Need to dismantle supply management disputed

© AgMedia Inc.

Trading partners don’t care about Canada’s marketing system, they want access to markets, observer says


face facts Sm started out good in the 70s out of need then came Sm farmer greed now they will lose it all and grain farmers will become the greed farmers
god help us

Thank you for posting a honest well written article. What these articles in the Globe and Mail are not explaining is that the domestic policy supports the economy insuring investment from farmers in our communities. We had a strong potato industry until one scab was found on a potato, we have a strong beef industry until the border was closed do to BSE and we had a strong hog industry until there was a significant over supply. We are losing farmers and the government needs to encourage young people to stay or go into the industry. Farming is not cheap to get into. With a barn, cows, land and machinery you are looking the millions of dollars. We are losing farms because the older generation is retiring and the young people see easier more profitable ways to make a living. Most grain farmers in our area have second jobs and there wives also supplement it. Supply management is a system where someone can make an investment and know they can make a fair living to support their family.

We need to have a strong domestic economy to ensure Canadians have a way of making a living and the government has a tax to base to run the country. There really is no such thing as free trade. Every country has different government policy that can be interpreted as subsidies or there are border tariffs. It really should be called open global politics. Canadians need to be concerned about Canada as much as the international markets. With the financial turmoil Canada need to make sure food security is not in the hands of other countries and we encourage young people to be a part of farming by being supportive of farmers. Trade is essential but also is the domestic economy. The quota systems is important but instead of just turfing a working system why don't we think of working with it. If quota is too expensive lets cap it. Why don't we think of solutions for Canada than rather than for other countries.

The other benefit to this system is have thriving dairy farms across Canada that are smaller and support many he other advantage is keeping dairies small is environmentally friendly as well as keeps smaller communities thriving. A major problem with the beef industry is feedlot manure management. We are worried about methane emission but what are we going to do with all the manure. In smaller communities with smaller dairies manure management is not a major challenge. Manure can be spread on local crop land in place of the use of fertilizers. Also smaller dairies can incorporate free range pasture in the spring in summer months maximizing natural grasslands.

Second is the economic spinoff from dairies. The farmers hire labor, veterinarians, pay the milk truck, buy feed, hire a plumbers, buy local supplies, buy fuel, use/some generate electricity, use mineral companies, hires plumbers, buy machinery, ect. There is a lot of spin off from a dairy operation. It is short sighted to just look at 13000 farmers. If each farm requires 10 different people and outside services you are looking at 130000 jobs. We need start supporting farmers.

You have completely ignored the point that supply management deliberately, and systematically, forces consumers to pay more than they need to pay (almost 38% more according to the Dairy Farmers of Ontario in late 2010) for no other reason than to support what is the richest group of farmers. In return, these rich farmers have become economic bullies, earning (well deservedly) the disdain of almost everyone in their communities, particularly younger farmers. You have also ingored the basic economic truth that the economic "spin-off" generated by allowing consumers to divert the extra they pay for dairy and poultry products into other things, well-more than offsets the "spin-off" effects generated by diverting it into the examples you offer. In short, and unfortunately, your posting ignores the reality that even in the farm community, supply management isn't well-liked, and won't be missed.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I wonder what will happen to supply management in dairy a few years from now? The cap has been in place what 3 - 4 years now? Most banks an FCC would only lend up to 10 years on quota. When all that money is paid back in 6-7 years and the banks are no longer on the hook for quota because none has been available due to cap will that be the end? Or am I just thinking crazy thoughts? YF

You have touched on an important point. Quota was never supposed to be used as collateral for borrowing reasons, BUT it became the number one asset in most parts of Ontario.The politicans stood silently by while Farm Credit began the practice and then the banks followed suit.So why should we worry about the arrogant bankers on Bay ST. or the leaders of F C C.

I think if Mr Stephen Thompson spent less time bickering on internet chat forums and crying wolf to the Ontario Farmer; and more time focusing on making his own business successful, he wouldn't feel the need to cut down his neighbour's industries. There are always going to be people making more money than you Steve, get used to it, especially if you refuse to progress. The ending of supply management isn't going to be a silver bullet to your farm's success, so what next? Who's industry will you turn your mindless blabber to?
Derek Van Dieten
Seaforth, Ont. (come for a visit)

I'm too old (62) to really care - however, I really do care about all of those non-supply managed farmers in their late 20s and 30s who are tired of seeing supply management get everything, while their sector gets nothing. These younger farmers are fed up to the teeth with your kind of dismissive and patronizing attitude, and don't hesitate to say so. They are your real problem, not me, and since you're out-numbered 9 to 1, you might want to consider the odds before you patronize me too.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

spply man. work great but let more farmers in on it. It is a crime where in the egg , there is only a few corperations control it. The dairy farmers has gotten more mega farms and less family farms and its ashame that they can,t get more farms than the chosen few they let in. They get an increase in quota and the bigger you are the more you get really , split it up even and let more farmers in to produce. The dairy supply man. is heading for a few corperations like the egg business.

Supply man I think you have a great point and this is where the debate should be. It shouldn't be about dismantling supply management. There are ways to work with it. In the journal this week there was an article about turmoil in many of the first world country and global markets have created the perfect storm. What Canada needs to look at is how to get quota prices down and how to get new entrants in the market. I am for a Canadian solution to a Canadian program.

Al Mussell, of the George Morris Centre, is missing the point when he claims supply management needs some "negotiation" when it comes more access to Canada's dairy and poultry markets by foreign intersts - Mussell would be right if dairy and poultry farmers understood the concept of "negotiation", but they don't, and never will. As a case in point, when former federal Ag Minister, Chuck Strahl, asked supply managed farmers what their "Plan B" was in the event that supply management collapsed, not only did they not have a "Plan B", they didn't even understand the concept. For his part, Mike Dungate of the Chicken Farmers of Canada is simply wrong to claim that chicken farmers are curtailing production to drive up the price - hello, Mr. Dungate, "supply management" is just another term for supply restriction. It is, however, crystal clear that supply management proponents are pulling out all the stops, and are getting increasingly-worried (and so they should), and, as well, have completely, and quite-conveniently, forgotten that the Dairy Farmers of Ontario already admitted, in late 2010, that Ontario consumers were paying almost 38% more for milk than US consumers. The biggest problem supply management supporters face is that nobody, except the most zealous of their members, believes them anymore, nor should they. - "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we (supply management proponents) practice to deceive"

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

First off Canada has the best quality Milk in the world, because of the Canadian Quality Milk program which every dairy producer has to abide by, so every Canadian should be proud of that. The price of milk that you purchase in the stores has very little to do with what the Farmer gets. The grocers charge whatever price they want, all the Supply management guarantees is that the Farmer will be getting a pay check for what they produce, and the marketing boards will make sure that the Provinces aren't over producing. For example the U.S. over produced and their entire Dairy market collapsed and a lot of Dairy farmers went bankrupt.
Even if the Supply Management were to be dismantled there is going to be a lot more effected than the Farmers. The Financial institutions have a lot of capital in the Agricultural industry and with how weak markets are in the world do we want to be messing with that.
Also every country has some form of Supply Management. The U.S. has Plants that you must get your contract with in order to make any money off your milk. In New Zealand, there is only one milk Processor and you have to ship your milk through them, so is that really different from what we have?
Prices will most likely go up if we get rid of Supply Management, they may go down for the start but it will be flooded with foreign product. And which will Canadians end up picking in the end. The high quality Canadian milk, the American milk that is full of BST, or seasonal milk from New Zealand.
In the end if people want to go on this witch hunt to raise Tariffs and get rid of Supply Management then we may end up shooting ourselves in the foot with no protection and The U.S can just do whatever they want just like they did with the BSE crisis and RCALF

