Dairy Farmers of Ontario dumps skim milk surplus

© AgMedia Inc.


At the outset, this story destroys the fairy-tale that supply management equates production and supply.

The G&M article quoted Sylvain Charlebois, Professor at the University of Guelph's Food Institute - "Supply management depends on perfect market conditions. You can never achieve a perfect equilibrium between supply and demand".

The Globe also went on to note that Martha Hall Findlay, a former Liberal MP and fellow at the University of Calgary School of Public Policy said the real victims of this wastage are low-income Canadians who aren't getting the benefit of lower prices.

The G&M also noted that DFO knew this was coming when a "recent internal DFO report foreshadowed the current dilemma, warning that soaring imports of concentrated milk protein from the United States and elsewhere are creating an existential problem for the dairy supply management regime."

This means that even though DFO knew the problem was coming, knew what was causing it, and knew it was only going to get worse, and even though they knew that dumping liquid milk into lagoons was going to drive a dagger into the heart of supply management's very reason for existence, they were frozen by inertia and quota values to defend and, as a result, are now unable to act in any other way except by delivering platitudes.

The final word in this latest example of supply management's real-world dysfunctionality goes to Toronto trade lawyer James McIlroy who was quoted in the G&M article as follows: - "I'm not sure why Canada is wasting negotiating coinage in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations to preserve a program that dumps liquid milk into lagoons".

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Comment will be published if signed by writer.

"May have" Try definitely did. No maybe about it.

This story also appeared in Friday's Globe and Mail and elicited well-over 300 on-line responses including one response which likened the dumping of milk to "Spitting in the eye of God" which is another way of saying that the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario's (CFFO) support of supply management contravenes basic Christian principles, a proposition with which I completely agree.

I mean, come on really, CFFO - it's well-past time for you to:

(a) admit that your support of supply management, and the way it destroys food rather than adversely affect the value of quota held by your members, is egregiously un-Christian and most-definitely "Spitting in the eye of God".
(B) stop having the CFFO be one of the "money changers in the temple"
(C) get out in the street to" wash the feet of lepers".

And, please, please, don't give us any warbling about how much dairy farmers give to food banks because if it wasn't for the way dairy farmers gouge consumers in the first place, consumers wouldn't need to go to food banks - it's disengenuous, therefore, for dairy farmers, and the organizations which pander to them, to try to take credit for solving problems they created in the first place.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Stephen is right - if it wasn't for the way dairy farmers gouge consumers in the first place, consumers wouldn't need to go to food banks. As correct as he always is here.

Nobody with an IQ bigger than their shoe size is ever going to believe that silly little things like high rents, unemployment or low minimum wage levels might be major reasons why people need to use food banks. It is obviously the dairy farmers.

It can't be because Ontario's social safety nets have been cut so much that it would take a 56-per-cent rate increase to bring the single rate back to where it was in 1993. It is obviously the dairy farmers. 

CFFO is not the only general farm org that has supply manage members and that supports SM so I guess you are talking about all three .
People go to food banks for more than just milk . Many go just to save more money to have to spend at the LCBO or the Beer Store .

While, at the moment, all of Ontario's FBR-eligible farm organizations "support" supply management, I suspect that this support has plummeted in recent days to the point where, if a membership vote was to be held today, supply management would still be supported by the CFFO, but not by the OFA, given the well-less than unanimous support a similar resolution enjoyed at a recent OFA annual convention.

More to the point, dumping 800,000 litres of milk into lagoons isn't just "spitting in God's eye", it's spitting in the eye of the farm organizations who profess to support you but who have increasingly-less reason to do so.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Although dumping is never good , in the business world it happens all the time . It is all about profit . To think that DFO is any different than GM , CAT or any other in getting Gov money by way of tariffs or gov grants is just wrong .
Further it isn't "milk" that is being dumped as you so insist . It is a byproduct from processing that is not needed in the market . If it was whole milk then you can preach all you want .

If the three FBR eligible orgs feel so cocky as to tell every commoditty org what they are going to do , like is happening currently by one , then they better be prepaired to pay members for their losses and or be prepaired to loose members . 28,000 times $195.00 is $5,460,000.00 . Even 20,000 is more than half of their budget . I would say spiting in the eye of your members is worse .

The above anonymous poster claims that skim milk isn't milk, yet in my local Foodland this morning, two-liter containers of skim milk, 1% milk and 2% milk, all clearly identified as milk, were all selling for $4.99.

