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Dairy farmers of Canada: DFC’s election strategy focused on securing key commitments from all parties

Published on 03 October 2021
Canadian Capital

On Sept. 20, Canadians headed to the polls for the 44th general election.

While the outcome of the election was not known at press time, Dairy Farmers of Canada’s (DFC) election strategy centred on educating candidates and parties on dairy and securing commitments on key issues facing dairy farmers. Ultimately, DFC’s goal was to ensure the value of the Canadian dairy industry continues to be well understood, and that the industry’s priorities were recognized in the form of commitments from candidates or in the major parties’ platforms. DFC’s asks focused on international trade, sustainability and the long-term viability of the industry.

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At the national level, DFC prepared a series of questionnaires for distribution to each party to help the industry confirm where parties stand on its priority asks.

Since there are no better ambassadors for dairy than farmers themselves, DFC prepared an election toolkit with key messages and other resources to assist in grass-roots advocacy. Dairy farmers have always played a key role during elections by meeting with and informing candidates and political parties of the contributions of dairy farmers and the sector to the national and local economy.

DFC further supplemented farmer efforts by reaching out to all candidates with a series of educational newsletters on topics, including:

  • The dairy industry and its positive contributions to rural communities and the national economy

  • Sustainability efforts through proAction

  • The nutritional value of dairy

  • The importance of locally sourced food production and consumption

DFC called on all parties to reiterate their support for supply management and is expecting the next government will:

  • Follow through on the promise to provide full and fair direct compensation to dairy farmers for the impacts of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)

  • Actively engage in the defence of Canada’s sovereign right to determine and administer its own domestic policies, such as those impacting supply management, including tariff rate quota allocation under CUSMA

  • Not grant any additional access to the domestic dairy market in a permanent free trade agreement with the United Kingdom, and ensure trading partners are not granted access to Canada’s domestic market through multiple trade agreements

  • Provide additional funding for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Canada

  • Provide better enforcement of dairy regulations and compliance for imported products, including audits of foreign farms and processing plants, to ensure reciprocal production standards

  • Ensure Health Canada will provide exemptions for nutritious dairy products from the Healthy Eating Strategy, such as front-of-package labeling and marketing to kids

  • Provide programs with sufficient funding to support farm environmental efficiency and the introduction of clean energy and green technologies to accelerate the adoption of new and innovative technologies to reduce the sector’s carbon footprint

  • Undertake and complete the vision exercise for the dairy sector with all supply chain actors as promised by the government following the recent trade agreements

  • Adopt a Grocery Code of Conduct

Win or lose, many of the candidates from this election are leaders in their communities who will emerge well equipped to advocate on behalf of dairy farmers. To hear more about DFC’s advocacy work and stay up-to-date on key issues, join our mailing list by emailing communications. end mark

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Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is the national policy, lobbying and promotional organization representing Canadian dairy producers. DFC strives to create stable conditions for the dairy sector in our country. It also seeks to maintain policies that promote the sustainability of Canadian dairy production and promote dairy products and their health benefits. Visit Dairy Farmers of Canada for more information.

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