November 14, 2016
Canada invests US$258M to boost dairy sector's competitiveness
Canada is allotting C$350 million (US$258.24 million) for two new programmes to support the competitiveness of its dairy sector ahead of the Canada–EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
The two new programmes are:
-- Dairy Farm Investment Programme, which will provide targeted contributions to help Canadian dairy farmers update farm technologies and systems and improve productivity through equipment upgrades. This could include the adoption of robotic milkers, automated feeding systems, and herd management tools. A total of $250 million (US$184.44 million) has been allotted for this programme over a period of five years.
-- Dairy Processing Investment Fund, which will help dairy processors modernise their operations and, in turn, improve efficiency and productivity, as well as diversify their products to pursue new market opportunities. The fund totals $100 million (US$73.78 million) over a period of four years.
"These programmes will help Canada's dairy sector become more productive in order to help it adapt to the anticipated impacts from CETA", said Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay.
International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland, for her part, said, "This is an opportunity for Canadian dairy producers and processors to modernise their operations and become more competitive in Canada and in international markets. I encourage producers to leverage the new market access provided by CETA and other free trade agreements in order to grow their business."
In the coming weeks, the government will seek input from the dairy sector to ensure programmes respond to the needs of producers and processors. Input can also be provided online. Programmes will be in place when CETA comes into force.
The EU and Canada signed CETA last month, but it has to be approved by some 40 national and regional parliaments in Europe before it becomes fully in force.