Only in the addled mind of a DFO supporter could skim milk dumped into a lagoon not be milk, yet somehow magically become milk when put in boxes and appearing on the supermarket shelf.

What's worse is that if DFO is to be afforded any credibility, skim milk in the stores should not still be the same price as 1% and 2% milk. The unadulterated truth of the matter is that DFO made absolutely no attempt to reduce the price of skim milk in order to try to reduce the amount destroyed in lagoons and obviously has no intention of doing so.

It's one thing to destroy product when done by someone who has competitors and who doesn't enjoy a legislated monopoly - it borders on criminal when done by a legislated monopoly enjoying a public trust.

Therefore, by destroying milk instead of making any effort to give anyone the benefit of a "sale", DFO has seriously betrayed the public trust bestowed on it.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

This milk, and yes it is milk (isn't it funny how people play with words to get what they want?) could have been donated to schools. There are so many hungry kids who go to school everyday hungry. I know it costs money to get the milk in the hands of children, but they already have the infrastructure in place to donate milk.

I know non supply manage farmers who are CFFO memebrs . In talking to one recently he said he tired of the others being reactive while CFFO has been pro active .

Take the U.S approach - the American government, through its Commodity Credit Corporation, continuously buys any milk surplus to clear the market at guaranteed floor prices. Billions in food stamp programs to help the poor. Works perfectly.

You will have much more milk dumped in a open market.

what a waste when we have people in our communities starving. shame on you daier

Two simple steps too get rid of over supply , cull some high priced cows and quit paying for milk not needed. If more milk is needed or milk products just import portion neeeded from US. US is also dumpng CO-OP milk in Mi and NY , as a farmer and consumer I find that disgusting-give it away,send it too needy families,foreign aid,feed too hogs. Milk should never be dumped in bio digester or manure pits

Guess you have to dump to keep the prices up? Blame the SM farmers for high price ? Why is it that the States has no SM and they are dumping Milk and the Prices remain High in the Stores? So can anyone answer these Questions with Honesty , without being Bias ? There is two different Systems but the end results are the same, so if anyone can come up with the perfect system they would be looked up at and then there will be someone who will come up with an idea to take most of the money for themselves.

"In flagrante delicto" is a Latin phrase which translates as "blazing offence" or more loosely translates as "in the very act of committing a misdeed", and it's often the tipping point around which public opinion irrevocably turns.

Whether it's having your wife catch you in bed with her sister or admitting to having dumped 800,000 litres of milk into lagoons rather than risk lowering the value of your quota, it's all the same point of no return

The bottom line is that any system that can afford to dump 800,000 litres of milk into lagoons is a system we can afford to do without.

If there was anyone in the Canadian dairy industry with any sense of perspective and any sense of responsibility, there would be a delegation this week to a joint meeting with Ag Minister Ritz and trade Minister Fast to admit that this dumping of milk is only going to get worse and that the responsible thing to do is to negotiate some sort of quota buyout and make supply management well-deserved history - whether there's any mood for any sort of quota buyout, either in Ottawa or among non-supply managed farmers, is, understandably, a topic for another day.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Would the end of supply management equal:

A. Lower farm values, instigating a financial disaster?

B. Lower farm values, instigating a revival of small scale farming?

C. Lower farm values, instigating ???

In response to "If this sort of behaviour is to continue...." http://www.betterfarming.com/comment/16420#comment-16420

Sell now, and you will likely sell near the top of these multiple bubbles; simultaneously maximizing and protecting your net worth.

Farm values for most of the world have been inflating since Year 2000 due to artifically lowering of interest rates and the flooding of hot, easy money into the marketplace.

North America and European ag. industries have been on steroids, riding that rising world-wide ag. bubble, then adding a second bubble on top with insane evaluations due to Wall Street & Bay Street casino speculation in commodity prices, food to crude oil correlations, biotech, Big Ag., and Big Food.

Canada and its monopolistic Supply Management systems has further magnified these crazy trends, making Canada the world's leading (and soon to be bleeding) edge for over-valuation of farm assets and unsustainable debt loads.

When all these bubbles burst, which they will soon will (as early as Sept. 2015 or shortly thereafter), Canada has the farthest to fall; far greater than any other nation in the world.

TPP and its sister agreements may be the sharp pin that finally bursts these bubbles on top of other bubbles.

On a relative scale, Canadian banks were bailed out even more than the graft and feeding frenzy by banksters and hedge funds in the US after the 2007 crash. That gift by taxpayers will seem like a Sunday picnic when compared to the economic storm that will soon arrive.

