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Dairy Farmers of Canada unites at annual policy conference

Progressive Dairyman Editor Karen Lee Published on 29 February 2016
The Dairy Showcase Reception at the Dairy Farmers of Canada Annual Dairy Policy Conference

From Feb. 2-5, Ottawa’s Fairmount Château Laurier played host to Dairy Farmers of Canada’s (DFC) 2016 Annual Dairy Policy Conference (APC).

For many years now, the APC has brought together the industry’s leaders from coast to coast to discuss the issues that impact their everyday lives and livelihoods.

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More importantly, this well-attended gathering has also allowed for dairy farmers to come together once a year to draw up their policy statement.

This year, a brand-new format was implemented at the request of dairy farmers who felt they needed more time to discuss critical matters that affect their day-to-day operations.

Hence, the increased number of closed-session workshops and roundtables that were organized were ideal in that they prompted open and frank exchanges amongst participants. Moreover, the event’s Marketing and Nutrition Forum, as well as its Dairy Research Seminar, helped shed additional light on these discussions.

Attended by more than industry stakeholders and government officials, not only did the ever-so-popular Dairy Showcase Reception provide district representatives with a golden opportunity to rub shoulders with members of the newly elected government.

But it was also their chance to lay the foundations of a mutually beneficial relationship which will no doubt turn out to be of utmost importance given the many challenges facing the dairy industry in the coming years.

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To that effect, a booklet summarizing the sector’s issues was created as a reference tool for lobby day. It was forwarded to Ministers MacKay and Freeland, and copies were rendered available for APC attendees.

Information pertaining to the proAction Initiative, the Fuelling Women Champions movement, the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix (CCGP) and the Get Enough partnerships was also on hand.

The Dairy Showcase Reception

Engaging all of the guests’ senses, a majestic CCGP winners table, succulent appetizers concocted from recipes appearing on dairygoodness.ca and in DFC and les Producteurs de lait du Québec’s milk calendars, as well as a latte bar offering them high-end coffee options, helped raised their comprehension of the dairy sector to a whole new level.

Finally, delegates were lucky enough to hear firsthand the Honorable Lawrence MacAulay, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (and former dairy farmer himself), as he reiterated his government’s support in favour of the Canadian supply management system during a special luncheon organized on the APC’s last day.

Driven by the event’s success, DFC is already looking forward to next year’s edition, as we believe that each dairy farmer should have a say in deciding how we will collectively go about ensuring a promising future for those who follow in our wake.  PD

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Founded in 1934, Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is the national organization that defends the interests of Canadian dairy farmers and strives to create favourable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry.

Working within the context of the supply management system, DFC promotes safe, high quality, sustainable and nutritious Canadian dairy products made from 100% Canadian milk through various marketing, nutrition, policy and lobbying initiatives.

Driven by a strong sense of community and pride, DFC and Canadian dairy farmers actively support a number of local and national activities. Visit dairyfarmers.ca for more information.

PHOTOS 1 & 2: The Dairy Showcase Reception at the Dairy Farmers of Canada Annual Dairy Policy Conference joins together industry stakeholders and government officials to discuss issues important to the industry and enjoy delicious dairy products. Photos provided by Dairy Farmers of Canada.

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