I'm not proud, nor should I be, of the fact that I am forced to pay, according to the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, almost 38% more to buy milk than I need to pay, simply to allow the dairy farming community to run rough-shod over every farmer who doesn't benefit from 200% tariff barriers. As for your point about the farm/retail price spread, the Dairy Farmers of Ontario noted, in late 2010, that the farm gate price of milk in Ontario was within pennies per litre of the US retail price - therefore I suggest you are dead-outright wrong to claim that the farm price has "very little" relationship to the retail price. As for the rest of your posting, you are simply grasping at straws, hoping one of them will save you - none will.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Start thinkinng about what the tobacco boys got which I think you roughy was to much

I look back at the small cheese factories that closed down and miss the fresh curd you could get as soon as it is made. Now you buy it in a store that is a day old or days old. People love to buy fresh curd and cheese at a local factory and not some made in a big plant no telling where. Hope the curd don,t start being brought in from China or India like the other food that we can grow and manufactor here in Canada. Happy Birthday Canada, and may we soon start to again take pride and start making food and products hear.

Farming is very regulated in Canada. Why would we want to buy products from China, India, Mexico where they use chemicals which are banned in Cananda.
Each farmer should be able to make enough money to make a decent living for their families.
I do not want some other countries to control our food supplies!

Look in the grocer store at the pickles, some fruit boxes , relish ,there is produce that is made in India ,China and some other countries . Canada grows cucumbers so why can,t they make those products . The milk products and egg and poultry products can be produced over there and shipped in.
I don,t spend all my time checking out ever product ,only the things we buy to eat or drink and we buy the made in Canada or USA where is possible.

I spent an hour last evening, checking out the food on the shelves at the Hua -Sheng supermarket (where my daughter shops) at the corner of Dundas and Spadina, in Toronto. It is abundantly clear that shoppers in that store don't care about either local food, or domestically-produced food. In that hour, I found only three perishable products, milk, eggs, and hydroponic tomatoes, which were labelled as being either produced in, or packaged in, Canada. NOTHING else, including the meats, including fish, and the produce, all the way from lychee nuts to bamboo shoots, was labelled at all, mostly because none of it was packaged, but was loose, in the store's bins and boxes. I came away from that store firmly convinced that we, in agriculture, subscribe to a kind of "old white farmer" fantasy about food that isn't shared by consumers, particularly the people shopping at Hua - Sheng. "Buy local" is doomed because consumers don't want it, a "national food policy" is doomed because consumers don't care, and supply management is doomed because consumers (and most farmers) either don't want it, or don't care about the need for domestically-produced food.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Dear dear Stephen, the fact that you claim 'most farmers' do not want supply management leads me to believe you haven't spoken to even one farmer about this issue. As a proud dairy farmer, I care very much about supply management. The regulations surrounding milk production and food safety are good things for the Canadian consumer. It's time to put your pencil down, Stephen, and stop confusing readers with your rambles and rants. Have a wonderful day and make sure you stop to enjoy a glass of milk!

Jennifer Clark, PEI

If you are, as you claim, a "proud dairy farmer", you are then, by definition, proud of enslaving Canadian consumers by forcing them to pay almost 38% more to buy milk than they need to pay. You are also, by definition, proud of your ability to ride rough-shod over every farmer who doesn't enjoy the income and purchasing power you enjoy because of the 200% tariff barriers only supply managed farmers enjoy. You are also, again by definition, proud of forcing Canadian fresh pizza makers to pay 30% more for cheese than frozen pizza makers. You are also, by definition, proud of having antagonized an entire generation of non-supply managed farmers under the age of 40. What's worse is that you seem to care about none of these things, but only about yourself. If you are, indeed, proud of all those things, and since you claim to be a "proud" dairy farmer, you must be, then shame on you for being just simply greedy.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

It's time the greedy poultry and dairy farmers experience how the rest of the world makes a living. Supply management allows farmers to be inefficient and still costing the consumer to pay too much for products. It time to rid of the retirement plan!
Chuck B

If my information is correct, supply management represents about 9% of Canadian farmers - that means 91% have the same opinion (or soon will have) about supply management that you do. Once government realizes supply management isn't well liked, and won't be missed, even in the farm community, they'll follow the votes to be gained by getting rid of it.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

As you are an accountant, could you do some math?

Under our Constitution, it states that when a farmer wants to trade (in a prescribed area) under certain circumstances, the Sovereign commands a "licence be granted without fee or "reward".

This clause was inserted for many reasons, mainly to uphold the contractual obligations the Crown has in regards to domestic supply.... but the clause does exist in our Constitution.

The last part of the clause is of interest. It states the licence shall be "granted" without "reward".

If you look up the old definition of "reward" you will find that there cannot be any "legislative benefit" from those Sovereign licences. The government must not garner financial compensations.

If farmers remember, the Province of Ontario, through a division of the Ministry of Finance placed an assessed value on agricultural "marketing rights" in the early 1960's against the farmers' expressed wishes. In essence, the Province capitalize quota for financial gain. This was a provincial position, not federally.

The Province of Ontario has been the single largest benefactor of quota valuations in the last half century.....from such a small sector in our society.

The Province of Ontario now must address the sins of quota valuations, a situation they created in the first place.

What is the value of quota in Ontario today?

IF all quota is dissolved at the end of this calender year, how much capital loss will be recorded on farmers' financial statements in 2013?

What will be the impact to the Province's financial statement when agriculture declared billions of $$$ in capital losses?

If all quotas are dissolved, will farmers still need licences to market as stated in our Constitution? If so, who will be the regulating authority? Will those marketing licences be issued "without fee"?

I asked some of those questions to the previous 2 Ministers of Agriculture and never received an adequate answer.

Maybe you can answer those questions Mr. Thompson?

joann vergeer

The politicans you asked probaly couldn t answer your questions because they didn t know what you were talking about and i m not being sarcastic.

If my source information is correct.... then I would sadly speculate that was not the case. It would appear both previous ministers were acutely aware of the different factors relating to quota hence the non-answers.

joann vergeer

and aren't worthy of an answer.

However, if quota becomes worthless (we can only hope), farmers with quota should be able to use the terminal loss provisions available in the Income Tax Act - that's one of the many reasons I'm opposed to any sort of quota "buyout". Another is that dairy and poultry farmers knew, or should have known, quota could become worthless, and should have planned accordingly. The third reason, and it's one shared by many farmers, is that we have spent the better part of our lives listening to dairy and poultry farmers boast about how wonderful supply management is, and we'd all like to rub their noses in it when they can't boast any more.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Mr. Thompson. You did not answer the questions.

What are the effects on the Province financial sheets if $52 billion of quota was claimed as capital losses in a single fiscal period?

The Province of Ontario has garnered billions of $$$ of benefit for decades. That means, the public, including people such as you, have benefited from quota valuations. I don't believe I have ever seen you write about the positive effects of quota valuation to alleviate your tax obligations.

By receiving a benefit, the time has come to address the obligation towards quota capitalization.