Soon, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) will likely be the first in line for intensive care with hand extended, desparately grasping for government bailouts. Taxpayers will again pay the price, just like the catastrophic failure of FCC's predecessor in the early 1980's.

The sole redeeming outcome from this nightmare is our good fortune to be soon rid of Supply Management. SM's ongoing gouging of Canadians, and inefficiencies baked-in for the dysfunctional SM systems cannot continue in the acute (but soon chronic) financial hard times that will soon strike when all of these bubbles simultaneously or sequentially burst.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

Do you not know that FCC is the Gov ?
Your postings are making more sense to now .

In response to "FCC" http://betterfarming.com/comment/16450#comment-16450

Yes, I realize the connection between FCC and Government. FCC is owned by the government, and is allowed to borrow money from and through the Federal Government, giving them a ready source of cheap money that they can loan to Ag. businesses. Because of Canada, FCC can borrow at better terms than Canadian banks. FCC has used that advantage to gobble up the least risky Ag. debtors by offering below market interest rates, lienient terms, and willingly taking shaky security.

All that pisses off the banks who are forced to compete against FCC.

Based on FCC's own reports, the value of farmland in Ontario has risen 294% from 1988 to 2004 (16 yr period, 6.97%/yr on average) , and 267% between 2005 to 2014 (9 yr period, 11.53%/yr on average), for a grand total bubble of 785% price inflation from 1988 to 2014 (a 26 yr span, with an average inflation of 8.25%/yr).

Does that seem reasonable to you, or do you see a bubble about to burst?

Economists suggest that residential real estate should normally have an inflation rate somewhere between 0.2% to 1.3% per year (geometric average of 0.51%/yr); see United States 1890-2005 (Shiller 2005), Amsterdam 1628-1973 (Eichholtz 1997) and Norway 1819-1989 (Eitrheim and Erlandsen 2004). Perhaps that should apply to farms as well.

If it does apply, for a 0.51%/yr increase for 26 years, this would inflate prices by a total of 14.14% over those 26 years; not the 785% that occurred in Ontario.

To return Ontario farm values to this long term farm price trend would require a 85.45% drop in 2015 farm prices. Ouch!

Economists never agree on anything, but some say Canadian residential real estate will drop by just 10% (beginning Fall of 2015 ???), others say by as much as 90%, but most seem to think around a 40% to 60% drop in value should be expected.

From the above data, I suggest Ontario farm prices are just as big a bubble as Canadian residential prices, or possibly bigger.

If FCC has loaned no more than 90% of the farm value, and the farm value then drops by 60%, FCC will be writing a letter to that farmer that their LTV (Loan To Value) is unacceptable, so the farmer is asked to come to FCC with a cheque to pay off half the loan immediately. If the farmer can't pay, FCC will likely force the selling of the farm to recover what's left from this bad situation.

FCC will lose about half of their loaned money at best case, worse when the fees and expenses are deducted. Banks usually go bankrupt if they lose more than 5% of the value in their assets &/or loans. FCC is likely 10 times over the survival limit.

FCC will Power of Sale the first few farms that go belly up, but this will tend to ignite an even bigger and faster devaluation of all other farms. Eventually, FCC will forclose rather than doing a Power of Sale, then FCC will rent the farm back so as to keep it off the market, minimizing (or merely delaying) the further drop in farm prices.

If and when FCC goes bust again due to their reckless loans, there will be nobody left standing to repay the money borrowed with and through the Federal government, so FCC's sins will be added to the punishing debt that taxpayers will get stuck paying.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

Most real estate is over valued today but offshore buyer are keeping house prices in the GTA and parts of B.C. all farm loan should a floor rate of 6 % per year.

In response to "This Happen 28 Years Ago"

See Greater Fool's Blog on Feb. 14, 2013 where HAM (Hot Asian Money) alleged to be coming to Canada in an Asian Tsunami to buy up every last house, running up prices in a bidding war, and making it so poor Canadians can't afford a house: It's a myth. It's a hoax. It's a scam. It's marketing propaganda designed to convince silly Canadians to "Buy now or buy never". See http://www.greaterfool.ca/2013/02/14/the-myth-of-ham/

In his Jul 16, 2014 posting, Garth Turner supplies statistics kept by the Victoria Real Estate Board, apparently the only Board that keeps stats on this issue. In all of 2013, 5,862 properties changed hands (about a quarter of metro Vancouver’s volume).

