit union which doesn't particularly like supply management because they believe, as do I, that it is bad banking to take quota as security - and without quota as security, supply management, especially new-entrant supply management, just doesn't work.

Secondly, your comment that milking cows is, even in a small operation, a full-time commitment for both spouses, ignores the reality that no rational spouse, in late 2013, would give up an interesting, and lucrative, career to milk cows, EVER, especially in a small, and highly-leveraged operation with huge after-tax cash flow commitments, and the very-real possibility that quota either won't exist, or can't be bought for any money, when it comes time to pay it back - I'm sorry, but this isn't the fifties any more, and any spouse who would give up a six-figure income and career to milk cows, especially in a new-entrant program, has rocks in his/her head.

Thirdly, I don't think you understand that in new entrant supply management, the financial demands are such that working off the farm is a necessity for one, if not both, spouses, regardless of the time commitments of the farm itself.

I am confusing nothing - the numbers speak for themselves, and make it abundantly clear that new-entrant supply management is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme set up to crucify entrants in year eleven, provided they even make it that far, and provided that quota even exists then.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Wow! Tell me where to find a spouse that makes 6 figures? I would give up my job milking cows if I could find one.

People who make a six-figure income, and there are lots of them, aren't the least interested in somebody who milks cows. They're even less interested in going to a barn, ever, and they're definitely NOT interested in wasting their money on any hokey new-entrant program.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Banks only like one thing and that,s money. When someone sign on that line you are the one they come after when you can,t or won,t pay the payments. The new entrants program is a smoke cloud to thry and keep other people off their backs, ( Oh we let someone in every month with a helping hand what BS, the big guys only want themselves in and nobody else.). The milk board in the last 10 years went to Greedy and made it set up so the big got bigger faster while the small ones got the boot.

l don't know any Bank/Credit Union that does not want to make money, yours might be the exemption!
Its being able to know exactly what that small dairy farmer is bringing in month in month out,its stability and its something no Non-Supply management farmer can even attempt to offer a banker over the long run.
l have known small dairy farms were one spouse worked out but it required the help of a non-salaried relative.With both spouses trying to work out at the same time the farm would suffer and l would think any banker would be quick to point that out.

You're still falling all over yourself to boast about the supply management "stability" shibboleth, yet ignoring the reality that no amount of real, or imagined, stability, will offset the reality that new entrant dairy farming just doesn't work without substantial off-farm income for the entire duration of the program.

In addition, you're completely ignoring the reality that supply management, or any protectionist measure, by definition, provides only temporary stability which can be taken away at any moment - for example, just ask any race horse owner about "stability" based on legislation.

Bankers know full-well that supply management is a house-of-cards which could (and should) collapse at any minute - that's why credit unions let FCC and the chartered banks take the risks, and it's exactly why aspiring new entrants into supply management are throwing caution, and sound investment principles, to the wind.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Yah Yah Yah . I,ve been hearing for the last 30 + years Quota going to end still here and likely will be for years. You sound like the guy on the street corner saying the world is coming to an end, yes they are but when is a whole different subject.

Quota lasted this long because, in large part, the dairy industry was able to make people believe, based on an endless series of studies over the better part of 40 years, that there was cross-border retail price equivalency for milk and dairy products.

That world came to an end when, in late 2010, the Dairy Farmers of Ontario abruptly, and forever, ended the ability to boast about cross-border retail price equivalency when they released information showing that Ontario consumers were paying almost 37% more for milk than US consumers. Consumers now know just exactly by how much supply management screws them, and they're not likely to be as forgiving in the future as they have in the past.

In addition, the cozy world of quota took a severe beating when, earlier this year, Ontario Pork broke the "we're all in it together" mold when delegates to their annual meeting voted 68 - 13 to urge government to place trade ahead of protectionism. Non-supply managed farmers now know how badly supply management screws them, and, as the vote at Ontario Pork demonstrated, they're not afraid to voice their displeasure with supply management.

Furthermore, now we have the bizarre situation where dairy producers sell milk to produce mozzarella cheese at three wildly-differing prices, thereby forever ending any ability to claim supply management charges "reasonable prices".

Finally, other than farmers themselves, no observer, no think tank, no economist, and no newspaper columnist, has, in recent years, ever publicly supported supply management - politicians still do, but they've lost credibility with everybody except the 15,000, or so, farmers who own quota.

