TORONTO, Nov. 20, 2012 /CNW/ -
Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Dairy Commission
Building 55, NCC Driveway
Central Experimental Farm
960 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0Z2
Dear CDC Commissioners:
Canada's restaurant industry purchases $2.5 billion a year in Canadian
dairy products. As one of your largest customers, we want to do more
to promote and grow the market for Canada's high-quality dairy
products. Unjustifiably high prices, however, are having the opposite
effect. This should be of concern to all of us along the supply chain,
from farm to fork.
Two main issues must be addressed:
Bring dairy prices to a more competitive level, while ensuring a fair
return to producers;
Introduce a distinct class of cheese pricing for the restaurant
industry, as has been done for other sectors.
Dairy producers are now more efficient than they were in the past, yet
these efficiencies are not being passed on to consumers. Over the past
several years, dairy price increases have vastly outpaced the cost of
production, making Canadian dairy prices far higher than other
industrialized countries. This year the cost of production fell by
0.17%, which further justifies lowering dairy prices for Canadian
Given the high cost of dairy, it should come as no surprise that
Canadians have reduced their dairy consumption and are cross-border
shopping to avoid Canada's sky-high prices. Dairy products are also
losing ground on restaurant menus as business owners seek out more
reasonably priced products to promote to their customers. In the past
five years, overall restaurant orders have increased by 6%, but pizza
orders have decreased by a stark 12%.
The restaurant industry wants to help reverse these disturbing trends.
We want to be a part of a growing dairy industry. We can sell more dairy. Restaurants are trendsetters. Let us help put dairy
back on the menu.
To grow demand for Canadian dairy products in the short term, the
restaurant industry needs competitively priced product. A step in this direction would be to introduce a new class of cheese, as
exists for frozen pizza manufacturers. Lower priced cheese for restaurants will level an uneven playing
field that forces fresh pizza makers to pay 30% more for mozzarella
cheese than frozen pizza manufacturers.
I want to personally thank you for meeting with us in Ottawa. The CRFA
appreciates the fact that the Canadian Dairy Commission is willing to
have a dialogue on issues that matter to us all.
President and CEO
SOURCE: Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association
For further information:
Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.