Buyers who lived locally already: 74.92%
Buyers from elsewhere in BC: 13.77%
Buyers from elsewhere in Canada: 9.67%
Total buyers who live in Canada: 98.36%

Total buyers from outside Canada: 1.64%

I suggest, with no facts to support this hypothesis, the same general trends hold for the GTA, as well as for farm purchases.

The Euro used to trade in Dec. 98 for 0.5516 per $CDN. In Aug 2012 it hit the max. of 0.8228 per $CDN; a 49% increase. Back then, there was a "big" wave of European farmers who cashed in their farm in Europe, or left their parent's farm convinced they would never be able to farm in Europe due to the extreme costs to buy a farm (eg. Holland, Germany, France, etc.), moved to Canada, and bought a farm here. Even then, that exodus from Europe was a small percentage of farms transferred here.

Canada now has the 2nd most expensive real estate in the world (Belgium is #1). Few are silly enough to move here and invest in real estate at the top of the valuation peak.

If someone has real data they can share, not just anecdotes about themselves, a neighbour, or a friend, that would be great, and might convince me to abandon the assumptions and extrapolations I described above. Otherwise, I'm assume the above is true until proven otherwise.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

Several years ago I wrote an opinion piece for a local farm magazine wherein I suggested that we're likely as not to have simultaneous calamities, a phenomenon sometimes called the "triple-witching effect" - I suggested it would likely be the simultaneous collapse of ethanol and supply management at the same time interest rates returned to their long-term norm of around or about 7%.

As a general rule in any sort of cycle, things go far-higher than any reasonable person could ever think possible and then go far-lower when things turn the other way - that's why the most-reasonable egg-layer farmer I ever knew sold his quota when it hit $100 and also why the most-reasonable dairy farmer I ever met sold his quota at $20,000. They both reasoned that, sure it could go higher (and did), but they also reasoned (quite correctly it now appears) that it could go to zero and both reasoned that "leaving the table" with over $1 million for something which cost them both nothing, was the ultimate no-brainer.

That's also why, in 1980, the surest sign that gold was about to collapse from $800 per ounce to $300 was the lineups of people outside Bank of Nova Scotia branches wanting to buy gold at $800.

The same "buy gold now" psychology applies, alas, by virtue of the inexplicable numbers of aspiring farmers lined up for the various "new-entrant" lotteries.

The principle of "Caveat emptor" (buyer beware) applies just as much today as it ever did - unfortunately for them, quota buyers seem to have willingly ignored the wisdom of that principle.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Editor: Comment will be published if resubmitted and signed.

In a non supply management system, some efficient dairy farmers will expand dramatically and buy land using the funds that we receive as compensation.

There should be no compensation to Sm producers . Was it not enough to have the protection of a profit for all those years ? Sm producers bid up the value them selves with greed n their eyes and hearts . Many of them would be first in line to "cast lots for his cloths " .

They deserve nothing .

There is no mood in the general farm community for any sort of quota buyout on the principle that dairy and poultry farmers would then be "having their cake and eating it too"

The biggest fantasy about supply management has always been that it will last forever - the second biggest fantasy is beliving that the entire $40 some billion in aggregate quota values will be completely compensated to producers when supply management ends.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

it makes no difference what the general farming community says about a buy out. there will be one when quota is terminated. and if you think that the under 40 non sm people you claim you represent have no buying power now wait for the buy out and see how much buying power they have then. I think that the price of land will probably double with all that cash in hand as they will be expanding herds, building barns and buying land to feed the animals. be careful what you wish for cause it ain't going to be pretty for us non sm farmers

They have to pay them . Gov gave pork a buy out not long ago !

Given the low pork prices at the time, most of the money taken in by pork producers who exercised the buy-out simply disappeared into their working capital and had little, if any, tax consequences and certainly generated no "windfall" effect on capital acquisitions.

However, the above anonymous poster does elicit another consideraton - the pork buyout was considered to be an income item rather than a capital item and was taxed accordingly. Therefore, if government does give any sort of "buyout", I suspect it will be called "income replacement" and taxed as regular income rather than as a capital item - that way government will get a lot of this money back in the form of income taxes paid by the dairy and poultry farmers who receive this money.

In addition, if government gave a dairy farmer, let's say, $400,000, it wouldn't come in one payment but would come over a number of years.

As for giving farmers actual taxpayer money, there's a difference between the pork buyout and any sort of supply management "adjustment" - pork producers had a dire need while supply managed farmers aren't likely going to be able to generate the same sympathy either in Cabinet or on the street.

