A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Will the supply management policy in Canada be swept away by the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

April 27, 2015

At a time when a 9th round stretches the negotiations on the Transatlantic Partnership, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)1 appears to be “very close” to see the light of day, much to the distress of Canadian dairy farmers. They see it as a new attempt to dismantle their supply management policy, which has been implemented and has worked effectively for over thirty years. This would leave them at the mercy of erratic market fluctuations and the massive influx of milk––especially US milk through the provisions of the new Farm Bill that acts as a genuine reaction force for American agriculture.

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union (CETA) signed in September 2014 had already left a bitter taste in the mouths of Canadian farmers, as it predicts a 17,000-ton increase in European cheese imports. As far as the TPP is concerned, if The Fraser Institute forecasts an eventual maximum gain of 0.5 percent of total GDP for Canada––or approximately $9 billion––“is it worth jeopardizing a dairy sector which, year in and year out, earns close to $19 billion to the country’s GDP, provides 214,000 jobs and pays $3.6 billion in taxes to the various governmental treasuries?” asks Bruno Letendre, President of the Quebec Dairy Farmers Association, as he denounces the foreign and domestic pressure to eliminate the supply management policy.

Yet, this policy is an impressive entitlement of the Canadian agricultural policy. It consists in a regulation mechanism that lets Canadian dairy, poultry and egg farmers to adjust production to meet domestic market needs. Not only the supply management system does not cost anything to taxpayers, but it also prevents the release of emergency funds to rescue a strategic sector by protecting it from price hyper-volatility, and a fortiori safeguards stable and fair incomes to farmers. In this configuration, compensations in case of losses––that are promised by Ottawa in the framework of the Trans-Pacific or European Union partnerships––would only represent a step backwards and cold comfort at a time when the very future of the dairy sector and its related economic challenges are at stake.

The development of free trade agreements, as well as the stressful continuation of the Doha Round negotiations or the elimination of milk quotas in Europe, should particularly involve our decision makers on the ruthless rationale based on principles shaping international trade and compelling a nation to dismantle the regulation mechanisms that correct market failures.

1 Partnership negotiated between the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Japan, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

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Paris, 18 June 2019