ANALYSIS | 5 reasons to defend farm marketing boards


dumpthemonarchy
#1
Here's a few reasons to eliminate food marketing boards in the country.

Anyone should be able to grow food whenever they want, and as long as they pass certain health standards, they ought to able to sell it to consumers. Kids think food comes from supermarkets. This will give small scale agriculture in Canada a chance to grow and to give us tastier, greener, better and safer food.

People are getting food allergies more now. Which is due in part due to what used be perfectly healthy foods like gluton. So much corporate genetic engineering to our food has been great for productivity, but perhaps not so great for human stomachs and bodies. Could be why some food is called Frankenfoods.

The Harper govt wants farmers to sell their wheat to whoever, I agree. Why wheat but not eggs, milk or chickens?

"Peak food". Everyone can see the price of food rising. We need more people growing food, and knowing how to grow food. Bureaucrats don't farm, corporations only care about the money. Peak oil isn't going to occur of course, prices will just rise and we'll pay whatever it costs, but no gloomy or doomie "peak" of any sort will occur. Not for us smart people in this information age.

It is much more likely any peaks will be felt much harder in Africa and Asia. You know, Egypt and Libya import most of their food. China and India want to eat like us, putting increasing stress on land and the gobal food chain. We need a better, more diverse, and more free markeit oriented, Canadian food chain. ASAP. Food security is real.

We must unchain ourselves from our industrial food system. End the farm tyranny. Free the chickens!



ANALYSIS | 5 reasons to defend farm marketing boards - Politics - CBC News



ANALYSIS | 5 reasons to defend farm marketing boards


Why does the Harper government continue to back supply management for Canada's dairy, egg, and poultry sectors?

By Janyce McGregor, CBC News

Posted: Jan 5, 2012 7:34 AM ET

Last Updated: Jan 5, 2012 7:57 AM ET

Read 91 comments91
Former agriculture minister Eugene Whelan is hit on the head with a milk jug during a demonstration by dairy farmers in this 1976 photo. Whelan said in his autobiography that the federal government's refusal to bail out Quebec dairy farmers helped elect the Parti Québécois later that year. (Russell Mant/Canadian Press)




A 40-year-old farm program could become a political issue to watch in 2012.
But not if the Harper government can help it.




A 40-year-old farm program could become a political issue to watch in 2012.
But not if the Harper government can help it.
Andrew Coyne declared the "supply management rip-off" the most under-reported political issue of 2011 during The National At Issue panel's year-end "best and worst" roundup.
"It's remarkable how little people know about how much they're paying for basic food," Coyne said, noting that supply management has become a major issue because "our trade partners are fed up with it."
Supply management and spilled milk

Canada's supply management system took shape in the 1970s, when dairy, egg, chicken and turkey farmers agreed to limit their production levels, according to quotas based on market demand, in return for stable, predictable prices.
Eugene Whelan, Pierre Trudeau's agriculture minister, oversaw the creation of several marketing boards to administer those quotas.
He also ended up literally wearing the wrath of Quebec dairy farmers during a protest in Parliament Hill in 1976.
When Trudeau's cabinet refused Quebec's demands for more dairy subsidies in the face of a world market collapse, angry farmers literally dumped (milk) on Whelan's head.
Whelan suggested in his autobiography that the federal government's reluctance to bail farmers out helped elect the sovereigntist Parti Québécois across rural Quebec later that fall.

