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DAIRY NEWS

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ADVOCATING ON BEHALF OF DAIRY FARMERS Dairy Farmers of Canada’s election strategy includes securing commitments on key issues By Dairy Farmers of Canada

CONTRIBUTOR

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s Canadians get ready to head to the polls on Sept. 20, 2021, for the 44th general election, Dairy Farmers of Canada’s (DFC) election strategy centres on educating the candidates and parties on dairy and securing commitments on key issues facing dairy farmers. Ultimately, DFC’s goal is to ensure the value of the Canadian dairy industry is well understood, and the industry’s priorities are recognized in the form of commitments from candidates or in the major parties’ platforms. For this election, DFC’s asks focus on international trade, sustainability and the long-term viability of the industry. DFC is calling on the 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 8

SEPTEMBER 2021 | MILKPRODUCER

Border Services Agency (CBSA) for improved border enforcement; • 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 labelling and marketing to kids; • Provide programs with sufficient funding to support farm environmental efficiency and the introduction of clean energy and green technologies in order 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.

CALLING ALL GRASSROOTS DAIRY AMBASSADORS There are no better ambassadors for DFC than dairy farmers themselves. Farmers play a key role in meeting with and informing candidates and political parties of the contributions of dairy farmers and the sector to the national and local economy, and reiterating the importance of DFC’s asks. DFC has prepared an election toolkit with key messages and other resources to assist grassroots farmers in reaching out to their local candidates and is willing to provide any support farmers may require. Those who would like to receive the toolkit or any additional support can email communications@dfc-plc.ca.

NATIONAL ADVOCACY EFFORTS At the national level, DFC has prepared a series of questionnaires for distribution to each party to help the industry confirm where the parties stand on its priority asks. DFC will further supplement 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. A similar newsletter series was received positively by candidates during the 2019 election and will arm candidates with information to address questions from the public or media, as well as hit the ground running on dairy issues should they win their election. Win or lose, many of these candidates are leaders in their communities who will emerge from this election well-equipped to advocate on behalf of dairy farmers in the future. To hear more about what the parties have to say in DFC’s election questionnaire, watch for a summary of the questionnaire responses in September.

Stay informed with DFC’s Dairy Express Sign up for the Dairy Express e-newsletter. Email communications@dfc-plc.ca to have your name added to the mailing list.

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