Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) Vice President David Wiens says that the renegotiation of NAFTA, which began in the summer of 2017, was the major focus for the group again this past year.

In the end, farmers were not happy with the concessions that were made.

"Very disappointing that our Prime Minister, who promised that he would support and defend the dairy industry and supply management as the negotiations unfolded, and yet how they abandoned and made it so difficult for us to move forward," commented Wiens.

He notes Canada not only gave up another roughly four per cent of market access, but also agreed to the removal of Class 7 and put a surcharge on milk protein exports. Wiens adds the Canadian government also agreed to U.S. oversight on how we administer our domestic dairy policy.

The Canadian government has promised mitigation as a result of the USMCA trade agreement, something DFC will be focusing on in the weeks ahead.

Wiens notes the government has also committed to putting together a visioning group in terms of keeping the dairy industry sustainable. He's hoping to see some feedback from that group by the spring of 2019.


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