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Elections north and south of the border, coupled with continued pandemic news, have rolled back trade effects, in particular the CUSMA Accord (Canada, United States, Mexico Agreement), the latest about-face in our government concerning the protection of agricultural products subject to supply management (dairy products, eggs, poultry).

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According to grocery store shelves and advertising, American products are here now. I have already written about American food products sold in our stores.

Fairlife Canada, owned by Coca-Cola Ltd., imported ultrafiltered milk produced and prepared in the United States for approximately two years and sold it across Canada, in direct competition with Canadian dairy products, while the company built its factory in Peterborough, Ontario.

Many, including myself, never believed they would use 100% Canadian milk despite the company’s assurances. Well I now eat my words! Fairlife processes and sells 100% Canadian milk as promised. A bonus for Canadian dairy products.

Eggs are something else.

After a reader understood the fact that a large Canadian egg company was selling American eggs in packs of 18 with, in our opinion, a misleading use of the word Canadian and a maple leaf. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said it was describing the business, not the eggs!

The company told me that Canada was not producing enough eggs and therefore had to buy from the United States to supply its market. When I told him that I knew of two modern chicken coops that had to depopulate and close due to American imports, he hung up. I think I hit something.

The message is, read the package carefully.

  1. Farmgate: I will not be silenced by anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers or pandemic deniers

  2. Songs of

    Farmgate: They don’t know what they’re doing

  3. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau virtually chat with families in Ottawa on April 21, 2021.

    Farmgate: no good choices for farmers in this campaign

Okay, the fight continues. CUSMA now legally allows the United States to enter our dairy, egg and poultry markets. Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen advertisements for Armstrong cheeses (“Canadians love Armstrong!”) And organic dairy and Annie’s mac and cheese dinner. Both are American companies that use American milk and create American jobs, and as we all know, American dairy products are not produced and cattle raised and managed to the same exacting standards as here.

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A third new dairy company also recently announced Olympic organic yogurt, but it is based in British Columbia.

Agriculture, as well as fishing, forestry, mining, oil and gas, are all basic industries, providing the raw materials that create a chain of products from start to finish. Your job, no matter what you do, relies on one of these five.

When markets are lost to foreign countries, the need to produce these goods here diminishes, our industries produce less and reduce personnel – and may eventually shut down. Goodbye jobs, including, perhaps, ours!

Free trade agreements encourage other countries to flood the markets of their trading partners. When Canada becomes dependent on imports, we have problems, and unemployment is just one of them. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be self-sufficient in many ways and not depend on other countries. When things are going well, each country looks after itself.

When buying anything, look for that all-important “Product of Canada” label on anything that might be produced here. This means that the raw materials and the labor are Canadian.

“Made in Canada” means that all or most of the raw products have been purchased outside of Canada, shipped by truck, and then the finished product is manufactured here in a Canadian facility.

Anything that says “made in / produced by ________” means it has just been shipped, with no input or use in Canada.

Today more than ever, consumers must buy Canadian products and refuse American and other imports. All of our jobs or pensions could depend on it.

Please and thank you.


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