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Restaurateurs concerned about dairy commission appointment


February 8, 2012
By Canadian Pizza

February 8, 2012, Toronto – Restaurateurs are frustrated by the federal government’s appointment of a former president of Dairy Farmers of Canada as the new chief executive officer of the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC), reports the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA).

The CDC is the Crown Corporation that determines the price of industrial milk used to make cheese and other dairy products.

“Consumer and restaurateur concerns about the high price of dairy products in Canada do not receive the attention they should under the supply management system,” said Garth Whyte, president and CEO of the CRFA. “We’ve recently had constructive discussions with the CDC, but the appointment of a dairy industry insider as CEO makes us question if we will make much progress.”

According to CRFA’s Restaurant Outlook Survey for Q4 of 2011, 77 per cent of operators indicate rising food costs are having a negative impact on their business, making it a top concern for the industry. 

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As the CDC’s new CEO, Jacques Laforge joins a three-person board of directors that establishes industrial milk prices. Even during years when the CDC’s own cost of production numbers dropped, no reduction in the support price has ever been given.
 
“Mr. Laforge has indicated that he will work with stakeholders to build a strong and stable dairy industry,” said Justin Taylor, CRFA’s vice-president for labour and supply. “Our industry supports this goal, and to be a strong and stable industry you must be responsive to your customers’ concerns.”