TPP trade deal to pressure Canada dairy farmers: Saputo

Thu Nov 5, 2015 8:59pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Rod Nickel

(Reuters) - Canadian farmers will get squeezed between new trade deals that allow more dairy imports to enter the country and slow-growing domestic consumption, the chief executive of Saputo Inc (SAP.TO: Quote) said on Thursday.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is expected to open access for New Zealand, the United States and other countries to 3.5 percent of the Canadian market, said Chief Executive Lino Saputo Jr. of Saputo, one of Canada's largest dairies.

That will be on top of roughly equal new access negotiated by the European Union, Saputo said on a conference call.

"Somewhere along the line, there's going to be less milk produced in Canada," Lino Saputo Jr. said. "So it's going to be a hit to dairy farmers."

Canada's dairy industry operates under a system of supply, price and import controls.

The former Canadian government, which negotiated the deal which seeks to cut tariffs and taxes on commerce in 40 percent of the world's economy, has estimated new TPP dairy market access would amount to 3.25 percent.

The actual market access Canada gives up under TPP depends on butterfat content in imported products, said Isabelle Bouchard, spokeswoman for Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) lobby group. DFC estimates market access will actually range between 3.4 and 4 percent, she said.

Canada's previous Conservative government, defeated last month in an election, promised C$4.3 billion in compensation for farmers.   Continued...