MONTREAL, Jan. 19, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - Sacrificing supply management may lead to serious consequences, including: substantial job losses in production and processing, threats to biosecurity and the environment, less variety of products that cater to the Canadian consumer, greater dependence on imports, larger price fluctuations. This is according to a study by PwC Canada at the request of the La Coop Fédérée, Exceldor Cooperative, Burnbrae Farms and Nutrigroupe, in collaboration with Quebec's federation of egg producers, Quebec's poultry farmers and Quebec's producers of incubated eggs.
"The hypothetical dismantling of supply management does not bode well for the industry and consumers in Canada or Quebec. This model should not under any circumstance be dropped to remove barriers when renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)," commented Exceldor President and CEO René Proulx.
With Montreal hosting the next round of NAFTA renegotiations, Exceldor and many other organizations operating under the supply management system have found it appropriate to strongly advocate for a proven model that maintains a reasonable balance between the interest of Canadian consumers and the the integrity of Canada's agricultural regions.
THE ANSWER IS SIMPLY "NO"
According to the study, dropping the existing supply management model may truncate the Canadian chicken market's value by 40% to 70% and most of the Canadian turkey industry.
To maintain their presence in the market, major Canadian companies operating under the supply management system would have to reduce their costs by adopting the integrated model existing in the USA and Brazil. This would run counter to Canada's prevailing family farm model resulting in negative impacts to social cohesion and the environment. Furthermore, such a transformation of the current model would be almost impossible to achieve, with major investments and large government support.
The Canadian poultry industry generates about $7 billion in GDP and poultry products are currently processed to the highest Canadian standards on animal welfare, control and safety. A new system may force Canadians to compromise on the quality of the products on their plates.
Maintaining supply management in its entirety is neither a whim nor a headstrong attachment to the status quo; it is the obvious answer to our primary concerns regarding food sovereignty and the mechanisms for continually improving the quality of our food. Far from guaranteeing savings for the consumer, dropping this proven model would only benefit American processors at the expense of Canadian ones who would be facing extinction sooner or later. Give up on supply management? No thanks. Canada's producers, processors and consumers would have too much to lose," added Mr. Proulx.
Exceldor is a cooperative of 270 members whose mission is to provide poultry that can be served with pride. Headquartered in Lévis (Québec), the organization divides production between its Quebec plants in Saint-Anselme, Saint-Damase, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville and Saint-Agapit as well as in Hanover, Ontario. The cooperative will be building a major distribution center in Beloeil, Quebec in 2018.
Exceldor also co-owns three other businesses in the poultry sector: Unidindon and Volailles Giannone in Quebec, and Golden Valley in Ontario. The company markets its products under several brand names, including Exceldor and Butterball. It has over 2250 employees and a sales of $725 million.
For further information: Stéphanie Paquet, Marketing Communications Advisor, Exceldor, 418-830-5600 #4647, [email protected]