This month Canada released details of two new support programs for Canadian dairy farmers. The programs, worth a total of C$350 million, are called the Dairy Farm Investment Program and the Dairy Processing Investment Fund. The programs are designed to increase productivity and competitiveness of the dairy sector.
“These two programs will assist Canada’s dairy producers and processors to prepare for CETA implementation, within a strong supply management system,” says Lawrence MacAalay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “The Government of Canada is proud to support a robust dairy industry that contributes to meeting growing demand for high-quality, sustainable food, while strengthening the middle class.”
According to the Canadian department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Dairy Farm Investment Program will provide up to C$250,000 per licensed dairy farm to support producers in upgrading facilities, implementing new technologies and purchasing equipment to improve productivity.
“The program will support large investments: such as the adoption of robotic milking and feeding systems; and small investments: such as herd management and barn operation equipment,” Canadian officials say.
Similarly, the Dairy Processing Investment Fund will provide processors with up to C$10 million for each capital investment project like installing new equipment, or up to C$250,000 for each project to access technical expertise.
“For example, the program could support a cheesemaker’s investment in a new processing line that would allow them to increase their production or introduce new varieties of cheese to the market,” officials say.
The programs are also intended to prepare the Canadian dairy sector for the implementation of the Canada European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Canadian officials believe CETA will improve market access for Canada’s key agricultural product exports.
“Our government is working to ensure that the benefits of trade are delivered to middle-class workers, families, farmers and businesses of all sizes and all regions across Canada,” says François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade. “The implementation of CETA will also provide dairy producers and processors an opportunity to modernize their operations and become more competitive.”