Trans-Pacific Partnership - Promising environment for commercial access overshadowed by the new concessions for sectors under supply management

MONTRÉAL, Oct. 5, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - La Coop fédérée is disappointed following the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership which brings together 12 countries representing 40 % of the world's economies and 800 million people. La Coop fédérée subscribes to the notion that Canada should build solid trade ties with the regions of the world that show strong potential for economic growth. Despite this, it would be preferable that the Trans-Pacific Partnership be concluded while fully protecting supply management, a system that continues to demonstrate its efficiency and relevance.

The new breach to tariff barriers in the dairy sector are disappointing and are of great concern as they add to the laxity of border protection that has arisen in recent years through the uncontrolled importation of milk proteins and poultry. And this does not take into account the eventual arrival of cheese imports following the ratification of the trade deal with Europe, which will corner another segment of the domestic market. "This must come to an end," stated Denis Richard, president of La Coop fédérée. "The Canadian government needs to put a lock on all new dairy and poultry imports. The future of supply management itself, and that of thousands of dairy farms across Canada, depends on it." Despite this disappointment, La Coop fédérée is confident in the future of supply management and urges the Canadian government to take the necessary measures to ensure that the border remains sealed. "The measures to strengthen border controls announced today will not stop the flow of milk protein entering the country. It is urgent that a solution to this issue be found," stated Mr. Richard.

Without a doubt these new concessions will have a direct financial impact on the dairy industry. « An analysis of the impact and the scope of the programs targeted for the affected sectors under supply management must be carried out so that it can determined if fair compensation for the negative impacts of the TPP will be provided," said Mr. Richard.

"The participation of Canada in the TPP does, however, help to secure and streamline the export channels to South-east Asia, a region of strong economic growth. In effect, with regard to the pork sector and other agricultural export commodities, this agreement will allow the pursuit of international development strategies. We favourably welcome the reduction in tariffs that will provide access to the Japanese market. It is reassuring to know that the episode with Korea will not repeat itself. It should be recalled that the Canadian red meat industry has suffered for a number of years under the preferential access obtained by the United States over Canadian produce. Such a scenario involving Japan would have been catastrophic," added Denis Richard.

About La Coop fédérée
Founded in 1922, La Coop fédérée is the largest agri-food organization in Québec. It is owned by more than 100,000 members grouped into 98 cooperatives located in several Canadian provinces and is present in the majority of links of the agri-food chain. As a retailer, La Coop fédérée provides farmers with the necessary goods and services for operating their enterprises. Its activities are separated into three Divisions: Agri-business (livestock and crop production, and grain marketing under the Elite and La Coop banners), Retail & Innovation (energy, hardware and farm machinery, under the Sonic, Unimat and BMR banners) and Meat (under the Olymel, Flamingo and Lafleur banners). La Coop fédérée employs 10,000 people and its sales total $5.4 billion. Including its affiliated cooperatives, La Coop fédérée counts more than 16,000 employees with combined sales of $9.1 billion.

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SOURCE La Coop fédérée

For further information: Source: Ben Marc Diendéré, Principal Vice-president, Communications & Public Affairs, La Coop fédérée; Media contact: Marie-Hélène Cliche, Director of Communications, La Coop fédérée,, 514-347-5939


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