Therefore, any compensation paid to dairy and poultry farmers would likely be structured as follows:

(1) anything done by Government will be done in a way to deter people (especially other farmers) from being able to make the claim that dairy and poultry farmers are "double-dipping" by having had extra income for four decades as well as getting more now.
(2) if government does give actual money, it will be tied to the book value of quota and not to market value.
(3) payments will not be tied to what farmers owe on quota because of "moral hazard" issues as well as the principle that farmers should shoulder at last some of the so-called "deductible" portion of anything owing on quota.
(4) any money coming from government will be considered income rather than capital, won't come in a lump sum and will be cross-compliant with one or probably several things a farmer has to do to get the entire amount.
(5) any money to be received by farmers will likely come from consumers in the form of continued, but gradually reducing, artificially-high farm gate prices for that portion of their production based on their quota (anything farmers sell above that amount would be at prevailing market prices) - consumers are paying it now anyway, continuing to do so for a relatively-short period of time would cause the least disruption to everyone in the marketing channel, would cost government nothing, would give consumers hope and would give processors and farmers themselves time to adjust their business policies and capital budgeting processes in line with the new reality that for the first time in over four decades, the dairy and poultry industries might actually grow.
(6) it will give all the supply management lobbyists, strategists, public relations flacks, and all the other members of the supply management cartel who have done nothing for forty years but spin half-truths, time to find real jobs.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Given the pork buy out double standard it was different . Funny how now you want it both ways . What about the young and beginning farmers who never got the OCHHP dollars ( cash for christmas ) and then went under and never got the pork buy out . And here you claim to be in support of young farmers . A payout/buyout is the same thing whether it be SM , pork or beef .

There are ways that Gov can recover dollars from quota payout dollars when SM comes to an end . Could be much like capital gains on farm land but just on quota values , free quota taxed at a 100% tax rate and a different rate for each purchase at different prices . Might seem complicated but would only have to be done once . With the SM profit margin there should be no argument of up and down markets and losses . They made a profit the whole time so under a pay out they are deserving of nothing . Otherwise it would be like double dipping .

How many hog farmers took the buyout dollars and then rented the barns out to some one else or some one else on paper ! Funny how production hardly dropped .

So what is it are you for or against young people getting into agriculture ?

The end of supply management would be the best thing possible for young people wanting to get into agriculture.

I've always been in favour of young people getting into agriculture - that's why I detest the:

(1) exhorbitant entry costs of supply management
(2) new-entrant Ponzi schemes designed to camouflage supply management's many faults.
(3) way supply managed farmers abuse their market power to bulldoze over the ability of young farmers to acquire land

As for the young and/or beginning farmers who got screwed by OCHHP, it was a flaw for sure, but, on the other hand, a good number of them were probably getting into hogs because they couldn't afford to get into supply management, therefore at least some of their woes could be squarely laid at the feet of supply management.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Me thinks the problem with the above poster is that he lives in an enchanted forest . Stephen's enchanted forest where he lives under the bridge .
Really now if you want to rule the world you will have to move to Hollywood !
Don't remember reading your name as being at the G7 meeting .

You have been telling people for the last 20 years that quotas would be going. The Supply Management cartel has change Now.

I don't recall seeing any stories about tobacco farmers going on any sort of spending spree with their buyout money from the feds, and it's likely that any dairy and poultry buyout will be similarly-meager.

For example, if I recall correctly, Australia did some sort of "soft-landing" approach which didn't give farmers any lump sum money but allowed the farm gate price of milk to stay artificially high for a certain period of time, thereby forcing consumers, poor schlucks that they are, to effectively pay the "buyout". This allowed farmers to get their own personal "Plan B" strategy in place to deal with what they knew would be a lower farm gate price at some time in the future.

Again if I understand things correctly, Australia's policy of keeping farm gate prices artificially high for a time after their supply management system ended allowed Canadian supply management supporters to make the disengenuous claim that retail prices in Australia didn't decline after the end of supply management there.

Another option would see farmers compensated based on the book value of their quota - people who acquired quota for nothing would get nothing as would people who paid for quota but who had amortized it to zero. This would be easy to do and easy to administer because the values would all be shown on each farmer's income tax return and most importantly, would see no farmer actually out any money on the loss in quota values, save and except the 25% of the purchase price which isn't amortized, but that would be like an insurance deductible which should be absorbed by the farmer in any event as his/her price to pay for buying something he/she knew was a risky investment.