There will be a public price to pay when quota becomes worthless.

I will ask you again.

What are the provincial consequences of quota devaluation to the Ontario Public? What is the true cost to the public when quota is dissolved?

joann vergeer

Quota is an asset of the farmers who own it, not an asset of the Province - therefore the effect on Ontario's balance sheets will be zero when quota disappears. Furthermore, you obviously don't understand that when the value of an asset goes to zero, the only "loss" is the difference between book value and zero. For example, if somebody inherited quota for nothing, and it subsequently became worthless, then he/she had no loss, period. If somebody bought egg layer quota for $30 per bird, and had since capitalized it down to $10, then his/her loss would be the remaining $10. From an economics point of view, the true "cost" to the public when quota is dissolved is negative, because the public will benefit from lower dairy and poultry prices - therefore, not only will there be no cost to the public when quota is dissolved, there will be a substantial benefit. As for tax revenues coming from quota sales, since they are, in effect, capital transactions, and taxed at a quite-favourable rate, tax revenues generated from the new-found ability to export milk, for example, and from the multiplier effect resulting from consumers not have to pay as much for dairy and poultry products, will, by the first principles of economics, more than offset any tax revenues lost by the disappearance of supply management. In short - there are no "positive" effects to quota valuation, and therefore, absoutely NO public price to pay when quota becomes worthless - it will all be public benefit.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Thank you for your response.

By your response, I must admit that I am now truly confused.

You state, for example, that the farmers own the quota and it is not an asset of the Province. I have heard from government officials that the the Province "owns" the quota, not the farmer and therefore the province can at any time dissolve the quota without compensation.

You also misunderstood my statement about the positive effects you received from quota valuations. When an assessment was placed on marketing rights in the early '60's, those farmers subsidized the Province of Ontario... and continued so for many decades.

There are many financial dimensions related to quota valuations and it appears the Province would rather not engage in a public discussion and the effects to the Public.....but I also have to wonder... if the Province can (has) dissolved agricultural marketing licences without due process or compensation.....what is there to stop them from dissolving licences in other sectors..... such as doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses......

If farmers didn't own the quota, FCC and banks wouldn't, and couldn't, take it as security - that's not to say that government can't make quota worthless overnight and not have to compensate farmers for any losses incurred. And you are completely wrong about who is subsidizing who - the only people being subsidized by supply management are the farmers who are on the receiving end of the regressive consumption tax imposed disproportionately on the poorest group of consumers. In addition, there is only one, not many, dimension(s) to quota valuation, and that's the value farmers place on it, and at their own risk. Finally, any comparison of supply management to medicine and law, is absurd - professions are merit-based, and can't be transferred from one generation to another.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Two things.

1. You still misread my message and assessed it improperly. Your knowledge of quota history is on the short side.

2. Obviously you didn't get the memo about who really "owns" quota. Put in a call to the Chair of OFPMC and ask him.

I'm tired of nut-bar comments and irrelevant claims about who owns quota - if farmers didn't own the quota, FCC and the banks, wouldn't and/or couldn't use it as lending security. The only thing that matters is that if/when quota becomes worthless, the loss will be experienced by farmers, not governments. Get over it, and move on.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON


Resorting to rude, unsubstantiated and unwarranted comments does not enhance the discussion.

And obviously you have no intention on verifying the information either with someone like the Chair of OFPMC or their lawyers.

I have speculated that OMAFRA employs a degree of knowledge filtration whereby Ontario/Quebec farmers have difficulty evaluating proper evidence so to exercise full use of their Sovereign rights.

p.s.... you contradict your own assessment. If quota becomes worthless... banks, FCC, etc.... will have financial concerns. How can $52 billions worth of capital loss in a single fiscal period not have a ripple effect?

joann vergeer

Nobody cares about banks and/or FCC, nor should they - they made their nest by lending to supply managed farmers, they knew the risks, and like all businesses, they will have to pay the price for their greed, and so will the farmers who were dumb enough to borrow the money. Sovereign rights are still crap, and mean nothing, nothing, nothing.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Government owns quota, and I don't need to call anyone to verify. Anything the government offers and you agree to it, they own it...period! If you sell it before they pull the plug, lucky you.

And maybe you have forgotten who has driven the price of quota to such high levels? Greedy farmers not some government! Let's not try to blame everything on "the government" some things just happen because of greed.

No farmer can be inefficient and survive.
Why do the greedy consumers pay lots of money for luxuries like extra cars, boats, ATVs, trips, etc. but complain about paying for safe, fresh food?

Unfortunately, it's often supply managed farmers who are the biggest consumers of luxuries like extra cars, boats, ATV's, trips etc. yet can't and/or won't see that their spending excesses are gouged (at up to 38% too much according to the Dairy Farmers of Ontario) from the hides of the poorest group of consumers, many of whom can't afford even one car. Your attitude demonstrates exactly why, even on the rural routes, supply management isn't well-liked, and won't be missed.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

the racket is over!

first wheat, now dairy,... next: media/telecoms.

I don,t believe for one minute that dairy produce is 38% higher than Canada been there seen it and did not find that result.
Why should the goverment pay the farmers for there quota if they cut out the quota sytem, then they will buy more land and get even bigger and have more control over the milk , egg or chicken marker.

The Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) published a full-page "advertorial" in major Canadian newspapers in late 2010, wherein they, as usual, boasted about supply management. However, the numbers DFO used in the "advertorial" showed that Ontario consumers were paying almost 38% more for milk than US consumers, and that the farm gate price of milk was within pennies per liter of the US retail price. They've never used these numbers again - it's not hard to figure out why.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

It is true our milk costs more in the supermarket than the US but we are not paying billions in subsidies to our dairy farmers. The US pay twice for milk where we pay once. Our dairy industry does not require extra support from the government not like other industries.

Why does a truck in the US cost 10,000 dollars less than in Canada? Why can I go buy close 50% less in the states ect? Why does a pop cost the same as a litre of milk with a 1/100th of the input cost? Why do I have to pay more in taxes than the US? Since I do not live in the US. Everything cost more in Canada including labor, inputs, taxes ect. We pay less than the EU and NZ for dairy products.

Actually I haven't missed all the points. Consumers do not pay more under supply management. In New Zealand where government support was removed their is increasing concerns of the domestic price of milk products. Australia dismantled their supply management system and farms are struggling. The milk exports have increased but the farms are fighting with food giants like coles and woolworths to get paid a fair price for their milk. The farmers are lobbying the government to try to get them to intervene. Also, the 11 cent premium put on milk to phase out the government help has remained on the price milk to bail out the farmers. The US milk prices are at an all time low in 30 years. They need a market to export to along with Australia but do not have demand to import. The farmers in the US want to export to Canada but are concerned about NZ markets. NZ farmers have a co-op system (Frontera) so farmer gets the advantage of value added products and exports 95% of it is milk. China is importing heifers but not liquid milk. Grain farms, hogs, potatos and beef have all suffered from the free market having the government bail out farming industry in the billions since 2000 but have not had to give support to supply management.

The point about supporting our farmers and young people getting out of farming is that farming is expensive and risky. There needs to be security of getting a return. The dairy industry does have new entrants programs. With the regulatory framer work and costs associated with starting a dairy is barrier enough without talking about quota. Dairy farmers are not getting rich but there is long term return on their investment so they can make a decent living and pay fair wages.

