Dairy farmers in Canada have won a long-running dispute over subsidies, after a World Trade Organisation (WTO) appeal body in Geneva finally overturned a ruling that viewed the giving of aid to Canada’s dairy producers as providing unfair trade advantages to the country’s exporters.

The ruling, made last July, threatened to enable the US and New Zealand to levy more than US$1bn in trade sanctions against Canada.

Rick Phillips, director of policy for the Dairy Producers of Canada, welcomed the appeal ruling in Geneva, saying that domestic producers were relieved to be free of the uncertainty.

A senior government official is meanwhile quoted in the Toronto Star as saying: “For Canadian producers and exporters, it’s business as usual.”