I agree there will likely be some sort of adjustment process but:

(1) it isn't going to be anywhere near as lucrative as quota owners will demand
(2) it will be done with as little actual money from government as possible
(3) any government money will almost certainly be contingent on dairy farmers taking some sort of courses to "upgrade" their skills and all that sort of linkage-related stuff - whatever money does come will come with a condition.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I suspect anything beyond what is currently owed to lenders on quota will be a token amount, probably rightfully since quota was never intended as currency

There's a truism in public relations that any time an organization with legislated entitlements to defend, issues a press release claiming their innocence, they're guilty as Hell.

Therefore, it was disappointing, but no surprise to see that in response to what it claims was "misinformation" in the recent Globe and Mail story about the deliberate dumping of 800,000 litres of skim milk, the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) promptly issued "misinformation" of its own.

Firstly, DFO tried the old "bait-and-switch" ploy by claiming that no raw milk was dumped in an attempt to cover up the fact that 800,000 litres of skim milk was dumped, a claim which ignores the fact that skim milk is highly-marketable at the retail level, as well as ignoring the fact that in his letter to dairy farmers, DFO Chair, Ralph Dietrich bemoaned that there is "no end in sight" to the man-made distortions causing this skim milk surplus in the first place.

The DFO went on to patronize readers by insisting that Canadian dairy farmers are "producing the right amount of milk", a claim which would be accurate only if the "rignt amount" included producing enough skim milk to dump into lagoons.

The DFO, as might be expected, completely glosses over the fact that their own information told them about the problem, as well as telling them that the problem had everything to do with unstoppable milk protein imports which are happening in direct response to the price gouging policies implemented by DFO itself.

The DFO then went on to wallow in self-righteousness by boasting about how much dairy farmers donate to foodbanks, all the while ignoring the fact that DFO's price gouging policies tend, all else being equal, to force people, especially people who don't live close enough to the US border to be able to bypass DFO's price-gouging misery, to go to food banks for dairy and poultry products. There's more than just mild nausea produced every time DFO tries to take credit for "solving" problems their price-gouging policies created in the first place.

The DFO went on to try to mount the patently-false claim that supply management is somehow responsible for safe and high quality dairy products - food safety regs apply regardless of the marketing system.

Even by the so-called "standards" used in the never-never land of public relations gimmickry, GFO's protestations, distortions and self-righteousness are extraordinarily-weak and a de-facto admission of "Holy crap, we've been nailed to the wall", which is exactly the case.

In summary, DFO did everything they could to ignore the fact that it they deliberately destroyed food rather than give anyone a break by putting it on sale.

Good work, Globe and Mail - DFO's response clearly shows you've made a direct hit!

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

This morning's Globe and Mail contained a story saying that Stephen Harper is "poised" to sign the TPP deal, thereby effectively ending supply management and, therefore, also ending the man-made trade distortions of economic reality that caused this milk to have been dumped in the first place.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

And the U.S. Farm Bill will be gone, U.S. Federal milk marketing orders will be gone and the U.S. government's Commodity Credit Corporation will purchase all surplus milk products at the same guaranteed floor price from any of other 11 countries in the TPP, creating one level playing field.

And pigs will fly with dragons above herds of unicorns

What about the other SM products ? Surely they will all be gone too !

The deal is not done yet 10 years ago and again 7 years ago after I was done at Queens Park when was working with U.S. groups to fight R-Calf. there was talk about opening the border in milk products but interests from a group to the east of us made sue that did Not happen. any buyout will be limited. the CDC. needs to limit the higher price fluid milk to the first 750 liters per day per producer location. The deal may not happen. Stephen Webster blyth ontario

You are so right on the money. The DFO should hire you.

Trade Minister, Ed Fast, reportedly told Bloomberg News (bloomberg.com) in an editorial board interview in Toronto on July 10 - "Canada must seize the once-in-a-generation opportunity to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact and can't let its protected dairy and poultry sectors stand in the way."

Fast went on to say - "I am confident that at the end of the day Canada will be part of the TPP" and also went on to say somenthing almost traitorous to supply management supporters - "We have said to the supply-managed industry we will continue to promote and defend their interests whenever we negotiate trade agreements, but I think they also understand we have to find a balance that allows the rest of the economy to participate within the global marketplace. All issues are open for discussion in negotiations."

It would appear that Ed Fast recognizes two realities:

(1) the problems faced by supply management caused by duty-free imports of milk protein would eventually kill it, TPP or no TPP.
(2) we need to sign TPP in order to secure the votes of the 90% of farmers who don't have quota.

and has decided it's not worth trying to preserve supply management, as it presently exists, at all costs.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

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