Supply-Managed Systems Supported by Canadians
Canadians and Political Leaders
By Jim Knisley
If a WTO agreement on agriculture wasn’t reached by the end of
April, which appeared dubious at press time, Canada’s supply-managed
farm groups will be very busy through the early summer.
If a WTO agreement on agriculture wasn’t reached by the end of April, which appeared dubious at press time, Canada’s supply-managed farm groups will be very busy through the early summer.
Gordon Hunter, a director with the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency (CEMA), said March 29, “We don’t know whether or not they will have an agreement on agriculture modalities by the end of April.
“If not, then there will be a lot of activity between then and the end of July,” he said.
A key area of negotiation and dispute is sensitive products.
Some countries appear unwilling to treat sensitive products as sensitive and are proposing rules that would be harsher than for other commodities. “Sensitive products must be treated as sensitive,” he said.
Every country has some commodity or farm sector that is sensitive. Farm organizations from 52 nations around the world have recognized that and want to deal with the issue up front, which is why they signed a declaration March 23 calling for trade rules that treat farmers, and not just international agribusiness, fairly.
Hunter said Canada’s supply-managed sectors are clearly sensitive and should be recognized as sensitive in any WTO agreement.
“I feel our position is sound,” Hunter said.
He added that Canadians support the supply-managed system as do Canada’s political leaders.
“Our system works very well,” he said. “We have good viable farms in every part of Canada and we’ve been able to put in the best systems of animal care and food safety in the world.”