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CRFA’s open letter to PM Harper


December 2, 2011
By Canadian Pizza

December 2, 2011, Toronto – The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) has sent an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper regarding the appointment of a new CEO for the Canadian Dairy Commission.

The text of the letter reads as follows:

Dear Prime Minister:

I am writing you today regarding the appointment of a new chief executive officer for the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC). With the retirement of John Core, we understand that a new CEO will be appointed through the Order in Council process. We urge you to select a new CEO who will give serious consideration to the concerns of restaurateurs and consumers who deserve fair pricing on dairy products in this country.

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As you know, the CDC’s CEO is a member of the three-person board of directors responsible for establishing the support price for industrial milk – the milk used to make cheese and other dairy products. Over the past 16 years, the price of industrial milk has climbed approximately nine times faster than the cost of production and significantly faster than inflation. Even during years when the CDC’s own cost of production numbers dropped, no reduction in the support price was given. The OECD estimates that Canadians subsidize producers to the tune of $2.4 billion a year through artificially inflated prices.

Canadian restaurants purchase over $2.7 billion in dairy products a year and we are concerned that dairy consumers’ concerns do not receive the consideration that they should under our current system. We believe that with more reasonable pricing, we could sell more dairy products in this country – this would benefit both dairy producers and consumers. We have repeatedly advocated for price reductions at the Canadian Dairy Commission to help grow the market.

In appointing the next CEO of the CDC, we encourage you to select a leader who will work to create a dairy system in Canada that is fair and transparent to farmers, processors, restaurateurs and consumers.

Best regards,

(original signed by)

Garth Whyte

President and CEO

c.c.: The Hon. Gerry Ritz, P.C., M.P.
        Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food