Also, I haven't ignored the farm community because I part of it. I have worked in the farm industry and live in the farming community. I have heard grain farmers talk about the benefits of supply management. What farmers are more concerned about in my area is the urban sprawl, international buying up land because they can't afford to buy it, cost of inputs and getting financing. Also, a lot of older farmers are not encouraging the young people to get into farming because of the financial cost.

The spin off supports rural communities. That is why the government created supply management. It was a way to prevent the boom and bust cycles of the farming industry which constantly put rural communities in financial turmoil. Beef farmers today are just receiving the same price for their beef as they were before BSE and they are still fighting. It is very highly debatable if consumers will ever see lower prices for their dairy products. During BSE and when hogs prices plummeted the price was still the same in the grocery store. The people that stand to gain are Walmarts.

I bought milk for 4.50 yesterday which is a lot less than what has been posted in the global mail. Quota system is a domestic policy. The government could open the market to a percentage of the dairy market without dismantling supply management. I agree that the price of quota needs to capped and reduced but supply management works in my opinion. There is financial turmoil all over the world because of government spending and reliances on global markets. More domestic policies that don't require billions in government support are beneficial.

what part about DFO's admission, in late 2010, that Ontario consumers were paying almost 38% more for milk than US consumers, do you not understand, or, not want to understand? Get real, my friend, stop believing DFO when you want to believe them, and stop ignoring them when you don't.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

This is the year 2012!

We pay more than the US in the supermarket than in Canada just as we pay more for cars, clothing and fuel. The government spends billions in farm subsidies in the US. One of the problem with dismantling supply management is comparing supply management to the US subsidies. The government doesn't have to give subsidies to dairy farmers because supplu management frameworks regulates itself. Where as other farming sectors in Canada have receives hundreds of millions of dollars. Also, Canada has more expensive labor, taxes, input costs and regulatory framework (government policy and standards farmers have to uphold) making more expensive to produce dairy in Canada. If you add the subsidies the US gets to the price of the milk you will realize that US pays more for their milk. Whether the farmer is getting paid 5 cents or 5 dollars the price wont change in the store like we saw with the BSE and pork oversupply. If there is the farmer, processor and retailer who is really marking up the price of milk? If from store to store the price milk ranges a dollar is the farmer controlling the product price?

The supply managed sector produced study after study after study, for effectively 40 years, claiming cross-border retail price equivalency for the products produced under supply management. Now, all of a sudden, in late 2010, DFO finally reveals (not directly of course) that we really are paying 38% more than US consumers. What infuriates me to no end is that DFO is disengenuous enough to try to make us believe that supply management is just as good for us now that we are paying 38% more for milk as it was when they were claiming we weren't paying anything more. I'd be a tad more gracious if I hadn't been forced to listen to the retail price equivalency nonsense for 40 years, and now be forced to see DFO pretend this retail price equivalency not only never happened, but never meant anything when they were making the claim. And, stop it already with the economic nonsense about US subsidies - they come from the tax system, paid by corporations and rich individuals, exactly the way subsidies should be financed. That's why supply management is, by definition, a regressive tax because it disproportionately affects poor people, and why the US subsidy system is, again by definition, a progressive tax because it is not disproportionately paid by poor people. So, the next time you bad-mouth subsidies, remember they are "progressive" (and don't create quota monsters) while supply management is "regressive" and does. Or, by the first principles of economics, if there is to be any sort of transfer payments, or support of any sector of the economy, the right way to do it is to finance it through the tax sector, not through tariffs and consumption taxes on the poorest group of consumers - therefore, supply management fails the first test of economic fairness, and soundness. Look it up, it's in every economics textbook ever published.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Thank you for adding your dimension. A thorough and honest public discussion is needed if our government is seriously considering dismantling our agricultural domestic supply system.

But may I just enhance one of your points?

You stated "That is why the government created supply management. It was a way to prevent the boom and bust cycles of the farming industry which constantly put rural communities in financial turmoil."

There is more truth to that statement than most people know... but..... the reality is.... the government DID NOT create supply management.

The roots of our agricultural supply management laws lie in a 17th century Royal Proclamation...of which I do not believe has been rescinded or revoked (if anyone knows of the contrary.. please advise)

The Royal Proclamation dealt with the "Restraint of Disorderly Trade....". It acted as a financial tool to guard against volatile swings in the market and enforced licenced marketing. It was put in place to protect Crown's interest.

Our government just enabled and respected rights that existing long before confederation.

As for quota valuations.... that is a sin the Province of Ontario created....benefited greatly from.... and now must face the consequences of dissolution.

joann vergeer

Just have a visit to Walmart, 99% of consumers care about price. Mouths say its humane pork,quality,homegrown-pocket book says its about the money....just insane to pay $25k for right to milk a cow---good luck to all-kg kimball

Fact is supply management works and Stephen is a hater. I'm a corn farmer in the US, remember last year you were blabbing about how ethanol was ruining the feed market for corn? Well instead of the $2.50 corn you were hoping for its back over $7 thanks Steven and keep on hatin'n. I love it when Stephen is proven wrong again.

Both supply management and ethanol (because of mandates) are financed through regressive consumption taxes paid disproportionately by the poorest group of consumers, instead of through progressive income tax levies paid by rich individuals and corporations alike. It is truly sad to see so many in the farm community so-continually, and so-completely, enthralled by the lure of unsound, and/or just-outright bad economics - yet when it comes to supply management and ethanol, bad economics seems to hold the farm community, and the organizations purporting to represent them, completely captive. Pity!

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

A lot has changed since the 1960's and its time that supply management also changes, SM farmers want to be given an monopoly by society all well, they are so highly subsidized, they make use of crop insurance, CAIS, NISA, farm property tax rebate, grains and oild seed payouts, the list goes on and on so SM farmers shouldn't think the rest of the farming community is so stupid, its time your sectors just like every other sector of the farming community needs to stand on its own two BIG FEET, out of this world land values are all being fueled by big dollars coming out of the dairy and feather sectors not from hog or beef cattle farmers. SM farms actually are creating a negetive effect on the rest of agriculture financially. The time is right for supply management to be phased out in the next 5 - 10 years and no the government shouldn't be on the hook to pay out quota holders either, only those who have purchased quota in the last 10 years should be compensated based on a sliding scale that is prorated from 75% of the value down to zero over the past 10 years.

On another note SHAME ON THE MARKETING BOARDS for not allowing caps on ownership and for allowing the price of quota to have ever been allowed to reach the bizzare price levels it has, all along it should of been based on a 10 yr repayment model or only every leased to producers, it should of never been allowed to get to where it is today.

The current SM model is solely based on greed and needs to be changed to a system that allows for it to be run by the lowest cost producers or most innovative producers who can rap the rewards of their forward thinking.

As President of the Practical Farmers of Ontario, i am working to bring fairness and equality to all farmers in all sectors and will not support a system that creates have and have not's farmers at the expense of the farming community and consumers all well very few people benefit except the wealth few with the in the SM club

Sean McGivern
President Practical Farmers of Ontario

Not only do I agree completely, every other economist, by definition, agrees with you completely, and virtually every non-supply managed farmer under the age of 40 also agrees with you completely. Supply management has created a rural aristocracy which antagonizes other farmers as well as disproportionately taxing the poorest group of consumers. It has stifled innovation, it has created a high-cost system, it has produced a bloated bureaucracy large enough to run small countries, yet dedicated solely to the preservation of this aristocracy, it prohibits processors from achieving any significant economies of scale, and completely eliminates any potential for exports. If we want to support dairy and poultry farmers, and there's no sound reason why they need any more support than any other sector, then the economically-prudent option is to support them the way we do with every other sector of agriculture, and that's with subsidy monies raised through the income tax system, wherein rich individuals and corporations pay their share in proportion to their income. While subsidies, in themselves, aren't normally considered to be a good thing to do, tariff-based systems, like supply management, are 100 times worse, for everyone (except perhaps first-generation quota holders).

