November 10, 2016 –

The Dairy Processors Association of Canada (DPAC-ATLC) welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, of a Dairy Processing Investment Fund of $100 million to help the sector adapt to the challenges that lie ahead for the industry with the upcoming implementation of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

DPAC-ATLC estimates the potential impact of CETA on the Canadian dairy processing sector, in particular cheese processors, to be annually over $230 million and a loss of $719 million for the overall economy. In addition, it could result in the loss of some 2,900 jobs here at home.

“This announcement is a significant first step,” said Jacques Lefebvre, President and CEO of DPAC-ATLC. “Our sector needs transitional measures to help it adapt to the tariff-free import of some eighteen thousand tons of cheese from Europe–cheeses that will be displacing products made here at home with milk from our Canadian producers,” added Lefebvre.

In the past months, Global Affairs Canada has led consultations on the future allocation of the new cheese tariff rate quotas (TRQ). These TRQ were an integral part of the CETA negotiations. Dairy processors and producers have advocated with government in support of these TRQ being assigned to the sector that will be truly impacted by CETA coming into force: the dairy processing sector.

“The allocation of these TRQ to dairy processors is a key step the federal government must take in support of the Canadian dairy processing sector. With CETA, our domestic cheeses will be displaced by European ones, the potential impact on jobs and investments is real. The decision is now in the hands of the Minister of International Trade, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland. As we await her decision, we can only hope she has heard the industry,” indicated Lefebvre.

Dairy processors also recognize the significant impact CETA will also have on our industry partners, dairy producers.

“It’s simple, the cheese that is not produced, here at home, equates to milk dairy processors will not be buying from producers. This is why we support the producers’ call for adequate transition measures, to ensure that we continue to have a thriving dairy industry here at home for generations to come,” added Jacques Lefebvre.

About the Dairy Processors Association of Canada

The Dairy Processors Association of Canada (DPAC/ATLC) is the national industry association representing the public policy and regulatory interests of the Canadian dairy processing industry. DPAC-ATLC’s members represent some of the most recognized brands in Canada and provide work to over 23,000 Canadians, contributing $17.3 billion to the national economy.