Supply management supporters can claim longevity is their friend, but they ignore the lessons of "that was then, this is now" adage at their considerable peril - and they're going to get no sympathy either from consumers, or from other farmers, when, not if, their comfortable lives take a severe, and well-deserved adjustment.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

So I guess in your opinion is that the only bad people in this world that screws people is the SM farmers, you must live in a very small world. So is it the SM market board the Farmers or the Government to blame for the trouble you so often mention about. If there is a system which one could make a steady income from their job and know every week what their pay is must be crazy to want that. If you want to go to work every day in a plant and one week your paycheck is $1,000 and the next week you go and you get a paycheck for $400 and you work the same amount of hours would they like it, I think not. Look at the government workers wages and benefits and pension, is it not highway robbery. In your opinion if you make money in a SM farm, your bad to want to make money and have a secure income. Something is wrong with your way of thinking where someone not farming can screw the people but don,t mention a farmer because he should be hung out to dry.

While you fall all over your self to moan about farmers being "hung out to dry", you completely ignore that dairy farmers see nothing wrong with "hanging consumers out to dry" by charging 87% more for milk to produce mozzarella cheese for the retail market, than to produce mozzarella cheese for the frozen pizza market.

Farmers so-strongly believe their own propaganda about always being the victim that they refuse to see that, when it comes to supply management, and especially when it comes to screwing the poorest group of consumers, they are the ones inflicting the damage.

Nobody minds paying decent wages and salaries to people who, through their own talents and abilities, rise to the top of their field, because this ability doesn't outlive them the way quota does.

In addition, your suggestion that working in a plant, or even in a salaried position, is somehow secure, then obviously you don't understand the real world where plants (like Heinz) close, companies merge and eliminate duplicate management systems, and people get fired, or "downsized" just because they're not good enough any more.

Only supply management agriculture is completely immune from the forces affecting the real world - but hopefully not for long.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

So...you're saying that since someone else is "screwing the consumer/taxpayer, then it's OK for dairy farmers to do the same? That must be logical to someone...somewhere.
If it's a fixed income you're after, then why don't you get one of those cushy jobs you're referring to...it doesn't sound like you want to be in business for yourself?

Please explain in which ways you feel pigeon king was a better investment model. Why don't you ask the people who invested in pigeon king if they were happy with their investment. I am sure the new entrant are much happier with their decision.

The poor fools who got into dairying with the new entrant program are going to be completely screwed in year eleven when they find out they can't buy any quota to replace the quota which was loaned to them and which they now have to start giving back - they're effectively going to be forced to sell the quota they own and get out of the dairy industry entirely.

At least with Pigeon King, the first people in the program had a chance - the first people into the new entrant dairy program don't.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Go shopping in the US, we pay more for everything. Car dealers in the US are not allowed to sell the cheaper vehicles to Canadians. Why?

The article is all about, and only about, the discriminatory and predatory pricing, forced on Canadians, solely because of supply management, on mozzarella cheese manufactured in Canada. Nothing exposes, and/or more-clearly demonstrates, the wholesale stupidity of supply management more than the three price system for Canadian-produced mozzarella cheese.

Canadian frozen pizza makers don't pay one cent more to buy Canadian mozzarella cheese than they'd pay to buy imported mozzarella - why should anyone else?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Can you show a bill where someone or company paid less for the cheese than other people. I don,t believe half the things that are written and would like to see the proof in black and white. Ifs it like anything else where the big guy gets the deal and the smaller one pays full price , its just like business as usually in the other sectors.

The pricing proof, in black-and-white, is in the last paragraph of the original article.

It's like this, if you aren't in the pizza business, your price for mozzarella cheese is over 87% higher than what frozen pizza makers pay - what is it about supply management screwing everybody but frozen pizza makers that farmers simply refuse to understand?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

SO if I read correctly then you are not concerned about the price of any thing other than the price of cheese . Correct !!

The article was about the three wildly differing prices of mozzarella cheese, and nothing else.

I am concerned, therefore, about the ability supply management has to force some Canadian mozzarella cheese purchasers to pay over 87% more than other Canadian mozzarella cheese purchases, for something produced in Canada.

What is it about supply management's ability to screw consumers to this extent that causes farmers who obviously support this obscenity, to be so-completely obtuse?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I can read the article DAH. I,m saying is I would like to see what someone pays, go buy the mozzarella cheese in the store and the price is all over the map. So how much do the people really pay for the cheese, I don,t believe what they say and do period.

When the Dairy Farmers of Ontario publishes numbers showing the price list for product to make mozzarella cheese to be $7.54 for frozen pizza makers, $10.56 for fresh pizza makers, and $14.12 for everybody else, there's precious little for anyone to not understand.

Therefore, if you wanted to make mozzarella cheese, and you weren't in the pizza business, you'd be, according to this article, paying $14.12 per kilogram - what you sell it for, is, if you want to make money, entirely up to you.

These numbers also make it abundantly clear the extent to which people who make their pizzas at home are being gouged by supply management.

