USMCA deal prompts Canadians to start 'buy local' dairy campaign

Oct 10 2018, 7:18 pm

Some Canadian dairy consumers are taking a stand against the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade agreement, which allows more American milk to come into Canada.

The new trade deal will give US farmers access to an additional 3.9% of the Canadian dairy market, according to the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

“Our government is not only allowing the dismantling of our dairy model in Canada, it is giving up our sovereign right to also benefit from future trade agreements. The total access given up by the federal government in the past decades is bad enough, but now, we (farmers and processors together) are not able to compete in our own market, nor to export high-quality dairy,” said Pierre Lampron, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada, in a statement.

Canadians like Sue Alexander have taken to social media to pledge their support for Canadian dairy farmers.

“I am so worried about our dairy industry. Under the USMCA we will see more American milk products on our shelves, and the inclusion of milk ingredients in our food chain will become more difficult to track,” wrote Alexander on Facebook.

“Our dairy farmers need us now; we don’t overproduce, which means that we don’t need a foreign market to bail us out, but the overproduction in the USA is a direct threat to the families who continue to supply us with some of the best dairy in the world.”

Alexander’s Facebook pledge has been shared over 6,000 times since being posted on October 1.

Others have expressed their support for Canadian dairy on Twitter.

Ontario farmer Ryan Wert posted a video of him and his cows on Facebook, urging Canadians to buy local and support the country’s dairy farmers.

“As Canada signs another trade deal allowing for more concessions to our Canadian dairy market, it is more important than ever to support Canadian dairy farmers. Buying dairy products made with 100% Canadian milk allows the consumer to buy top quality dairy products, while supporting our Canadian dairy industry and its farmers,” wrote Wert on Facebook.

The USMCA trade deal was reached on September 29.

According to a joint statement between the nations, “USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region. It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home.”

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