Monday, February 21, 2022

Sylvain Charlebois disses dairy again

Food-industry analyst Sylvain Charlebois has taken another swipe at the Canadian dairy industry over milk pricing by marketing boards and the Canadian Dairy Commission.

He said the commission prices milk to reflect the cost of production as determined by a survey of 200 producers, but said none of that data is made public.

And he said the commission and the Dairy Farmers of Canada organization, which represents dairy farmers, act closely together so there is nobody representing the public interest.

I have likewise been stone-walled by the Ontario dairy industry when I tried to find out about pricing for fluid milk.

The Canadian Dairy Commission has jurisdiction over industrial milk used to make products such as butter and cheese.

The provinces have jurisdiction over fluid milk which is pasteurized to market as fresh milk.

In Ontario, fluid milk pricing has been decoupled from cost of production when it was deemed beneficial to dairy farmers to incorporate factors such as the Consumer Price Index.

But when I asked the Dairy Farmers of Ontario and the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission, which is its regulator, about fluid milk pricing, I got no replies. For weeks now. No replies to e-mails. No replies to phone calls.

The public be damned! Just pay what the dairy farmers want and never mind any justification.

And don't expect the government of Premier Doug Ford to lift a finger.