Friday, March 21, 2014

Dairy farmers milk the federal treasury

The federal government is doling out tax dollars to the supply-managed dairy industry.

In a news release, the federal agriculture department says “Dairy Farmers of Canada will receive $416,000 to design and implement a national traceability program for dairy cattle, update standards for milk producers to meet traceability requirements, as well as train and assist provincial associations with program implementation at the producer level.

“In addition, $529,000 will be used to implement the proAction Initiative, a national assurance program for dairy production that demonstrates the dairy industry’s continued commitment to customers to provide high-quality, safe Canadian milk and dairy products that are produced responsibly.
“This includes on-farm pilot testing of assessment tools and producer training."

These grants make absolutely no sense because dairy farmers, under supply management, have the ability and legislative permission to charge enough for the milk they market to cover all of their costs plus provide a reasonable return for their investments, labour and management.

We, the public have paid them a generous price already. It’s an injustice to use our tax dollars to pay them more. And doubly wrong to provide subsidies for things they ought to be doing on their own.