As Coyne spoke those words in mid-December, International Trade Minister Ed Fast was in Geneva at World Trade Organization talks where, in the words of the government's press release, Canada was "recognized as a free-trade leader."
Although Fast, and Harper before him at this fall's APEC Summit in Hawaii, supported the concept of open markets, the government has been equally adamant publicly about protecting supply management, even as reports hinted that compromising some aspects of Canada's agricultural marketing board system may be necessary to sign on to a future Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
"We always say that all matters are on the table," Harper said in Hawaii. "But of course Canada will seek to defend and promote our specific interests in every single sector in the economy."
A senior government source confirmed that as an accurate summation of the government's approach to not only the TPP talks, but current negotiations with the European Union as well: say you're open to talk about anything to get to the table, but when it comes time to deal, keep your elbows up on supply management.
This frustrates Canada's restaurant and food industry, which is campaigning (external - login to view) to slay the sacred cow of supply management for consumers and food suppliers who want lower prices.
But despite a majority Conservative government and renewed moves toward trade liberalization worldwide, there's no sign the Harper government plants to dismantle dairy or poultry marketing boards the way Conservatives ended the monopoly marketing system of the Canadian Wheat Board.
It's been six years since MPs had a recorded vote on the principle of supply management in the House of Commons. That vote — on a Bloc Québécois motion calling for a strong mandate against tariff changes during WTO negotiations — passed 288-0. Not a single MP rose to suggest there might be something to gain by giving even a little.
Even Maxime Bernier, a cabinet minister otherwise known for his free-thinking, free-trading, pro-business views, defends the status quo.
Why might the Harper government continue to defend supply management? Here are a five reasons:
1. Complex jurisdictions

Any government bent on dismantling supply management must unravel a complicated jurisdictional web. In addition to federal legislation, every province has its own marketing board legislation. On top of that, provinces have inter-provincial agreements, such as those establishing "pooling blocks" for milk.
Al Mussell, a senior research associate at the George Morris Centre in Guelph, an independent agriculture think-tank, says tackling supply management would be far more difficult for the Harper government than dismantling the Prairie-only wheat board monopoly that was based only on federal legislation.
"There's no procedural analogy," Mussell says of speculation that having dismantled one, the other could follow. "It's an interesting theoretical discussion but the reality is absent."
The federal government could change its own laws, but it couldn't force the provinces to pull back unilaterally; a potentially divisive round of federal-provincial negotiation would be required.
2. Quota buy-back expensive, 'unfeasible'

While it was a (buyer) monopoly, the wheat board was not a form of supply management — producers did not hold "quota" that itself has a dollar value. Ending quota-based systems typically requires some kind of buy-back or compensation program in the transition to an open market.
Quota values fluctuate with market conditions, but recent estimates put the total national value of Canadian dairy quota in the $25-billion range. Add in the egg, poultry and turkey sectors, and that figure may be as high as $35 billion.
That's an awful lot of quota to buy back for a government struggling to cut its deficit. It's also a lot of value to simply erase from the financial books of Canadian agriculture.
Some farmers inherited their quota along with other family farm assets, or were given their quota when the original system was set up. Other farmers who started up or expanded their businesses more recently may have financed their quota to the tune of hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. (Current dairy quota values are approximately $25,000 per cow, and an average-sized Canadian dairy farm may hold some $1.5 million worth of quota.)
"It's unfeasible to have a quota buy-back," suggests Maurice Doyon, a specialist in rural and agricultural economics at the Université Laval, who thinks the government could afford to compensate farmers at a rate of 50 per cent at most. (Recent tobacco quota buyouts were at a rate of 30 cents on the dollar.)
Doyon notes that a lot of banks use quota as collateral for loans. "It would be a huge shock," he says, speculating that the government would be very reluctant to expose the banking sector to that kind of sudden loss in value.
Tobacco precedent?

The Auditor General's fall 2011 report found the administration of a small-scale tobacco quota buyout in southwestern Ontario in 2009 was a rushed job that lacked sufficient safeguards.
Farmers that should not have been eligible received payments, among other criticisms.
The Harper government announced the exit strategy for tobacco farmers in the lead up to the 2008 federal election.

