Quebec restaurants demand new agri-food policy addresses supply management concerns

QUEBEC, Jan. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - The Council of Chain Restaurants of Quebec (CCRQ) and the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) will appear before the National Assembly's Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries, Energy and Natural Resources today, calling for the government to address problems with supply management in the chicken and dairy sectors as they develop a new agri-food policy for the province.

The CCRQ will highlight how current chicken and dairy policies drive up prices, limit innovation and create unfair competition among buyers.

"Restaurants buy a third of the chicken produced in the province, but current policies mean we cannot source the types of products that our customers demand at reasonable prices," says Justin Taylor, Vice President of Labour and Supply at CRFA.  "Government policies should drive innovation, not stifle it."

Restaurateurs will also demand that the province address unfairness in cheese pricing policies.  Under the current policy, frozen pizza factories can purchase their cheese at deep discounts while restaurants have to pay as much as 30% more for the same cheese.

"Pizzerias must compete with frozen pizzas that are marketed as 'just-like-delivery' and receive a steep discount thanks to outdated government policies," says Jean Lefebvre, Vice President of the CCRQ.  "This creates an unlevel playing field in the market."

Restaurateurs are calling on both provincial and federal governments to create agri-food policies in Canada that are fair and transparent and balance the needs of consumers, restaurateurs and producers.

"Instead of concentrating on limiting supply, we should be driving innovation and developing markets for Quebec's high-quality food products," says Taylor.

The hearings in Quebec 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.

SOURCE Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

For further information:

Contact:

Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist, 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4254 or pvasanthakumar@crfa.ca

Justin Taylor, Vice President Labour and Supply, cell: 416-550-3458 or jtaylor@crfa.ca

Jean Lefebvre, Vice President CCRQ, cell: 514-777-8438 or jlefebvre@crfa.ca

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Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

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