Free Your Milk
2nd November 2011 by Andrew Needs, Ottawa | 1 Comment
There has been some lively debate in the media in Canada over the last couple of weeks, the result of the “Free Your Milk” campaign by the Canadian Restaurant and Food Association (http://freeyourmilk.ca , www.facebook.com/FreeYourMilk ). The campaign has brought to public attention their concerns over the Canadian system of supply management, which, among other things, regulates the production, supply and price of dairy produce in Canada. The supply management system, and more particularly the tariff barriers erected to maintain its integrity, restrict imports of many competitively priced New Zealand dairy products into Canada.
The CRFA has a membership of 30,000 across Canada, including restaurants, bars, cafeterias, coffee shops and caterers. Together the Canadian foodservices industry generates $60 billion in annual sales and accounts for 6.4% of total employment. The membership as a whole is a huge consumer of dairy products, right down to the cheese on the millions of pizzas consumed every year in Canada. As food industry businesses, the membership of the CRFA has a strong interest in delivering quality produce at competitive prices. Fail in that and your business will struggle. From their perspective, a food business’s ability to source quality ingredients from a variety of potential suppliers, be they local, national or international, is fundamental to their success.