Two other countries that recently ended their supply management systems, Australia and Switzerland, never compensated farmers for lost quota. But Doyon suggests they may not have needed to, since the comparative value of the quota in those countries was lower.
"The only way to do it is to phase out quota slowly," says Doyon.
A recent study by the C.D. Howe Institute (external - login to view) suggests a gradual increase in production levels over 20 years could lower prices slowly, phasing out the current quota system.
3. Trade benefits uncertain

Supply management opponents argue that Canada is missing out on trade opportunities for its stubborn insistence on maintaining supply management. But what are those opportunities lost?
"The idea of assurances in trade negotiations is folly," says Mussell, who believes Canada was invited to the table for future TPP talks not because of any openness on supply management but because those already at the table wanted to bring in the large market represented by Japan (which defends its rice industry with similar stubbornness.) Mussell thinks it would have been helpful for a potential partner like the U.S. to bring in another player like Canada at the same time.
Still, Mussell thinks it's worth at least trying Canada's luck at the negotiating table.
"Is there a fantastic opportunity in red meat or grains access [to Asia] in return for a very small change in dairy tariffs? Or would a very major change for supply management yield only a minor gain for other commodities? We just don't know," he says.
Mussell remains concerned that Canada may find itself on the outside looking in at future trade deals with Asia if it's too stubborn on supply management. He says supply management doesn't adapt well to changes, including opportunities for growth, citing recent innovations using milk protein concentrates for cheese production as a case where Canada missed out.
"You don't create a transparent and vibrant market by making rules," he suggests.
But Doyon is skeptical there's really that much for other countries to gain from opening up Canadian markets.
"Canadians tend to inflate our importance," says Doyon, who argues that because of the perishable nature of Canada's supply-managed commodities, the market other countries could realistically have access to is neither large nor valuable. "The impact is overblown."
4. Consumers pay, taxpayers don't

Price comparisons across supply-managed and open market jurisdictions are fraught. It's extremely difficult to make "apples to apples" comparisons when different retailers price a commodity like milk or eggs all over the map: sometimes as a loss-leader, or sometimes vastly more expensive, in stories where convenience counts more than a bargain.
While opponents argue lower prices would result, the evidence for that varies in different comparisons. Arguments often assume other players in the supply chain, including retailers or food services, wouldn't simply absorb the difference between the supply-managed farm price and a new, lower, open market price.
In New Zealand, one of the countries thought to be pushing hardest for Canada to give up supply management, the price farmers receive for their milk is among the lowest in the world, leading to larger-scale "factory" farms trying realize economies of scale. Meanwhile, New Zealand consumers pay prices equal to or higher than average prices in Canada. The extra money is somewhere, but it's not in the pockets of farmers or consumers.
Would other players in the supply chain simply absorb the price difference if farmers gave up supply management? The severe drop in the prices Canadian beef producers received during the BSE scare and resulting U.S. border closure never resulted in significant, across-the-board price cuts for beef consumers in supermarkets or restaurants, for example.
What Canadians don't pay are government subsidies for supply-managed products. For last decade, the dairy and poultry industries haven't drained the Canadian taxpayer to the tune of billions the way their counterparts have in the United States, Europe or elsewhere.
"If I was the federal government, I would like supply management because it costs me nothing," Doyon says.
In Canada, the price of milk pays the full cost of producing it. Supply-managed commodities do not need the millions of dollars in bailouts and other risk-management programs the federal government regularly provides to pork, beef or grain farmers.
"Americans pay for their milk twice: once at the store, and once through billions in subsidies," says Bruice Muirhead, a trade policy researcher at the University of Waterloo. "Our system is one the rest of the world should come to."
The U.S. Congress is wrestling with supply management proposals of its own: knowing that year after year of billion-dollar bailouts are not affordable, current farm bill proposals suggest a national supply management system for American dairy producers. What is sometimes portrayed as a trade barrier for Canada could become a system Americans emulate.
5. Rural economic benefits

Muirhead believes supply management is more resilient over the long term than the boom and bust cycle of bailing out industries based on fluctuating prices.
In Australia, an end to supply management gutted the dairy sector: a decade later, milk production is down sharply and farmers have left the business.

