by SUSAN MANN
A national dairy industry committee has postponed making a decision on renewing a program aimed at boosting overall milk demand.
John Core, CEO of the Canadian Dairy Commission, says the Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee wasn’t in a position to make a decision on the Domestic Dairy Product Innovation program at its meeting Wednesday. “The full discussion will be back on in October” at the next supply management committee meeting.
Through the program processors are able to access milk outside of their existing provincial plant supply quotas to produce new and innovative dairy products. Before last year, the program was renewed for five years but when it was set to expire last year the committee only extended it for one year to July 31. It also set up a review committee to make recommendations about the program.
Even though a renewed program isn’t yet approved to take the place of the one expiring July 31, Core says existing applications will still be processed because they were received before the expiry date. From July 31 to the next supply management committee meeting, “in theory there isn’t a new program but everybody’s committed to working towards one.”
There are a number of matters people needed more time to talk about and get them resolved, including program administration changes plus changes to how quota would be shared as a result of the program, he says.
Peter Gould, general manager of Dairy Farmers of Ontario, says among the review committee’s recommendations were to renew the program for 10 years, increase the maximum amount of milk under the program to three per cent of national market sharing quota from two per cent and include butter as an eligible product.
“We understand that it may take a little longer for all the provinces to fully understand the proposal,” he says. “As long as they agreed to it in October or a few months down the road nothing critical is going to happen in the interim.”
Gould says there aren’t a lot of new applications in the pipeline currently.
Dairy Farmers of Ontario fully supports the recommendations and hopes the rest of the country can find a way to support them too, he notes. BF