On Wednesday, June 22, 2022, the Canadian Dairy Commission announced they were increasing the price paid to dairy farmers for their milk by 2.5%, which works out to $1.92 per hectolitre or just under two cents per litre effective September 1. This increase, requested by the Dairy Farmers of Canada, is a onetime advance increase. I am assuming that if they are true to their word, any price increase made in 2023 when the normal annual cost of production formula is calculated, this amount will be deducted from it. It remains to be seen.
The same evening, I received an email from my brother in Brampton: “I might need to borrow a cow as milk prices keep going up :)”. He is lucky, having a sister who could loan him a cow. The average consumer has to make a choice to get their dairy, either cut down on it, stop buying it, find extra money to pay for it or head over the border to buy it.
Sad to say, dairy farmers are now relegated to the greedy bad guy list. All the advertising done to make dairy appear good to consumers was for nothing. What a waste ….of our PR deduction money!
Both the Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) made a poor decision in requesting and granting this farmgate price increase. The Dairy Farmers of Ontario and other provincial boards, as far as I know, did nothing to stop them. Most important of all, not one of these organizations consulted those very farmers they supposedly represent.
This morning a few quick phone calls divulged that not one of the dairy farmers called is in favour of this price increase!
The general feeling is that, in consumers’ eyes we are now greedy and not willing to tighten our belts and work through tough times the same as everyone else in the world is.
Every one of them foresaw reduced demand for dairy products in the near future, which will result in quota cuts. Everyone would rather have kept their quota and kept the milk price as is. Had anyone thought to ask, this is what they would have been told.
Several commented that there is already a lot of hostility among consumers after the immense increase we received on February 1 of this year. Now, to get more, six months later is a slap in the face to all buyers.
Yes, the price of everything has gone up. The CDC cites big increases in fertilizer, fuels, etc but prices have shot up for everyone: rents, gasoline, insurance, clothing, vehicles and especially groceries, which includes all dairy products.
From now on, driving past a dairy farm with all its land, massive barns, bunkers, silos, brightly coloured equipment and big pickup trucks will bring memories of the greed which resulted in an extra 2 cents a litre to maintain all this….. and which hurt their pocket book even more.
No one will remember that the farmers didn’t want it.
Angela Dorie is an agricultural writer and a Jersey farmer near Cornwall.