A Chilliwack farmer is fighting back from a political attack on the Canadian dairy industry coming from down south.
Devan Toop is a sixth generation dairy farmer going back decades in Chilliwack.
Toop was motivated to respond Saturday over U.S. President Donald Trump’s warning to Canada to dismantle its supply management system of the dairy industry — or face repercussions.
“He is blaming us for the problems American farmers are facing,” wrote Toop.
“Milk prices in the (United) States are below the cost of production. Processors are able to lower their costs paid to farmers because they are already running at full capacity, and farmers are willing to take a loss than dump their milk.”
The American processors, he continued, producing more than the domestic market can handle, sell their dairy products which can’t be sold domestically onto the world market at a cut price, affecting foreign markets and further lowering the world price.
“The answer is simple,” Toop said, pointing out that the U.S. dairy sector produces too much milk.
“They need to regulate their own supply to meet their own market demands and not keep creating excess that is ruining not only U.S. farmers, but dairy farmers around the world.”
Canada’s supply management system for dairy, eggs, and poultry, limits production, and aims to avoid saturating the market, by keeping prices steady, and incomes steady for producers.
“The funny thing is, American farmers know this. They want security, but the ego of their president is too massive to listen to them, and instead he has blamed the easiest target, and the easiest short-term solution, and instead of admitting that the American dairy industry created their own problem, and that they have to fix their own system instead of breaking Canada’s.”
Trump took issue with Canada’s supply management of dairy on a trip to Wisconsin last year, calling it an “unfair” trade practice.
But Toop said the U.S. leader is lacking key facts of the situation.
“There’s over a trillion dollars invested in dairy quota in Canada. It’s equity. Farmers use it as debt leverage,” Toop added.
“It cannot be dismantled without massive buyouts to farmers and financial institutions. What Trump is asking for truly shows he has no knowledge of our system or even his own. He’s listening to lobbyists who are supported by dairy processing companies. They are the only people to gain by getting full access to Canada’s market.”