Canada’s government has invested $250 million dollars of tax payer money into the dairy industry – while the nation comes under fire for its use of supply management.
The cash injection falls under the country’s new Dairy Farm Investment Program and is intended to keep prices high and foster Canada’s economy, while bolstering the system of supply managing already in place.
Supply management is the controversial system which regulates the price of animal products in the country – in favor of its farmers.
Just last week, MP Maxime Bernier took to Twitter in criticism of its use, arguing that the animal agriculture industry has ‘politicians in its pockets’ and that supply management is the ‘opposite of a free market’.
He also shared a list of what he said are 25 dairy industry lobbyists who appeared at a Halifax conservative conference this month, despite the industry representing ‘a tiny sector’ of the nation’s economy.
Despite criticism of federal moves in favor of the dairy industry, supply management and animal agriculture subsidies are not without supporters.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that supply management is a system he ‘will standup to defend’ – while MP Mike Bassio emphasized the importance of ‘healthy and well-regulated dairy products’.
Dairy and health
MP Bassio’s claim about the healthful qualities of dairy, however, are not in line with the nation’s own nutritional guidelines.
Canada recently removed the dairy category from its food guide entirely – which reportedly resulted in ‘pushback from the meat and dairy industries’.