Muirhead, who's compared Canada's system with New Zealand's in great detail, is also a fan of the smaller-scale agriculture that survives because of the stable and predictable prices of the Canadian system, which he thinks builds strong rural communities in a way the larger, industrial-scale farms in countries like New Zealand do not.

He acknowledges Canada's quota system presents a barrier to new entrants, but he still finds the system "eminently sensible" in a world where dairy products rarely are produced without some form of government intervention.
"I don't understand what the debate's about," he says.

Current trends suggest that fewer and fewer Canadians live in the rural ridings that would be directly impacted by a hypothetical end to supply management. But rural ridings lie at the heart of the Conservatives' majority, particularly in Ontario.

Ontario Conservative MP Michael Chong's riding in southwestern Ontario has plenty of farms and small communities that service local agriculture. Ending supply management is a non-starter for him.

The cost of adding dairy and poultry producers to existing farm income support programs would be huge. Plus, he doesn't see it as a priority for his constituents.

"No one in my riding is complaining about the price of milk," Chong says. "They are concerned about their taxes."

=============================

This is a good article how the chicken police in Ontario can give chicken farmers $10,000 day fines for breeding chickens. The enemy of better food need to find other work.

Poultry G-Men and supply management declared enemies of deliciousness in Canada | Pantry Raid | torontolife.com (external - login to view)
 
TenPenny
#2
Supply management was brought in to help stabilize agriculture.

Without it, we'll see fewer and fewer farms, and those that survive will be corporate ones. If that's what you want, carry on.
 
taxslave
+1
#3
Supply management is the best example of corporate welfare that I know of short of untenderd contracts to Liberal party insiders.
Whoever said that supply management does not hurt taxpayers because the cost is passed on to consumers is playing word games since all taxpayers are consumers.
 
dumpthemonarchy
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Supply management is the best example of corporate welfare that I know of short of untenderd contracts to Liberal party insiders.
Whoever said that supply management does not hurt taxpayers because the cost is passed on to consumers is playing word games since all taxpayers are consumers.

As far as Harper is concerned though, food supply management doesn't affect him politically, as he can afford to ignore it. It's a completely communist/Marxist/Leninist system because the govt controls agriculrure. These are corporare welfare bums who take advantage of govt regulation to gather wealth. The ideology here is like China, control of the money, authoritarian capitalism. No problem to pragmatic Harper.
 
bluebyrd35
+1
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Supply management is the best example of corporate welfare that I know of short of untenderd contracts to Liberal party insiders.
Whoever said that supply management does not hurt taxpayers because the cost is passed on to consumers is playing word games since all taxpayers are consumers.

Actually it is consumer welfare. A dairy farmer milks twice a day. That with a herd that produces enough to pay the bills takes about 5 hours 365 days a year. During the summer months, when the planting of feed, from hay, grain etc. occur, most days are 15 hours and more. From sun up to sun down. This begins the end of April to the end of October, and sometimes into November, if this includes plowing before freeze up. Consumers would have a big problem paying for the actual cost of food. This is most applicable to family farms. These days corporate farming is coming in and if the family farms are completely ousted, watch out for big raises in food costs.

There are no holidays, and he certainly cannot afford to get sick. A farmer cannot trust his herd of milking cows to one unfamiliar with them. They are like children & have their own needs and personalities. Keeping up his quota, is important otherwise he loses it. To buy it back is very, very expensive.

If the supply and demand system is abolished, get ready for a big raise in price. The system now, does not allow farmers to set the price that pays the cost never mind make a profit. Since they are subsidized, it allows the intermediary to keep the price down. Take it away and the price of the product must rise to cover what it costs to produce. Rather simple!! If farmers were allowed to charge what their labour and time were worth plus a wee profit, the average family would spend most of their income on food, just like most of the world does now.

Oh I forgot, we mustn't overlook the sanitation, making sure the cows are disease free, as there are diseases transferred from milk to humans.

