The federal agriculture minister announced on Monday (Oct 29) that new working groups made up of dairy farmers and processors were being set up.
Lawrence MacAulay, noted that while informal engagement has already begun, the working groups will bring together Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials, representatives from national dairy organizations and associations, as well as regional representatives.
The working groups will collaborate to develop strategies that minimize problems while fairly supporting farmers and processors as they adjust to the short-term impacts of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
A separate working group will chart a path to help the dairy sector innovate and remain an important source of jobs and economic growth for future generations. Added expertise may include academic leaders, as well as industry and financial experts, when necessary.
The federal government will also engage with provincial and territorial governments on an ongoing basis throughout the process, as the USMCA preserves tariff-free market access within North America for agricultural trade valued at $119 billion, and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that rely on that access.
Canada’s market access for dairy in the USMCA is estimated at approximately 3.59 per cent of Canadian production. The total market access to foreign competitors for dairy under all trade commitments, including the USMCA, is estimated at approximately 10% of Canada’s production.
The government notes tht Canadian farmers will continue to supply the vast majority of the Canadian market. Since market access is granted in terms of specific volumes, as the demand for dairy products rises in Canada, the production of milk of our Canadian farmers will also rise to meet this market growth.
Further information on the working group’s membership will be available on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada website.
Source: LethbridgeNews Now