Fri, 9 March 2007
Clean, white, wholesome milk, cream, butter, cheese, yogurt and ice cream - very common ingredients within the diet of Canadians.
On part II of the Deceivable Dairy series, we look deeper into the dairy industry and explore the politics of production, trade and animal welfare.
The welfare of dairy cattle was explored during part I of the series, but the framework for regulating and monitoring the welfare of animals in this country may shock you.
Canada's dairy industry is one of three industries that operate under a supply management system. The system is one of the last remaining protections for Canadian farmers to the threats posed by cheap imports. We have seen how the heavily subsidized agricultural sectors in the United States and Europe have already threatened farmers here in Canada, and many are now worried that supply management is at risk of being undermined.
But supply management has its critics, and they're not just the big industrial processors. In an age where local production is essential to combat climate change, the current structure of supply management has created a barrier for farmers to produce milk for their own communities.
This broadcast will also take a look at some of the major dairy processors in Canada. As 70% of all Canadian dairy is processed by 3 companies, getting to know these companies is essential when getting to know your milk, cheese, butter and yogurt.
Shelagh MacDonald - Program Director, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) (Ottawa, ON) - The CFHS is the national voice of humane societies and SPCAs. They bring together those who work with, and care for animals to promote respect and humane treatment toward all animals. The CFHS plays a crucial role in farm animal welfare in Canada. The CFHS is a founding member of the newly-formed National Farm Animal Care Council.
Jan Slomp - Farmer / Alberta Coordinator, National Farmers' Union (NFU) (Rimbey, AB) - Born and raised in the Netherlands, landed as immigrants in Canada with his wife Marian and three children in the spring of 1989. They bought a small dairy farm in Rimbey, central Alberta where their herd of 70-80 cattle are raised on grass. Jan is the Alberta coordinator of the NFU - a national organization that works toward the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada.