Getting the facts straight: Canada's dairy industry

New website - yourmilk.ca launched by Dairy Farmers of Canada; counters misinformation

OTTAWA, Feb. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - A new website launched by Canada's dairy industry takes the bull by the horns when it comes to setting the record straight on the country's supply management system for milk.

Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) has created the site — yourmilk.ca — in an effort to dispel misinformed myths about Canada's dairy industry and its successful supply management system, which has delivered Canadians a reliable supply of top-quality dairy products for 40 years.

"Canadian dairy farmers don't receive any government subsidies and earn their income entirely from the marketplace," said Wally Smith, DFC President. "Consumers in other places where the dairy industry is subsidized, like the United States and the European Union, pay twice for their dairy products — once at the store and one more time through their taxes."

DFC's new website will be updated regularly with various types of content (video, commentaries and others) during the next year. For now, it busts popular myths, such as:

     Myth: Supply management stops Canada from signing free trade agreements.
   
  Reality: Supply management hasn't stood in the way of Canada's ability to successfully negotiate trade agreements. Since 1986, Canada has concluded NAFTA and bilateral agreements with Jordan, Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, Chile, Israel and EFTA (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein).
   
  Myth: Only Canada manages imports of dairy products.
   
  Reality: Supply management does not close doors to imports. The EU, with heavily subsidized dairy products, exports to Canada 10 times what it imports, even though it has more than 500 million consumers.
   
  Myth: Canadian dairy farmers are subsidized by taxpayers.
   
  Reality: Canadian dairy farmers receive no government subsidies for milk. American governments spent $4 billion in subsidies for dairy farmers in 2009, or about 31 cents per litre, and European dairy farmers receive 55 billion Euros in subsidies per year.

"We hope that the facts on this new website will help people understand how our dairy industry works and see through some of the falsehoods currently being passed off by some as truths ," said Wally Smith.

DFC is the national policy, lobbying and promotional organization representing Canada's farmers on 12,965 dairy farms. DFC strives to create stable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry, today and in the future. It works to maintain policies that foster the viability of Canadian dairy producers and promote dairy products and their health benefits. 

For further information:

Information:
Thérèse Beaulieu
Assistant Director, Strategic Communications
Dairy Farmers of Canada
(cell) 613-371-5023