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Steph you have no idea what you are talking about you need to get involved in the industries whatever you are saying is over your head no knowledge no experience. I simply say this because you talk to much people talking to much don't have a clue

Ah, yes, the standard, always angry, and usually grammatically-incorrect, "shoot the messenger" ploy which seems to be the only thing supply managed farmers know how to do. Do you have any facts to support your belief that I don't know what I am talking about? For example, you could tell us why it isn't hypocrisy that 15,000 farmers can force over 30 million Canadian consumers to pay almost 38% more for milk than they need to pay. You could also tell us why it isn't hypocrisy to allow 15,000 farmers to have an absolute advantage over the 90% of farmers who aren't in supply management. You could also tell us why it isn't hypocrisy that frozen pizza makers can buy cheese for 30% less than fresh pizza makers have to pay. You could also tell us why every economics text book published in the past 150 years is wrong for advising readers that protectionism is always net-negative, but you won't, because you can't. What is it about supply managed farmers alienating an entire generation of non-supply managed farmers under the age of 40, that you can't understand? Finally, with no respect whatsoever, I suggest neither you, nor the people you talk to, have any sort of clue, just greed.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Ask a hog or cattle farmer what they would choose. People think that is SM was gone everything would be cheaper. Why do we pay more for a TV? Why more for a car? Even for a car made in Canada(camaro)? We pay more in Canada for everything from T-shirts to, yes milk. We also have a universal health care system, minimum wage, and an environment that is colder therefore requiring higher costs.

Thank You

We don't pay more to buy pork or beef at the store than they do in the US, and the only reason we pay more to buy many fruits and vegetables is because of transportation costs. And, with respect, you obviously haven't asked many, if any, hog or cattle farmers what they would choose - it certainly wouldn't be the continuance of a system which unfairly pounds them into the ground at every turn, and at every opportunity. Even if your argument made sense, and it doesn't, there's no way that a 38% higher retail price for milk can be justified in less than a mile difference between stores. Furthermore, the elimination of supply management would allow Canadian consumers to spend the money they save on milk, to buy more pork and beef - a point intuitively understood by every beef and hog farmer, but, alas, obviously incomprehensible to any dairy and/or poultry farmer. A level playing field for Canadian farmers will be of long-term benefit to over 30 million Canadians, including the 90% of farmers who aren't in supply management, and only a short-term inconvenience to 15,000 quota holders - What's not to like about it?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Furthermore, the elimination of supply management would allow Canadian consumers to spend the money they save on milk, to buy more pork and beef - a point intuitively understood by every beef and hog farmer, but, alas, obviously incomprehensible to any dairy and/or poultry farmer.
Sorry, I don't get it. I have to buy the product to save money. If I have my protein from the milk, chicken, and eggs I buy, I don't need to buy protein in the form of beef and pork, ergo my "saved" money is not going to beef and pork farmers, but intuitively would be going to more milk, eggs, and chicken, since beef and pork won't be any cheaper than they are now.

Rubbish - people cross the border to buy milk so they can spend the money they save to buy things in Canada, like beef and pork. All supply management does is take money out of the pockets of consumers, and sales away from pork and beef farmers, and give it to dairy and poultry farmers who can only think of themselves. And, you don't seem to understand that, for example, there are oodles of baby-boomers who, like myself, wouldn't drink any more milk even if it was free, but I definitely would spend the 38% I would save on milk if supply management folded, on Canadian beef and pork - it isn't about protein, it's about simultaneously screwing consumers and fellow farmers, and always has been.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

If there was only one manufacturer of TV's in Canada, protected by the government, and there were expensive tariff's on importing TV's into Canada, then what would a TV cost? We have over 10 brands of vehicles to choose from and those manufacturers must compete on 'price' to get the sale, so no, not a monopoly. If you asked "a hog or cattle farmer what they would choose", they would choose to have the government remove the ethanol mandate so they could compete on a level playing field with the ethanol industry when it comes to grain costs. They would also choose to have the government legislation for sm abolished, because of the heavily inflated income and purchasing power advantage it has created to their benefit only, so they could compete on a level playing field with them also. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

Well if you ask a cash crop farmer if they would like no ethanol mandate they would answer no. If you ask a SM farmer if they would like it abolished they would say no. Just like gas stations there is different owners but they seems to have the same price. Why wouldn,t the hog or beef farmers come up with the same idea, why because they are controlled by a few big corperations which is to get it products as low as possible and make as much as possible.The 2 farmers has no help to keep their prices up and I bet you ask any of them and they would love a helping hand, and anybody that says different must be a very successful farmer which the others should look at and see what they should be doing different. All you here is buy insurance or rmp that will get you extra money on bad years, is that no different than buying quota or having protection?

Supply management and ethanol are, by the first principles of economics, nothing more than a consumption tax on food which is disproportionately paid by those people most likely to be using food banks. A consumption tax on basic food products is, therefore, both bad economic policy, and bad public policy. In addition, both supply management and ethanol give those particular farmers an artificial, and therefore unfair, advantage over other farmers when it comes to incomes and purchasing power. Therefore, to answer your question, buying crop insurance and/or enrolling in RMP is completely different from buying quota and/or having the benefit of mandated ethanol use, because neither crop insurance nor RMP gives any farmer, or group of farmers, a legislated artificial advantaqe over other farmers. In addition, neither crop insurance nor RMP creates higher food costs for poor consumers in the way both supply management and ethanol do. If you were to have thought about farm assistance programs, including supply management and ethanol, in terms of what they do to penalize consumers, and what they do to penalize other farmers, I suggest you wouldn't have needed to ask the question at all.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton

"If you were to have thought about farm assistance programs, including supply management and ethanol, in terms of what they do to penalize consumers, and what they do to penalize other farmers, I suggest you wouldn't have needed to ask the question at all."
Wow, I don't get it. If I'm ticked at SM products, I can boycott them. Lots of other food out there, and SM ends up with none of my dollars, pre- or post tax. As a vegan, tax paying consumer, I end up supporting beef and pork farmers through govt assistance programs even though I'm ideologically opposed.
So which penalizes consumers more? Or is life only about pure, theoretical economics and not personal ideology?