Depending on the crops, this is pretty much the same in all areas of farming from chicken & egg producition,beef, & cheeses to grain growing. Even Maple syrup and sugar bush management.
Last edited by bluebyrd35; Jan 18th, 2012 at 12:25 PM..
 
taxslave
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by bluebyrd35View Post

Actually it is consumer welfare. A dairy farmer milks twice a day. That with a herd that produces enough to pay the bills takes about 5 hours 365 days a year. During the summer months, when the planting of feed, from hay, grain etc. occur, most days are 15 hours and more. From sun up to sun down. This begins the end of April to the end of October, and sometimes into November, if this includes plowing before freeze up. Consumers would have a big problem paying for the actual cost of food. This is most applicable to family farms. These days corporate farming is coming in and if the family farms are completely ousted, watch out for big raises in food costs.
There are no holidays, and he certainly cannot afford to get sick. A farmer cannot trust his herd of milking cows to one unfamiliar with them. They are like children & have their own needs and personalities. Keeping up his quota, is important otherwise he loses it. To buy it back is very, very expensive.
If the supply and demand system is abolished, get ready for a big raise in price. The system now, does not allow farmers to set the price that pays the cost never mind make a profit. Since they are subsidized, it allows the intermediary to keep the price down. Take it away and the price of the product must rise to cover what it costs to produce. Rather simple!! If farmers were allowed to charge what their labour and time were worth...

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
Supply management stifles competition and makes the cost prohibitive to new entrants and reduces the incentive to innovate. At one time we had H plates (hauling authority)for trucks in B.C. I had two for gravel and one for logs for most of the Island . Had to ask a bureaucrat's permission to change your rates. Now this only applied to hauling on the highway. Any idiot with a few bucks could buy a truck and work off highway for the logging companies. The theory was that by limiting the number of plates they could ensure that all involved could get a good ROI. Had to pay a fee every year to keep your licenses. According to the law they were not a salable commodity but could be transfered. In reality they were sold all the time. Now that is gone we see all kinds of different axel configurations as the inventive types seek an edge. There is no difference between this and supply managed food.
 
L Gilbert
+1
#7
Welfare for consumers? Nuts.
"An Agricultural Marketing Board is a statutory body which acts as a compulsory marketing agent, performing or controlling one or more of the functions of marketing on behalf of producers of specific agricultural commodities. " - Agricultural Marketing Board - The Canadian Encyclopedia (external - login to view)

Minister blames wheat board for farmers' problems | Canada | News | Toronto Sun

The Canadian Wheat Board’s long-shot lawsuit to keep its monopoly - Canada - Macleans.ca (external - login to view)

Yeah the Wheat Board is a real peach, isn't it? It's anti-farmer.
 
damngrumpy
+2
#8  Top Rated Post
Supply management provides a living for farmers on the farm and I am currently fighting
an uphill battle to get some form of managed marking for the tree fruit industry. Without
managed marketing, the farmer is at the mercy of supermarkets and their reduced
competition, the government constantly selling out agriculture at international free talks
where ever and when ever and regulation or lack of it with regard to imports.
We are subjected to food safety rules that would curl your hair and on farm safety as well,
which I personally support, however the imports are not subject to the same rules.
In addition the store bins that you see with harvest run in supermarkets is a joke as well.
It is really fruit some back door sales that skirt the coop and they are culls selling for high
prices and degrading the brand of what is being sold under the registered brand.

