OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Canadian government announced a substantial financial package meant to compensate poultry, dairy and egg farmers for market access concessions made under trade agreements with the European Union and Asia-Pacific nations.
The government announced C$691 million for 10-year programs to compensate Canada’s 4,800 chicken, egg, broiler hatching egg and turkey farmers for market access concessions made under the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
In August of 2019, Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced that C$1.75 billion would be provided to compensate Canadian dairy farmers over eight years. Between December 2019 and January 2020, more than 10,000 dairy farmers received a cash payment of C$345 million. The government has set a schedule to deliver the remaining C$1.405 billion through direct payments to farmers over a timeline of three years.
“Dairy farmers will receive, on the basis of their milk quota, cash payments of $468 million in 2020-21, $469 million in 2021-22 and $468 million in 2022-23,” the government said. “The owner of a farm with 80 dairy cows will be awarded compensation in the form of a direct payment of approximately $38,000 each year. These amounts also build on the $250 million CETA on-farm investment program and provide certainty on the schedule and form of remaining payments in the $2 billion total compensation package for dairy farmers.”
Darren Ference, chair of Turkey Farmers of Canada added, “Turkey Farmers of Canada appreciates the announcement of mitigation funding required as a result of the CPTPP agreement. The access granted to our domestic market poses significant losses to Canadian turkey farmers. This funding will be used towards market development programs and for farmers to reinvest in their operations. We remain committed to continued work with the government and continued progress on this file.”
Canada's supply management system for dairy, poultry and eggs consists of production control, pricing mechanisms, and import control. The supply managed poultry and egg sectors (chicken, broiler hatching eggs, turkey, and eggs) generated more than C$4.9 billion in farm cash receipts in 2019, or 7.4% of all farm cash receipts in Canada, according to the government. An industry estimates that Canada's poultry and egg sector supports more than 140,000 direct and indirect jobs.
“Canada's 2,877 chicken farmers appreciate the announcement today on mitigation measures stemming from the CPTPP,” said Benoît Fontaine, chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada. “Farmers have waited a long time to see action on this file, and we believe that this is a step in the right direction. We look forward to continuing our work on the investment and market development programs for our sector.”
The Canadian government defended the country’s use of supply management in agriculture during trade negotiations and made clear its intention to defend the system in future negotiation stating “that there will be no more concessions on supply management in future trade negotiations.”