Supply management penalizes consumers more than subsidies penalize taxpayers - it's basic economics, and simply not open for either dispute or discussion, and I've probably pointed this out, in various ways, about 150 times on this site. However, I will presume that you are a recent member, and I suppose that since even vegans study economics at some point, you would have, no doubt, learned that regressive tax systems like supply management are always poorer public and economic policy than progressive tax systems which gather money from taxpayers, including corporations, based on their income, rather than their consumption. And sorry, it's not theoretical economics, but has been basic and undeniable economic truth (to everyone except quota-holders) for 150 years - it's as basic to economics as water not running uphill is to physics.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Your statement "tax paying consumer" is questionable. Do some research and you will find there is a difference between a "taxpayer" and a "consumer". Also, just because you claim to be a vegan, doesn't make it okay for the thousands of consumers who do rely on sm foods for basic nutrition, to be forced to pay more. Yes, there have been years that hog, beef and grain farmers have relied on taxpayer money through government programs to survive, but sm farmers have been on the recieving end of the "cadillac" of government legislation EVERY SINGLE YEAR for the past 40 years. So ask yourself, how many consumer dollars have ended up in sm pockets that shouldn't have? Billions. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

Mitt Romney might have been elected President of the US if he hadn't disparaged the 47, or so, percent of the US population he claimed weren't taxpayers. Supply managed farmers have been equally-guilty of the same affront to Canadian consumers for 40 years, and will hopefully-soon pay the same price as Romney.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I think your advise is sound. Farmers need to do more research... as should you.

As for your argument about taxes....

In our present constitution there is a clause that states if a qualified 'person' wishes to 'trade'... the Governor General or Commander in Chief shall issue a "licence without fee or reward".

The licences issued under the constitution are Sovereign "rights".

A licence granting a right is legally defined as a "TAX". (check a Law dictionary circa 1750 when those laws written and presently still valid)

Therefore, the boards under OFPMC, acting as guardians of those licences with price setting powers (from a Royal Proclamation in 1620) are actually setting a tax rate on food.

Therefore a person buying milk in Ontario is in reality a tax paying consumer.

As for the licenses... the constitution states the government may not receive a reward on the licenses.... (is there not a law that prohibits taxing a tax?).... yet the Province has received billions of $$$$$ the last 50 years from quota valuations....

Ask yourself if the Province (the public) had the lawful right to benefit billions of dollars at the expense of farmers that owned "marketing rights"? If not, what will the consequences be?

joann vergeer

The "price setting powers" that exist have been granted to farmers through government legislation called sm. Those powers were protected by an exemption to 'price fixing' under the Canadian Competition Act. The province has not recieved billions, the sm farmers have because they are the ones who put value on quota since they are the ones who negotiate price, can use it as security, and can sell it. The public does not benefit from sm, in fact they lose- money, and plenty of it. Anyone who is not a sm farmer should ask themselves how does sm benefit me? If sm ever did 'work' it may have only been the first year or two, and since that time has only become more corrupt every year. If anyone thinks I am mistaken, I recommend reading the following. 'Don Cayo: Egg monoploy privileges a few insiders at the expense of us all' and 'Don Cayo: B.C. egg farmers profit from reselling cheap US imports'. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

Gee.... if we had known what you state, we would not have spent all the time and energy talking to the lawyer that is a tax specialist, other lawyers and accountants, CRA and other people that have unique knowledge of agricultural "rights".

They must be all wrong!!!!...or.....not.

Could you please explain how Ontario farmers received "marketing rights" attached to their land in 1928...a full 8 years before the Natural Farms Product Act was introduced?

joann vergeer

Since you seem so fanatical about "marketing rights", what about those of other B.C. farmers who are denied the chance to grow and sell eggs because of all the corruption in the egg industry. What about Myles Materi, the Salmon area egg farmer who had his "marketing rights" pounded into the ground by a corrupt system along with the 12 people that worked for him. Is the same happening in Ontario? I know of a person, who, about 5-6 years ago while driving for a trucking company was sent into the US to pick up eggs to bring back to Ontario. Here's the kicker-when he picked them up in the US they were already packaged as a Canadian product. So were Ontario farmers being denied their "marketing rights"? You've talked to accountants? Mr. Thompson is an accountant, we all know where he stands on this. I must correct one statement I made before when I said sm is getting worse by the year, now it is by the day. Google "Don Cayo: City folk are pikers when it comes to building wealth" Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

The source determines the nature of the rights.

Agricultural rights in (parts of) Ontario/Quebec are not the same as in B.C.

There are marketing 'rights' and then there are marketing 'privileges' in this country.

There is a distinction.

joann vergeer less than one month it will be 2013, not 1928 or 1700 or even 1600.
You must understand that todays government will just create new laws to cover off any discrepencies. The lawyers will still get rich, the accountant will keep busy and the government of the day will still rule.
Why did Randy Hillier and others abandon this line of defense?
Dave Linton

I am sorry to hear comments like that, especially from informed people such as you Dave.

It is regrettable that so many choose to advocate changes in our present, albeit ancient, system in the pursuit of personal financial freedoms (or so some assume)

Truth be told, many of our present rights are rooted in the Magna Carta..... and most people hang their freedoms on some of those old laws.... but choose to cherry pick which laws they like to keep entrenched in our society today.

I think many people would be surprised to learn that, in parts of Canada there is an old law (still in effect) that states domestic food supply (under certain conditions) must be fulfilled before export.

Buried deep in our present constitution is a Sovereign domestic food supply law to protect the public. It is an ancient law that still is valid and old licenses are an important dimension of that law.

The "marketing rights" are the public's protection to a secure source of food in time of need.

Without those ancient "marketing rights" the public will be left with only food supply "privileges".

The very soul of our domestic food supply laws are attached to limited constitutionally protected "licenses".

Why on earth would you knowingly give up rights to your domestic food?

As for Hillier, I do not know much about him and never dealt with him so I can't answer your question.

joann vergeer

By the first principles of economics, the public is better able to obtain a secure supply of food with more trade, rather than less. It's just common sense that the more potential sources you have for anything, the more "secure" you are. Therefore, the public is, by definition, not protected at all by being forced to rely on only a domestic food supply. In fact, given that for milk, Ontario consumers are forced to pay almost 38% more for a product which is not just readily availble, but readily and securely, available close by, they are being punished by having a domestic food supply forced on them. I simply can't understand why you cling to the economic fallacy that being forced to pay more for food which is, by definition, less secure than if we allowed more trade, is, in any way, advantageous to consumers, or to anybody but our elite 15,000 quota owners. It's like this, Ms. Vergeer, I tolerate your nonsense, albeit barely, about times long-since past, but when you pervert, and distort, basic economic principles in order to advance what are, at best, "nut-bar" ideas, then you go too far, and I've got to jump on you, as a matter of professional principle.

Mr. Thompson:

Distorting "basic economic principles" (what ever that means) is not something I do.

But I do question the basis of your information in regards to Canadian marketing.

We have spent years researching marketing rights in Canada (focused on Ontario rights) and have garnered an in-depth understanding how, where and why marketing rights exist in Ontario. There are a large number of courts cases in regards to contracts in Restraint of Trade which you might like to read.

Mix that with legislation and court cases concerning "Rules Against Perpetuties" and you have an interesting combination of 'accidental consquences'.

To understand how and why we are at this point you need to understand how and why we got here in the first place.

One could say that our present marketing system has it's foundation in a Royal Proclamation to "Restrain the Disorderly Trade"....concerning an indigenous commodity placed in "Trust" by the King...... and in a defined geographical area. Still valid today. Contracts in restrainting trade of commodities in "trust".

Space and time... the 2 foundational requirements for restraint of trade.