Marketing boards cost governments nothing, as they do not need farm sustainability programs
that the other commodities need. And this romantic idea we want cheap food from anywhere
is going to one day bite consumers in the backside. Let me paint you a picture as an example.
First we got away from value. That is where we grow food and produce good quality using the
best farm practices. Since there is no real quality regulations around people use fillers and
so on to produce cheap food of little value. Value is far better than cheap.
Secondly China and other cash flush nations are now buying up farmland in the west for food
production for homeland use in their country. China has set aside 185 billion to buy farmland.
They can come here to Canada buy as much land as they like and ship the food straight to
China without selling any to Canadians. That is a fact there is no food strategy plan in this
country. If you want to see a famine in a land of plenty, go see Ethiopia. There Agri industry
along the river systems is owned by Europeans and the food and mainly fruit products are
shipped to Europe without sharing with the people who live there.
Food is a national resource and in my opinion it does not stifle competition it provides price
stability to keep farmers on the land. Look around my friends, the average farmer is fifty eight
years old. Getting into farming through regulation, land costs the time it takes to get a full crop
to market, with unstable commodity pricing is just cost prohibitive.
If you lose a generation of farmers you will lose the ability to have any form of food security and
it will mean you lose your sovereignty, if you cannot feed your people you are vulnerable as a
nation. If you want to you can dream on, of course not knowing how the agricultural industry
works in many cases, and that is of course your right it is just that its not reality.
What is it Kennedy once said Oh for the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

Oh and dumpthemonarchy you are wrong the government does not control the
marketing boards, the producers control the marketing boards. The legislation
giving the producer body the control is policed but not controlled by government
at all.
 
L Gilbert
#9
Seems farmers want to have the ability to market their own products. I can't blame them.

Farmers for Justice (external - login to view)

A couple arguments on both sides of the Wheat Board issue:

Politics - The Globe and Mail
 
damngrumpy
+1
#10
The problem is the folks who want to market their own don't understand the changing
dynamic of the industry It used to be they could market their own but with everything
from seed certification to the distribution system they will soon find themselves locked
firmly in the clutches of Cargill and a few others, and they will have no base price so the
lowest price will become the standard and they will find future survival difficult.
Within three years they will be fighting for their old system back, but that will become a
ten year fight.
There is one other thing some should keep in mind. Harper will face a farmer challenge
and it will be a problem for him. For example more and more of the Agricultural industry
is stepping away from his ideas on the farm sector. If the economy tightens up let alone
a major recession or worse and the whole industry will turn on him. That on the
surface doesn't mean much, but in large rural riding's on the Prairies and in BC it could
mean the difference between majority and minority or win and lose in a tight contest.
Next election will be much closer than many people think and agriculture could become a
major issue.
I support marketing boards one hundred percent and the only farmer with wealth are those
who have a marketing system. If we are so against marketing boarders and some buffer
for farmers maybe we should get away from Carpenters having certification, or welders or
plumbers or electricians. Why not just let people practice medicine without a licence?
People should understand it takes more to be a farmer today than two strong hands and
some land. There is a lot of work before the farmer even sees the field and he doesn't
get paid nearly enough without trying to drive prices down anymore through so called
competition.
 
dumpthemonarchy
#11
Right, it's not the govt bureaucracy itself controlled by Harper himself controlling eggs, milk and chickens, its a cartel, supported by the govt as it has for decades. We are getting far less better, less safe, less organic food because of these boards. Small farms grow better, tastier food, they aren't factories, duh.

On Vancouver Island they fret they only grow about 10% of their food, this is why. They aren't going to start ranches, but small farms as BC has the most in the country due to the climate. People on Van Isle however have one the greatest feelings of entitlement in the country. So they are politically queasy about agitating and reducing govt largesse, even if it could actually help them.

Look, a farm is a business, it makes money, these supply boards are simply restraint of trade. These people who want to sell eggs and chicken understand the risk and don't need the nanny state to tut tut them. It's a laugh.
 
L Gilbert
#12
Wifey doesn't need someone to set the price for her eggs. She (well, with the help of her chickens) produces them, cleans them, and markets them. If she takes cash instead of a trade, her eggs are a little costlier than they are at the store, but then her eggs are quite a bit more nutritional and her large ones are larger than the jumbo-sized from the store. Her chickens are a better meal than storeboughts, too.
 