I mean, really, how can being forced to pay over 87% more than necessary, for something made in Canada, by Canadians, NOT be gouging?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Comprehension and knowledge of a subject is a wide swath for most but not on the radar of the narrow minded know it all group it seems .

Now let's say that the cheese is sold as a lost leader . Kind of puts water on your flames !!!

Sorry to burst your somewhat pompous balloon, but when something is priced at a discount in order to build retail traffic, it's called a "loss-leader" - go look it up.

On the other hand, a "lost leader" is someone who, like Moses, wandered through the wilderness for 40 years - exactly what the leaders of SM5 have also been doing for the same length of time.

In addition, you've ignored the economic, and marketing, reality that loss leader pricing usually applies to items like eggs, milk, and other dairy products which cost too much in the first place - therefore, cheese wouldn't likely ever be sold as a loss-leader at the retail level, if the milk used to produce it wasn't sold for 87% more than what frozen pizza makers pay for it.

In any event, willing blindness seems to prevail among farmers who simply refuse to understand the idiocy of, and public policy death-wish of, pricing milk produced in Canada, at three wildly differing price levels, depending on who is making what with it.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Have you not been around long enough yet to understand that many things are priced at different levels .

Go to Rona for instance . They have a retail price , a contractor price and likely a direct delivery never see the yard wholesale price .

Sorry dude but you really need to get out in the real world more often .

Name one thing at Rona which sees an 87% price differential - you can't, because such a thing doesn't exist anywhere except in the fairy-tale world of supply managed agriculture.

In other words, stop grasping at straws and face the real world fact that supply management screws anything, everything, and everybody, in its path, and in a manner which would be illegal anywhere else.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I never said products were priced with an 87% differential I said there was a three price system .
Further I think you well know that 87% is small incomparison to what some things are marked up . I would have thunk an economist would know that but as per ususal you proved me wrong .

Buy the cheese in the store and still make the pizza by far cheaper and lot more toppings than frozen or at a pizza joint. Like just saying.

AAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH - what part about the milk used in the cheese you buy in the store being sold for 87% more than the milk being used for the identical cheese used in frozen pizza, do you not understand?

In addition, what do you not understand about the obvious fact that if the cheese you buy in the store was produced from milk priced at the same level as the cheese used in frozen pizzas, your pizza would cost just that much less than it does now?

It's all about how much you're getting screwed on the cheese you're buying, simply because you're not in the pizza business, and nothing to do with anything else.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

You are not comparing things properly . The pizza makers will still buy wholesale from their supplier so their price will be cheaper brcause consumer pays retail at the grocery store . Sorry to blow a hole in your case and burst your bubble !!

The article clearly states that the price of milk to make mozzarella cheese for use by frozen pizza makers is one price, the price of milk to be used to make mozzarella cheese for use by fresh pizza makers is 40% more, and the price of milk to be used to make mozzarella cheese for use by anyone else is over 87% more.

It couldn't possibly be any simpler - yet why are farmers so obtuse, and so-unwilling to use any rational thought process, when farmers do this outright gouging at the start of the marketing channel?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

It is not the price of the milk that I care about , it is the price of my cheese . I can't buy the cheese for the price offered to the others so what does it matter to me . If I want cheap cheese I can open a pizza place and if I want even cheaper cheese I can start a frozen pizza making facility . See it really is the same because I can't buy a Rona for the same price as a contractor unless I have a construction business .

Also the farmers all get paid the same price for the milk .


Guess some people think farmers are so dumb that they can do anything to them or say and get away with it. If some people are so smart why don,t they get elected so they can put their big brain to work so they can save the world or the very least the pizza shop. If farmers are allowed to make a profit it should to back to the government producing it and owning the land, take those sunglasses off and look out there at the real world and yes you may get a real shocker. Don,t you see how the ones that work for government get overly paid and get a golden handshake even if they sucked at their job or position.

Where is the 87% in pizza cheese when its the same price as the Cheddar in the store must be an error. If someone wants to buy cheese from the board is it the same price if you buy 100 KG or if you want 1o,ooo Tonnes. ?????

A 5200 member dairy co-operative imports milk protiens, from the US, for its IOGO yogurt, to save money. Raube Beuerman

The "smoking gun" is in the last paragraph where $7.54 is what DFO charges frozen pizza makers for what becomes their mozzarella cheese, while $14.12 is the base price for what becomes retail-store mozzarella cheese - an 87% price gouging paid by consumers who want to make their own pizza at home.

Canadian consumers expect, and deserve, one price, and that's $7.54.

Furthermore, anywhere else but in supply managed agriculture, this sort of price discrimination, based not on volume, but solely on who the purchaser is, would have long-since have prompted calls for a criminal investigation.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

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