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CRFA appeals to dairy commission for price relief


November 23, 2011
By Canadian Pizza

NEWS HIGHLIGHT

CRFA appeals to dairy commission for price relief

The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) appeared before the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC), calling for relief from artificially inflated dairy prices.

November 23, 2011, Ottawa – The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices
Association (CRFA) appeared before the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC),
calling for relief from artificially inflated dairy prices.

More reasonable prices will allow restaurants to put more milk, cheese and other dairy products on their menus and help to reverse a trend of declining consumer demand for dairy products, the CRFA reports.

The CRFA presented to the CDC's three-person board of directors, which holds closed meetings to set the price of industrial milk that is used to make cheese and other dairy products.

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"Canadian restaurants buy over $2.7 billion worth of dairy products each year and we are concerned by the artificially high, government-fixed prices as set by the CDC," said CRFA president and CEO Garth Whyte. "Over the past decade, the price of industrial milk has been rising faster than inflation and faster than the cost of dairy production. Canadian consumers deserve a break."

Data from the CDC and Statistics Canada indicate that the price of industrial milk has increased almost 10 times faster than the cost of production since 1994. Even during years where cost of production fell, the CDC did not pass on savings to Canadian dairy consumers.

"We need reasonable pricing if we are going to grow the dairy industry in Canada," said Whyte. "Our members tell us that dairy products are being priced right off the menu."

The CDC's closed-door pricing sessions follow the launch of CRFA's Free Your Milk campaign (www.freeyourmilk.ca), designed to draw attention to the 40-year-old supply management policies responsible for inflating the cost of dairy in Canada to double the international market average.

The Free Your Milk campaign grew from consumer research commissioned by CRFA that found 70 per cent of Canadians feel that keeping the cost of milk and dairy products down is very or somewhat important.

"We are encouraged that the government is finally starting to consider the real costs and the opportunity costs of our current dairy system when it comes to international trade and access to growing world markets," said Whyte. "While we look forward to a fair and transparent system in the future, today we are focused on a fair price for Canadian consumers and restaurant operators."