Goober
#13
The consumer pay a higher price in Canada for milk, milk products, eggs and egg products. Approx 65-75 % of the milk produced in Canada is in Quebec, Ontario is second.

tariffs of up to 300 % are added to imports.
Purchasing quotas is the only way to produce and legally sell.

With new trade agreements coming Canada will have to open the industry to competition.

Needless to say, farmers will have to be paid out.

But prices for eggs and milk products in this country, staples i might add are to high due to the Marketing Boards and closed competition. This hits low incomes more so than higher incomes.

We cannot expect countries to open their banking, financial sectors then tell them they cannot export their farm products to us.

We are a trading nation. First last and always.
 
Omicron
+1
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Supply management is the best example of corporate welfare that I know of short of untenderd contracts to Liberal party insiders.

You're only saying that because you've never been a farmer, and by farmer I don't mean someone who used to be a farmer but got squeezed by Monsanto and American taxpayer subsidies to corn growers into selling his farm to a corporation such that he's now an employee of the farm he used to own.

Stand back... stand *way* back and look at the big picture.

Notice how for the last 40 years, food is close to the bottom of the list of things that Canadians on an overpopulated planet worry about? I bet you never think about it very much. All you know is that when you're hungry, you eat, and then you go do something else. The only thing you can find to bitch about is that cheeze costs more in Canada than in the US, without having compared it to the cost of cheeze in Zimbabwe.

Fact is, the program works, and the only people hating it are selfish Betas and Gammas incapable of the long-term, big-picture vision it takes to be an Alpha, but who want to feel what they imagine to be the thrill of having the clout of an Alpha.

What do you want? Stable food at stable prices, or unstable food, where supplies of butter and onions can disappear at a moment's notice, such that when those are around you must burden the expense of stockpiling?

If you do the arithmetic you'll find that in the long-run it's more expensive to stockpile.

What pisses off bitchers the most is when faced with nothing to bitch at.
 
L Gilbert
#15
Wife makes about 1 or 2 cents per egg profit (gross minus deductions for taxes, feed, bandaids, a portion of the water license cost, etc. She pays no attention to what eggs in stores cost. Same for chickens. Except her chickens are cheaper than in the stores and they're free ranging and still makes a profit. Yup, agri-boards are definitely handy here. (sarcasm)
 
bluebyrd35
#16
Well, I cannot see your wife feeding too many people with her eggs, and that 1 or 2 cents per egg profit wouldn't put a dent in the cost of the chicken house, (heating in the winter) nor the the taxes on the land it sits on. One egg a day during the laying system doesn't provide a living, unless the hen house holds between 1000 to 5000 hens. I know a chicken farmer here, who raises chickens for BBQ restaurants and his hen houses hold 10,000 each and I believe he has three of those. He is a single farmer, who is not rich, simply supports his family (mostly) His wife works out.

That is the problem with family farms, these days. The profit is so small on any one enterprise, that the loss of several cows from a herd, a disease in the chicken,duck flock or the price of pork drops, the farm is in foreclosure. Prime land cost (in our area) is between $7,000 to $8,000 an arpent and very little of it comes up for sale. I would say it takes at least 200 arpents to support any family farming enterprise. This is well over a million to buy the land. Farmers compete with all the non-farmers for the land. The many who are looking for plots of land for their dream houses.

Even chickens in sufficient numbers to support a family need feed. And it costs even augmented with feed grown on the farm. My hens were free range, but even then they needed their diet augmented. It is the same with raising pigs. I raised 3 pigs a year. The 1 I sold, paid for what went into the freezer.

Factory farms, are distressing places, cows never leave the barn, chickens their cages. And I hope a factory pig farm never moves within 10 miles of where anyone dwells. Don't get too close to large, cattle factory feedlots either. The main reason family farms have pretty well gone the way of the dinosaur is because they were unprofitable and farmers simply couldn't make a living on them.

