There are many reasons why the government and Canadians support supply management.

  1. The Government doesn’t have to financially support our farmers. Canadian dairy farmers don’t receive subsidies from the government. In the USA, nearly 75% of their pay cheque comes from the government through financial support. But here in Canada, that money goes towards roads, schools and many other things. So it doesn’t cost the government money.
  2. It benefits our Canadian economy. Supply management ensures that those jobs and other economic benefits stay here at home. Our farms hire many service providers on their farms such as vets, nutritionists or general labour to help their farm thrive. If supply management didn’t exist, many of our farms wouldn’t either because we can’t compete with such a heavily subsided milk (Canadian milk is not subsidized at all). This trickling effect would spill into countless other industries and they would suffer from the loss of income our farmers provide. Aside from direct jobs, there are many other indirect economic benefits they support like spending money to buy land, machinery or even groceries.
  3. It supports local, fresh food..
  4. Canadians want to support local food and local dairy. You know your milk is fresh and supports local farmers with supply management and we know that’s important to Canadians. See the independent Ipsos poll here.
  5. It’s about quality. Canada is has a reputation for some of the highest quality milk in the world. We do not allows the use of synthetic hormones in our milk like other countries.
  6. It’s keeps your dairy fresh! Your jug of milk comes from local farms and doesn’t sit in a truck for days.
  7. Consumers pay more in a deregulated market. We’ve seen time and time again from deregulated markets that the cost of dairy does down for while, then it goes right back up. In fact, the cost of milk in the USA, a deregulated market, is $1.63/L and in Canada it’s $1.51.

The consequence of not having supply management can easily be seen in the USA right now. Farmers can’t make a living, despite being subsided from the government and prices don’t go down for the consumer. They not only see a decrease in farms, but mental health is also a concern. 

It’s important to remember that in any trade deal it’s not as simple as trading one thing for another. There are a lot of complexities that exist in an international trade negotiation, so simply suggesting trading one for another isn’t how a deal is made. The dairy industry supports trade and there have been many trade deals negotiated with supply management intact.