FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Ottawa, June 21, 2012 - As news reached out across the country about Canada’s invitation to join the negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Canadian chicken farmers reaffirmed their confidence in the Canadian government’s long-standing support of supply management.
The TPP has been regarded by some critics as having been out of reach for Canada, as a direct result of the country’s support for its dairy, poultry and egg farmers and the supply management system that allows them to receive a fair price for the products they make.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” emphasizes Chicken Farmers of Canada Chairman Dave Janzen, “Supply management has never stood in the way of Canada successfully negotiating trade agreements with other countries, which have all opened up markets while maintaining our system.”
“The Government of Canada, like all political parties in our country, have made it clear that its support of supply management is unwavering,” he continues, “Prime Minister Harper clearly stated in the House of Commons his support for supply management in trade negotiations, going as far as to say that we will protect and promote all sectors —including our supply management system—in free trade negotiations throughout the world. We expect that support to continue.”
The link between TPP and supply management is based on the misperception of the Canadian chicken market being a closed one. Canada is the 16th largest importer of chicken in the world. Canada imports more chicken than seven of the nine TPP members combined. Our market is much more open than many countries in the world including some TPP members such as New Zealand, which blocks all chicken imports.
Canada's chicken farmers are a stabilizing force in rural Canada; they invest with confidence in their communities; they pay taxes; they don't receive subsidies; they are part of Canada’s economic solution.
Canada's 2,700 chicken farmers purchase 2.5 million tonnes of feed; generate $2.3 billion in farm cash receipts. The chicken industry directly employs 23,500 Canadians; creates an additional 32,000 jobs; and pays $1.3billion in taxes – all without relying on taxpayer subsidies.
Canadians have said repeatedly that they want Canadian-produced food and support Canadian farmers and Canada’s rural agriculture communities.
Chicken Farmers of Canada reaffirmed that it will continue to work closely with the government to ensure that any trade negotiations work to the benefit of the Canadian chicken industry and all of Canadian agriculture.
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