Outdated supply management policies restrict growth of Canadian dairy
OTTAWA, Nov. 22, 2011 /CNW/ - The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices
Association (CRFA) will appear before the Canadian Dairy Commission
(CDC) today calling for relief from artificially inflated dairy
prices. More reasonable prices will allow restaurants to put more
milk, cheese and other dairy products on their menus and help to
reverse a trend of declining consumer demand for dairy products.
The CRFA will present to the CDC's three-person board of directors,
which holds closed meetings to set the price of industrial milk, used
to make cheese and other dairy products.
"Canadian restaurants buy over $2.7 billion worth of dairy products each
year and we are concerned by the artificially high, government-fixed
prices as set by the CDC," says CRFA President and CEO Garth Whyte.
"Over the past decade, the price of industrial milk has been rising
faster than inflation and faster than the cost of dairy production.
Canadian consumers deserve a break."
Data from the CDC and Statistics Canada indicate that the price of
industrial milk has increased almost 10 times faster than the cost of
production since 1994. Even during years where cost of production
fell, the CDC did not pass on savings to Canadian dairy consumers.
"We need reasonable pricing if we are going to grow the dairy industry
in Canada," says Whyte. "Our members tell us that dairy products are
being priced right off the menu."
The CDC's closed-door pricing sessions follow the launch of CRFA's Free
Your Milk campaign (www.freeyourmilk.ca), designed to draw attention to the 40-year-old supply management
policies responsible for inflating the cost of dairy in Canada to
double the international market average. The Free Your Milk campaign
grew from consumer research commissioned by CRFA that found 70% of
Canadians feel that keeping the cost of milk and dairy products down is
very or somewhat important.
"We are encouraged that the government is finally starting to consider
the real costs and the opportunity costs of our current dairy system
when it comes to international trade and access to growing world
markets," says Whyte. "While we look forward to a fair and transparent
system in the future, today we are focused on a fair price for Canadian
consumers and restaurant operators."
About the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association
The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) is one of
Canada's largest business associations, representing more than 30,000
members across the country in every sector of the vibrant foodservice
industry, including restaurants, bars, cafeterias, coffee shops and
contract and social caterers. Canada's $63-billion foodservice industry
employs more than one million people in communities across the country.
Through advocacy, research, member savings and industry events, we help
our members grow and prosper.
SOURCE Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association
For further information:
High Road Communications, on behalf of CRFA