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November 30, 2020

Canada to pay trade deal-linked compensation to farmers

The government of Canada has announced an investment package to support dairy, poultry and egg farmers impacted by trade deals.

By Leonie Barrie

The government of Canada has announced an investment package to support dairy, poultry and egg farmers impacted by trade deals.

The package announced today (30 November) builds on an earlier commitment to “full and fair compensation for the market access concessions made under the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

In August 2019, Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced CAD1.75bn (US$1.35bn) would be provided to compensate Canadian dairy farmers over eight years. Between December 2019 and January 2020, more than 10,000 dairy farmers received a cash payment of CAD345m.

Today, the country’s government has set a schedule to deliver the remaining CAD1.40bn through direct payments to farmers over the next three years.   Dairy farmers will receive, on the basis of their milk quota, cash payments of CAD468m in 2020-21, CAD469m in 2021-22 and CAD468m in 2022-23. 

The government has also announced CAD691m for ten-year programmes for Canada’s 4,800 chicken, egg, broiler hatching egg, and turkey farmers. 

Canada said it also remains committed to engaging the sector on full and fair compensation for the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

Minister Bibeau said: “Our government is fully behind our supply management sector, which supports our family farms and the vitality of our rural areas. Today’s announcement of a substantial compensation package for our dairy, poultry and egg farmers shows our support for a strong supply management sector for many generations to come.”

Today’s announcement has been welcomed by groups representing Canada’s food suppliers.

Pierre Lampron, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada, said: “The level of certainty provided by this announcement enables us to be in a better position in terms of innovations and efficiencies to better compete with increased imports of dairy products made from foreign milk.”

And Benoît Fontaine, chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada, said: “Canada’s 2,877 chicken farmers appreciate the announcement today on mitigation measures stemming from the CPTPP. Farmers have waited a long time to see action on this file, and we believe that this is a step in the right direction. We look forward to continuing our work on the investment and market development programmes for our sector.”

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