If you call Royal Proclamations, thousands of legal treatises, (entrenched in our constitution and never revoked or rescinded) "nut-bar" ideas.......then I question your proficiency and knowledge of Ontario Agriculture.

joann vergeer

I've spent a lot of time "researching" the Bible, and have "garnered" a lot of understanding, yet I don't try to cite Biblical precedents to advance one group over another, which is exactly what you do when you cite ancient scribblings to advance your proposition that farmers somehow enjoy legislated priveleges denied to others. I could, if I wished, claim that the biblical precedent of over-turning the tables of the money-changers in the temple out-trumps any of your so-called Royal Proclamations. What part of "that was then, this is now" do you not understand?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Now it all makes sense . Forgive them for they know not what they are doing and saying . You want to go back to the bible and ask The Father for forgiveness . That works with God as he forgives all but does not work with written laws and rules here on earth in our mortal world . Don't try to mislead things here with the judgement coming when we leave this life .

And I can cite you a Royal court case that states the Bible is the foundation of British laws.

In your case.... is your interpretation the laws correct?

I just don't understand why you insist on disregarding the very foundation of our laws?

Do you know what happens to a house when the foundation is ignored for a period of time?


Attempts to avoid the reality of the present serve no purpose but to marginalize, and create a laughing stock of, the person trying to avoid this reality. The reality of the present demands legislation relevant to the present -we elect people to do this for us, and if we don't like what they do, we elect someone else. I'm not insisting on disregarding the very foundation of our laws, but I do insist on disregarding nut-bars who cite nonsense from centuries ago to try to justify a legislated advantage for farmers which, in today's situation, they simply don't deserve. Even if I did believe that scribblings on parchment from centuries ago did have relevance, those scribblings also supported slavery, colonialism, and protectionism - all of which are substantially out-of-favour with everyone except those farmers who believe they merit a special status denied to everyone else.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Did any of these experts ever give you any of these so-called "opinions" on any sort of letter-head stationery with their signature(s) at the botton? I suggest they probably told you what you wanted to hear, simply to get rid of you, knowing full-well that if you ever went public, they could, and would, simply deny everything. Furthermore, there's absolutely nothing in the Income Tax Act, or any of the great-many Interpretation Bulletins, which, in any way, shape, or form, supports your views about agricultural "rights". You would have been further ahead, and would have saved yourself years of public embarrassment, to have simply read the Income Tax Act and the relevant Interpretation Bulletins - that's what the rest of us do.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

For about the 1,000th time, by issuing quota for free, the Province attached no value to quota at all, and never has. The only purpose ever served by quota was to transfer large amounts of wealth from consumers to a select-few quota holders, and the only valuation EVER attached to quota was by, and is by, farmers who started buying and selling what had been issued for free. In addition, the only "benefit" the Province has ever received from the existence of quota, is that income tax earned when farmers sell quota to one another, and even that "benefit" is illusory because protectionist systems, such as supply management, are, by definition, net-negative. This means that the Province would, by the first principles of economics, have enjoyed a far-higher level of economic activity, and would have received far-more in tax revenues without supply management, than with. Therefore, for again about the 1,000th time, you have it completely backwards - the Province has received absolutely NOTHING from quota valuations, and even if they did, it would be hugely out-weighed, by definition, by the loss to the economy incurred by the protectionist principles underpinning supply management. With as little respect as I can muster, you'd be doing yourself, and everyone on this site, a huge favour if you would buy, and read, even the most basic textbook about economics, and burn whatever it is you are reading now.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

The province issued all marketing quotas?

That is your first misinformed statement.

Burn documents? How do the affected farmers destroy decades of municipal tax bills that captured a value on agricultural marketing rights?

joann vergeer

John, ??? Supply management has nothing to do with the value of your farm from a property tax stand point, what are you talking about ???

Sean McGivern

Today, December 18, 2012, quota is owned by farmers, and really, that's all that matters. How we got here isn't really all that important. We, on this site, been trying to help you get out of the vast waste-land of the 18th century, but, alas, it would appear some people would prefer to remain forever in a fantasy-land of their own making. For example, someone would have to be completely-insane to believe that owning quota increases the amount of property tax a farmer pays. If, for example, I, or any of my neighbours, was to rent a barn to somebody whose dairy barn had burned, so that he/she could milk cows here while his/her barn was being re-built, there is no way I'm going to be paying property taxes on my farm based on the value of the quota my tenant owns, period. I pay taxes on my farm buildings based on the value of the buildings themselves, regardless of whether they are empty, or full, and regardless of what might be housed inside them. A $400,000 hog barn and a $400,000 poultry barn are going to be taxed exactly alike, even though one operates under supply management, and the other does not. Furthermore, a dairy barn operating at half-capacity doesn't pay half the property taxes that the same barn would if it was to be operated at full capacity. More to the point, I defy you to produce even one farm property tax bill which has any category for anything except land, farm buildings, and a principal residence - you won't because you can't, and you can't because you are dead-outright wrong. If, as Mr. Beuerman suggests, you are such a complete fanatic about marketing rights, why don't you have any concerns about the marketing rights supply management has denied to others, like, for example, the rights of dairy farmers to sign export contracts? Why don't you have any concerns about the marketing rights consumers are denied when it comes to choosing the source of what they buy?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I,m all for cheaper milk products, but it shouldn,t be so low that we have slave farmers. The sm farmers including the eggs and poultry have had a great time and they like to flaunt their success. I for one like to eat all they have to sell and would like to see the prices come into line with the rest of the products in the store. Price of a dozen eggs are a crime in itself who could afford to eat them every day, the chicken or turkeys do come on sale every once in awhile.

Farmers who aren't in supply management are effectively economic slaves to the 15,000 who are. Ending supply management would end the economic slavery of the 90% of Canadian farmers who aren't in supply management, and would also end supply management's economic slavery of more than 30 million Canadian consumers. What's not to like about it?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I would like to see some politician start answering some of the questions on the BF website so we will see how they stand and how they would like to see it go.
Some people take like its only the SM farmers that is destroying Canada and it people and I for one would like to get so of the political point of view how it is playing out here , and I would like to see him or her sign their name. I,m getting tired of the same o, same o about Sm farmers and now ethanol farmers all the time about not getting it or being dumb, lets get some opion of someone that relly knows whats going on I hope.

are simply that--DREAMS.
Any politician that attempts to take on SM had better be more of a Statesman than a politician cause there will be a Powerful amount of money with the political influence to absolutely Destroy you.
Best to promote practical solutions such as 'Buy Local' --long as it ain't milk or has feathers , cause then you will NOT be stepping on some mighty BIG powerful,greedy toes.

Think of your political career. Don't rock the boat.

You have to start somewhere , as far as these are ques. and answ. its like beating a dead horse its going nowhere unless you have someone listening that can do something. Anything can be brought down if there is enough people to stand up to something for the good of everyone not a few. As far as the big companies go they will sell you out just as fast as the politican and sit and say they have to survive, they just got a new pair of jeans with really big pockets to fill.People is just going to have to start buying the SM products when they are on sale only and see how fast the price in the stores come down , remember we are all in this together.

While we, in Canada, can't understand the influence of the US gun lobby, they wouldn't ever be able to understand the influence of our supply management lobby. In both cases, the vocal minority holds the rest of us captive in each country, and uses spurious reasons, often including out-right fearmongering, to do so. Canadians are eventually going to become disgusted with antics, such as those of the BC egg industry for importing cheap US eggs, and selling them at Canadian prices. In the same way, Americans are going to get disgusted with legislation designed around single-shot, muzzle-loading, muskets used in the 1770s, being used to defend the public's right to own assault rifles today. Unfortunately, those in a position of legislated privelege always fight like cornered rats to defend that privelege, and don't care who they hurt in the process. Increased strife and increased hard feelings, are, therefore, inevitable in the farm community, and it's too bad for us all.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Canada should protect our farmers from unfair foreign competition. This is a given. The 'BUT' is when a system designed with good intentions to exclude foreign competition has transformed into a regressive system that excludes fellow Canadians unless they pay for the 'right to produce'.

