Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Beef farmers lobby politicians

The Ontario and Quebec beef-producer organizations are lobbying the political parties engaged in election campaigning to promise help to offset export losses.

The Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) and Les Producteurs de bovins du Qu├ębec (PBQ) want a Beef Cattle Investment and Assistance Program.

They also draw attention to the generous trade-related subsidies promised to dairy and poultry farmers. 

“The loss of key export markets in China and Saudi Arabia, combined with reduced processing capacity in Eastern Canada and market access challenges in the U.S. and the E.U., has created a perfect storm,” said Joe Hill, president of Beef Farmers of Ontario.

“Beef farmers have incurred losses of more than $180 per animal since the beginning of January, largely as a result of government action and inaction. 

“Collective beef cattle farm losses in the two provinces have exceeded $100 million since the start of the year. 

“On the cattle feeding side alone, the industry is losing more than $2.5 million per week on average, which is simply not sustainable. Something needs to be done,” Hill said.

 Claude Viel, chairman of Les Producteurs de bovins du Quebec, said “current trade opportunities should favour the growth of beef production, but in reality, this is not the case. Quebec’s cattle production volume is declining and continues to get worse. 

“The new trade agreements do not currently encourage better farm profitability, quite the contrary,” he said.