CA: CDC Members Hear Canadian Producers

Lynne McBride CDC Executive Director

Two dairy producer leaders from British Columbia spoke at the annual meeting of the California Dairy Campaign on Jan. 23 in Hanford. Shown here from left are board members Joaquin Contente and Mark McAfee, British Columbia dairy farmers David Janssens and Cornelis Hertgers, Executive Director Lynn McBride and President Joe Augusto.

Canadian dairy farmers David Janssens and Cornelis Hertgers spoke to some 70 dairy producers from around the state about the Canadian dairy supply management program during the California Dairy Campaign (CDC) and California Farmers Union (CFU) Joint Annual meeting held Jan. 23 in Hanford, Calif. The Canadian dairy farmers are board members of the British Columbia Milk Marketing Board, a provincial member of the Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee.

“Dairy in Canada is a large industry, and because of supply management it has been a stable and successful industry for decades,” explained David Janssens. He added that supply management has had strong support from the Canadian government. “The structure is very effective at creating market stability. Amidst global price fluctuation and a current global depreciated pricing, the Canadian market remains robust,” he said. Canadian dairy farmer Cornelis Hertgers added, “Supply management functions as a mechanism that fosters sustainable market growth.”

“Our members are looking to the Canadian system for solutions to the ongoing dairy crisis because Canadian dairy producers are profitable while US dairy producers are paid milk prices well below production costs,” stated California Dairy Campaign President Joe Augusto. Milk prices paid to US dairy producers have been well below production costs for more than four years, causing dairy producers to go out of business at an alarming rate. Over the last 10 years, more than 600 dairies have gone out of operation across California leaving less than 1300 in the state today. The 30 percent drop in the number of dairies in California is consistent with the decline in the number of dairy farms nationwide.

“As I and other dairy producers in California are paid milk prices well below production costs, Canadian dairy farmers are paid more than $24 per cwt. It is clear that the Canadian dairy supply management system is working for dairy producers there,” California Farmers Union President Joaquin Contente explained.

California Dairy Campaign and California Farmers Union are proposing a Sustainable Milk Inventory System Act (SMISA) a three-point plan to foster a strong and sustainable dairy system in the United States that includes: supply management; fair milk prices paid to dairy farmers: and effective dairy trade policy.

See the article and PowerPoint in this issue by CDC Board Member Mark McAfee.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.