To our fellow dairy producers,
The Glengarry DPC has unanimously decided to resign effective immediately.
We have failed as a committee to represent the producers that have elected us on a number of areas that will greatly effect how dairy farmers will operate moving forward and how our industry will survive with the coming trade changes.
Most recently a decision by the board with ZERO consultation from any DPC was to introduce third party validators for proAction. This is really the last straw of many decisions made by our board without prior consultation.
This decision to implement third party validations will add a minimum of $500,000 a year to a program that has cost producers across this province millions and millions of dollars already. A program that is simply a make-work project for who knows how many staff members at head office. A program that has not even attempted to be promoted to consumers thus far.
Furthermore we as producers have all spent time and money on proAction and have absolutely zero to show for it. When asked if DFO would reduce the FSR staff because of the lightened workload, our board member responded with the idea that “there are disgraceful farms out there that pose a threat to the industry and the FSR’s will focus their time on them.”
The conference call on Monday December 23rd with the board and other DPCs demonstrated a lot by fact that the board did not acknowledge some of the hard questions let alone attempt to answer them.
Not only are we adding additional cost to the budget for third party validations but we are also going to pay for FSRs to do more unannounced inspections moving forward as staff will need to fill their schedules.
DFO continually claims we have one of the best milk qualities in the world – so why is there an urgency to implement more regulations and more inspections?
If it’s better quality they are looking for – then it’s time for processors to open their pocketbooks and pay.
The board also does not see the issue that we have is not with the third party validations – it is the additional costs, lack of justification and urgency to implement without consultations.
DPCs across this province voted at spring policy 2019 in favour of a resolution to reduce the Administration check off by 10%. We had numerous quota increases in 2016-2017 that significantly increased the amount of money being collected by DFO.
The board completely ignored this mandate and increased the budget for 2020 to nearly 21 million from the 18.2 million spent in 2019. In 2017 they spent 17.6 million on operations. So in two years operations will have increased 3.3 million dollars.
When pressed on the issue the response we were given from our board member was that if we reduce the budget we will sell less milk. We the board know what’s best for the industry – This is budget and we are not going to change it.
How can DPC members be completely disregarded like this?
How can a grassroots organization simply ignore the grassroots?
Is this the leadership, trust, respect or accountability that DFO preaches in their core values?
We as DPC members are completely exhausted with the lack of transparency from the board. The numbers never add up and they never have the numbers to support their decisions. This is not the representation that we need and we feel the system is broken.
As producers we are always the ones that feel the effects of the poor management and poor decisions at DFO. More paperwork, more rules, more stress and increased costs meanwhile we continue to work with tighter margins.
As our concerns, thoughts and justifications are not conveyed and disregarded by our current board member, we are asking our fellow producers to step up and help get the point across to our board and our board member that the current path is not acceptable. We hope that producers show up to the county meetings in February and come ready with some tough questions that need answers from our board members.
Glengarry dairy producer committee