Media Release – The Canadian Dairy Industry In a Post Supply Management Era: The Future of the Canadian Dairy Sector

Press Release, Agriculture, Frontier Centre

Winnipeg: The Frontier Centre for Public Policy today released The Future of the Canadian Dairy Sector In a Post Supply Management Era.

The paper is co-authored by Sylvain Charlebois and Tatiana Astray. Charlebois is Acting Dean and Professor in the College of Management and Economics at the University of Guelph. Astray is an expert in the domain of decision theory and consumer trends, as well as applying marketing principles to public policy issues.

Canada’s dairy industry is currently run by supply management systems that control production quotas and regulate imports.  The international community has begun work on the development of international agreements that would liberalize markets for agricultural products. Such agreements would likely lead to the elimination of supply management in Canada, and would subject Canada’s dairy industry to greater competition, the authors argue.

The paper finds that Canada’s dairy industry is not currently positioned to succeed if liberalization occurs in the near future. In this scenario of unpreparedness, the U.S. dairy industry would likely devastate the Canadian sector by flooding the market with low-cost dairy products. Further, Canada would not be well-positioned to benefit from access to emerging markets due to an inability to offer cost-effective products. However, the authors provide a road map for policy reform that can help enable our dairy sector to compete effectively in a post supply management era. The policy reform ideas presented in the paper include liberalizing the domestic dairy market; investing in research and development to facilitate a domestic advantage in the areas of, land fertility and lower-cost feed; forging bilateral partnerships with emerging markets.

The authors write that with enough foresight and planning, the end of supply management can benefit the domestic dairy industry. However, this will only be likely if reforms are undertaken to improve the industry’s competitiveness. Time is limited, and the dairy industry requires direction before international trade agreements enforce a liberalized framework on an ill-prepared Canadian industry.


Download a copy of The Future of the Canadian Dairy Sector HERE.


For more information and to arrange an interview with the study's author, media (only) should contact:

Sylvain Charlebois, PhD

519-824-4120 ext. 56808