Despite a long track record of negotiating trade deals while retaining supply management, pundits from across the country insist that the only way to assist Canadian export sectors is to provide greater access to our domestic poultry, egg and dairy industries by abolishing the supply management system.
This is a narrow and defeatist view.
Supply management exists to smooth out naturally volatile commodity markets. It enables farmers to earn a fair return and supports more than 300,000 jobs and $28 billion in GDP.
The idea that the system results in unfair prices for consumers is blatantly untrue. Retailers set the price of food according to what they think the market will bear.
For the same reason, there is no guarantee that dismantling supply management would result in lower consumer prices. One in two Australian farms closed their doors after deregulation, while consumers continue to pay more: $6.69 for 30 eggs in Canberra versus $5.99 in Ottawa.
The only thing dismantling supply management would guarantee for Canada is increased risk for farmers and the rural economies they help support, and foreign poultry, egg and dairy products in Canadian stores. We don’t need a sacrificial lamb in these trade negotiations.
Turkey Farmers of Canada