Processors have been 'sitting pretty' with with the knowledge that the only competition ALLOWED is within their own elite group. Not too hard to make in insider deal with your limited competition . Not to hard to keep out innovation .

Stagnation is not a problem when you have a Monopoly and the consumer must pay the price.

This 'utopia' WILL end. I just hope that it does not destroy a basically good system.

There are potential Producers that want to produce but are not allowed . There are Processors that want to process but are not allowed to purchase any product. Why not let these two groups get together?

The status quo has made you rich. Time to share.

Government's biggest need isn't the need to protect 15,000 quota-owning farmers, it's the need to protect over 30 million people from these 15,000 farmers.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I see land going fast and if someone wants to start up they better have money to spend or they just won,t get in,the big guys are rolling like a snowball they get bigger faster and faster. Only thing thay Sm has going for it you know around what you get for your product and can budget your money, whereas the other its like a yo yo and you can make alot one day and lose your shirt the next. Someone has to come up with a way that all the produce is steady in price that everyone wins not just one like the farmer or the consumer if that is all possible.

The article says that foreign commodity producers want access to Canadian markets, the second largest in the TPP negotiations. I agree. However importers don't have access to all of Canada's market.

For chicken as an example, foreign chicken can enter Canada at an import tariff cost of 0% (NAFTA) or 5% (WTO) under TRQ. TRQ quantities are limited to just 7.5% of the total kg consumed in Canada. After that miniscule market access is exceeded, importer must pay a 285% import tariff cost.

All of the above keeps Canadians paying for the most expensive chicken meat prices in the world.

The farmers get some of that as COP (Cost of Production), but the vast majority of that price gouging profits go to others up & down the food chain (ie. chicken feed companies, processors, supplementary processors, distributors, retail, etc.). Gravy train for everybody, except the consumer, who pays for it all.

If the 285% import tariff was reduced, more foreign chicken would enter Canada, and everybody would take a hit to their gravy train. Eventually, as everybody in the chicken supply chain got hungrier, retail prices would drop. Anybody working under the arcane rules of SM would be at a considerable disadvantage, and they'd start to drop like flies, or be bought up by foreign suppliers for pennies on the $, because an asset caught in SM's web of fossilized bureaucracy is close to worthless as the import tariffs drop farther & farther.

Dropping import tariffs without first removing SM is a good way to kill the entire domestic chicken production system.

Same logic applies to all other SM commodities.

I think we need food security first & foremost, which means we want to ensure we can feed ourselves, even when imported chicken is no longer available.

That means we must keep the 285% import tariffs until something else is changed first. I wonder what that something else will be? Do you think it might be SM?

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

Canada has long been the dumping place for other countries . We here while producing the best ship most if not all of the best out of the country and allow substandard imports in with no inspection .

If the current trend continues, the chicken Supply Management system will destroy itself on or before June 30, 2016 which is less than 3 years away.

Spent fowl imports into Canada are already above 16% of the total Canada-wide production of broilers according to Chicken Farmers of Canada. It will be 27% by June 2014, 53% by June 2015, and 100% by June 2016.

It appears that it's an insider (ie. one or more people who are inside the chicken Supply Management system) who are orchestrating this implosion. By cheating with spent fowl imports, they can gain even more profit than the current 300% markup for imported chicken sold in Canada. Pure greed.
Because of the chaotic end that has been chosen by these supply management traitors, many people will get seriously hurt financially by what is coming soon.

It is unknown if anybody can de-fuse this supply management doomsday scenario.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

How about Marvel super heros?

I will watch for the next edition.

Government, bless their wretched deviousness, would welcome a collapse of supply management orchestrated from within, because it would give them a way out of a problem they have, for far-too long, refused to address.

If supply management collapses from within, government will be able to, and will, simply say - "Too bad, how sad", and then claim to be able to do nothing.

Meantime, consumer groups, non-supply managed farmers, processors, and export-oriented sectors of our society, will finally be rid of the oppressive millstone of supply management.

The Berlin Wall simply collapsed under its own weight because it had become as irrelevant and as archaic as the "straw-man" arguments about food security are in modern-day Canada. What's not to like when, not if, the same thing happens to supply management?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

The problem is that the current system excessively penalizes small farmers... And many of these farmer's associations/egg boards are not actually representing the small farmers, but more oppressing them. When buying eggs directly from a farmer myself has to be done cloak&dagger style because the farmers are living in fear, that is a problem.

We may need supply management, but the current supply management system is broken and is a racket. I don't really care about what comes in from other countries... I will applaud the day that the dairy and egg boards disappear because it means that I will finally be able to go to a farm and buy the produce that I want to eat without having to treat it like grey/black market.

It seem that consumers are really starting to realize and are upset that for a long time their choices have been limited and that they have been forced to pay inflated prices for generic Dairy and Feather products, that simply don't demand the high prices that are being charged. I am hopeful that through trade deals and through the progressive thinking of true political leaders we will begin to see supply management dismantled. The opening of the cheese market is great news for Canadian consumers wanting more choices.
I believe that even in the farm community that supply managed farmers have this misconception that the rest of agriculture is highly subsidized, this couldn't be any further from the truth. I have farmed full time for the past decade and have yet to get a check in my mail box from either the Feds or the Providence, for the most part as far as I can tell the average Ontario farmer is self supporting and subsidizing the consumers food bill not the consumer subsidizing the farmers as supply managed farmers would like every one to believe is the case.

Most supply managed farmers are actually double dippers, they have a price monopoly then they also cash cropping or raising beef cattle or other livestock and they take part in every program from crop insurance to farm land tax rebate.

Sean McGivern

It seems you do not have a very good grasp of the programs . Every one who pays into crop insurance is allowed to participate and the farm tax rebate is for farmers of every stripe . The only abuse of the FTR program is that there are many who get the lowered tax rate who do not actually qualify for it . Also many who get it only pay the same as many others who only get it for 1 farm property .

Further the FTR should not be an entitlement for paying a fee to belong to an organization . It should be because you farm and file income tax as a farmer .

Last I heard the farm land tax rate was because farm land does not use the same services as a residence would...therefore a lower rate.
Actually it doesn't matter who owns the land, it still requires less service than a residence...and somehow that has become linked to belonging to a farm organization...makes you wonder!

I for one Cash Crop and hasn,t seen a cheque in the mail yet , and I think I won,t either . Like I say all along its the big guy that gets the checks not the medium or small farmer . Yes there is lots of big farms that does a couple or three things and get the cheque besides because you read where they are really big. Guess that,s Progress.

Post new comment

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
We welcome thoughtful comments and ideas. Comments must be on topic. Cheap shots, unsubstantiated allegations, anonymous attacks or negativity directed against people and organizations will not be published. Comments are modified or deleted at the discretion of the editors. If you wish to be identified by name, which will give your opinion far more weight and provide a far greater chance of being published, leave a telephone number so that identity can be confirmed. The number will not be published.