Latest round of compensation delivered to more than 50% of Canadian dairy farmers

OTTAWA – Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced on Feb. 10 that 5,054 Canadian dairy farmers have received their payments, totalling $267.1 million, under the second year of the Dairy Direct Payments Program. This represents roughly 51 per cent of the more than 10,000 dairy farmers across the country. Minister Bibeau made the announcement as part of a keynote speech to the Dairy Farmers of Canada at their Annual General Meeting.

With these direct payments the Government of Canada says it is delivering on its commitment to provide “full and fair compensation’ to supply-managed sectors for market access concessions made under the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

A press release from the federal agriculture ministry says dairy farmers will receive $1.75 billion in direct payments over the course of four years, with $345 million made available in year one (2019-20) and $468 million currently available under year two of the program. Another $469 million will be available in 2021-22, and $468 million in 2022-23. The owner of a farm with 80 dairy cows will be awarded compensation in the form of a direct payment of approximately $38,000 for each of these remaining years.

These amounts also build on the $250 million CETA on-farm investment program, and provide certainty on the schedule and form of remaining payments in the $2 billion total compensation package for dairy farmers.

The release states the federal government “remains committed to engaging the sector on full and fair compensation” for the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), and to providing compensation to processors of supply-managed products.

Canada’s supply managed farmers are the “backbone of rural communities” across the country, and help ensure a strong Canadian economy and agriculture sector, the release states.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the government says these farmers have consistently demonstrated their outstanding commitment to providing high-quality products to the Canadians who rely on them.

“Our government is moving full steam ahead to ensure that supply-managed sectors receive full and fair compensation that gives them the predictability and support necessary for their success for generations to come. More than 50% of producers have already received their second payment. The government continues to work tirelessly to ensure that dairy, poultry and egg producers remain resilient and prosperous,” said Bibeau

The release notes letters were mailed to all Canadian dairy producers in January to provide them with directions on how to register for this second payment. Producers must register through the Canadian Dairy Commission prior to March 31 to receive a payment under this program year.

Details of federal compensation programs for chicken, egg, turkey and broiler hatching egg producers, totaling $691 million over  10 years, are being discussed in consultation with industry representatives.

The government states these consultations are progressing well, with further program details  expected to be available this spring.