The Fibre of Rural Canada

The whole story must be told about the strengths of Canada’s supply management system

BY DOUGLAS CAMPBELL

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I am writing this letter in response to an article by The Fraser Institute entitled, “Canada can eliminate supply management by following Australia’s lead.”

The three authors, Jon Berry, Alan Oxley and Dan LeRoy say Canadian policy-makers would be well advised to learn lessons from Australia about phasing out supply management in a number of agricultural sectors. Their article is about Australia doing away with supply management in the dairy sector in 2000.

The authors write a glowing report on what a success this has been for Australia. They say consumers are paying less for milk, national supply has been maintained, and larger farms are driving much greater productivity, allowing milk products to be the third biggest agricultural export after beef and dairy.

I would like to question this Australian success story, and offer my perspective as a Canadian dairy farmer. Continue reading

Understanding the Spirit of the Lands Protection Act

 

GUEST OPINION BY DOUGLAS CAMPBELL – JUNE 28, 2018

The National Farmers Union (NFU) notices and welcomes the community’s new expressions of interest about the Lands Protection Act. Islanders know the painful history of the land and how easily it can be taken from the people. Now we are in a new era in how land transactions take place. In 2018, the style of take-overs is more hidden than they were in other times. However, on the community level, people know who is taking control of vast acreages. What is not clear to the Island population is why the Lands Protection Act seems to be powerless to stop the rapid land grab so obvious in the rural community. Continue reading

NFU urges Trudeau to stand firm in the protection of Canadian supply management!

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June 14, 2018

Right Honorable Justin Trudeau
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario   K1A 0A6
justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

We understand that you are under enormous pressure to give up Canadian interests in the negotiations with the USA in order to reach a new NAFTA deal. President Trump is using highly unfair arguments, especially when he targets tariffs that protect Canadian supply management. The USA, like European countries, offers enormous price support programs to farmers in general and dairy farmers in particular. They do that in order to enable farmers to survive an extreme low world-market price for dairy, caused, among other factors, by the American and European dairy producers’ double-digit production increases.  Canadian farmers did not cause this glut — because they have production discipline they do not over produce. In Canada we don’t need a government subsidy program, as our supply management system rewards efficient dairy farmers sufficiently from the market place. A recent study by Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) and executed by AC Nielsen Canada, showed that dairy products in Canada are 17% less expensive than in the U.S. Continue reading

Calling for an Independent Review of Land Holdings and Transfers

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by Douglas Campbell

May 3, 2017

Published in the Charlottetown Guardian

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has continuously raised the alarm in public about the conditions in which PEI land is being transferred. We therefore welcomed the announcement of the Minister of Communities, Land and Environment, the Honourable Richard Brown, that he is initiating a review of non-resident and corporate land holdings. However, we have serious concerns about the Minister putting this task into the hands of the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC). Continue reading

On-Farm Seed Production Workshop (ACORN)

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Date

Tuesday,  May 8 from 9 AM – 3:30 PM

Location

PEI Farm Centre, Charlottetown, PEI

With farm planning nearly complete for many growers, this intermediate-level workshop will focus on the practices you can implement during your growing season to pull off your best possible seed crops, including:
— isolation – distance, time and barrier
— plant populations and why they matter for quality seed
— strategies for observing, selecting, and roguing your seed crop
— quality assurance after the growing season: germination tests, storage tips, and how to ensure you’ve saved what you think you’ve saved!

Presenter Bio: Chris Sanford and her partner, Garrett, grow and maintain over 150 varieties of vegetables, grains, and flowers at their small diversified farm on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.  They have been farming and gardening ecologically for over 15 years, and 2018 is their 10th season growing seeds commercially.  In addition to consumer direct seed sales, Chris sells seed through Annapolis Seeds. Chris can speak knowledgeably about on-farm seed production from her experience with dozens of crops including squash and other curcurbits, most brassicas, beans, peas, corn, small grains, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, alliums, herbs, lettuce, and some biennials. Chris works part-time as the Community Gardens Coordinator for the Town of Bridgewater, and has taught workshops in the Maritimes and Northeastern US.

Cost: ACORN Members: $20, Non-members: $30, vegetarian lunch included.

Registration Deadline: April 30, 2018. To register: please email Steph Hughes at seed@acornorganic.org, with your full name, contact phone number, and dietary restrictions. Upon registration, participants will be asked about what crop varieties they are saving seed from so that content can be tailored to their needs.