While disappointed with access granted, farmers appreciate government decision to
fix import control mechanisms
OTTAWA, Oct. 6, 2015 /CNW/ - While Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) is disappointed with the additional access that Canada had to concede to secure a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, we recognize that this historic TPP agreement is seen as an important benefit to the Canadian economy for years to come.
"The key part of yesterday's announcement is the government's firm commitment to immediately ending fraudulent import practices that have plagued the industry for over five years," says Dave Janzen, CFC Chair.
"While we were unable to prevent important concessions on top of the substantial market access that Canada already provides to its chicken market, we appreciate the steadfast efforts of International Trade Minister Fast and Canada's negotiators to blunt the irresponsible access demands of some key TPP members," he continues.
As a result of the TPP agreement, Canada will be required to increase its market access for chicken by 28% to almost 10% of our consumption. This is a heavy hit. Given this additional access, we are counting on the government to cease the practice of regularly issuing supplementary import allocations.
Nonetheless, Chicken Farmers of Canada is pleased that the government announced that it will put in place long-term, meaningful fixes to end existing practices that have cost the chicken industry thousands of jobs, millions of kilograms in production, millions of dollars in revenues and millions of dollars in GDP contributions to the Canadian economy.
This historic TPP agreement, when combined with these long-term fixes to re-establish the integrity of the import control pillar for chicken, will provide the chicken industry with a generation of stability and certainty.
These current fraudulent practices include being able to import unlimited quantities of chicken by simply adding sauce or other ingredients, importing spent fowl and falsely declaring it as chicken, and allowing companies to substitute high-value imported cuts with low-value domestic cuts for re-export.
"The government understands that rules are being bent, loopholes are being exploited, and that people are getting away with outright fraud to the detriment of the Canadian chicken industry, the economy and the Canadian consumer," says Janzen.
Chicken farmers across the country have appreciated the support of provincial governments and ministers, several of whom made the journey to Atlanta this past week to ensure that supply management remained an evolving, innovative risk management system that works for Canada's farmers, processors, and consumers.
This support, along with that of Canada's party leaders and, indeed, of Canadians themselves, has ensured that the Canadian chicken industry can continue to provide Canada's favourite meat.
Chicken Farmers of Canada looks forward to working positively with the government to ensure a prosperous and sustainable future for the chicken industry and its many contributions to the fabric and economy of Canada.
For more information on supply management, visit www.chickenfarmers.ca.
SOURCE Chicken Farmers of Canada
For further information: Lisa Bishop-Spencer, Manager of Communications, (613) 566-5911, firstname.lastname@example.org