Sun Media – June 2015

Supply management has nothing to do with retail prices. Retailers charge what they think the market will bear. They set the price for food — and for everything else — for many reasons, including retailer competition and specials to get consumers in the store.

Dismantling supply management in no way guarantees any savings. For example, over the last two years, beef prices are up over 25%, whereas prices for chicken — a supply managed product — are up only about 3%. Australia has seen one in two farms close their doors since deregulation.

Formerly supply-managed farmers have had the screws put to them by two massive retailers, who hold “reverse auctions” to drive their prices into the floor. Meanwhile, consumers still pay more than in Canada: 30 eggs in an Ottawa Costco costs $5.99, whereas the same product in a Canberra Costco costs $6.69.