The first month in dairy farming, the feed bill was $400. and the cheque was $156. I went out to work soon after. Most of my salary went to food, clothes and utility bills. If it had been up to me, we would never have continued. I remember several very disastrous times over the years, when we didn't know if we would save the farm. Spent most of first 10 years, avoiding bill collectors. To compare keeping a few hens to running a family farm is a bit like comparing cooking a family meal and running a restaurant. Big difference. Oh and back then there was no crop insurance.
Last edited by bluebyrd35; Jan 20th, 2012 at 08:30 AM..
 
dumpthemonarchy
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by OmicronView Post

You're only saying that because you've never been a farmer, and by farmer I don't mean someone who used to be a farmer but got squeezed by Monsanto and American taxpayer subsidies to corn growers into selling his farm to a corporation such that he's now an employee of the farm he used to own.
Stand back... stand *way* back and look at the big picture.
Notice how for the last 40 years, food is close to the bottom of the list of things that Canadians on an overpopulated planet worry about? I bet you never think about it very much. All you know is that when you're hungry, you eat, and then you go do something else. The only thing you can find to bitch about is that cheeze costs more in Canada than in the US, without having compared it to the cost of cheeze in Zimbabwe.
Fact is, the program works, and the only people hating it are selfish Betas and Gammas incapable of the long-term, big-picture vision it takes to be an Alpha, but who want to feel what they imagine to be the thrill of having the clout of an Alpha.
What do you want? Stable food at stable prices, or unstable food, where supplies of butter and onions can disappear at a moment's notice, such that when those are around you must burden the expense of stockpiling?

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
New Zealand ended subsidies for farmers 25 years ago. Why can't we?
Supply management opinions voiced at NSFA annual - Agriculture - Farm Focus (external - login to view)

People now worry about food. Canada is not like Libya, Egypt, Korea, Japan or many other countires where they have to import most of their food. The market has to prevail here so we can produce the most food, the most efficiently. And that leaves plenty of room around the edges for small, innovative farmers to grow better food for us. Now, the law restricts growing and producing food, it makes no sense. Seem like the marijuana debate.

Want raw milk? No can do in Canada, a few low IQ, brain dead people might buy it, drink itm and die. despite big warning labels. So millions lose the benefit of better milk. This debate is quite irrational at present.
 
damngrumpy
#18
Call it what you will it ensures farmers make a living on the land and we don't have a
race to the bottom so the folks in rural Canada don't end up like a third world nation.
In many parts of the country we have farmers in more remote locations without the
benefits of modern life or immediate access to them yet they are paying taxes for the
services they are not getting.
We have replaced the word Cheap for the word Value in this country and that is why
things are going to hell in a hand basket. On the food side of things, in non market
board cases, we the farmers are paying for food safety programs, and in some cases
carbon taxes and a host of other things that we cannot pass the cost on to consumers
like they can in market managed systems. I for one am running for the position of
President of a Provincial Association in BC, vote coming up this week. I am pushing
hard for a Provincial and national Research and Promotion Agency as it is the first
step to a future marketing board or managed pricing system.
If you are whining about subsidies and the like I agree with part of your belief system.

Farmers have subsidized Consumers for far too long and its about time the free ride ended.

In the auto industry, pulp and paper, the booze business, electricians, gas and oil and
even the government itself is able to pass on the increased costs of doing business so why
in a free market system like we have, can't farmers do the same thing?
Besides if you lose control of your food supply with foreigners buying up the land and it is
happening, you lose the ability to feed the people of the nation, when that happens it is not
in the public interests because someone else can dictate the agenda, of course the whole
system is subject to simplistic ideas with suspect solutions, then the problems show up
and there is a huge cost to fixing them. I want to see food prices rise to the same level as
those in other industrialized nations, other than the other freeloader state America.
Why do Europeans and others pay more you might ask? Two reasons, one they have gone
to bed hungry in unstable times and secondly they have an appreciation of the value of
farmers. No one thinks about farmers until the food supply runs out.
Remember there is a difference between "No you cannot have a sandwich and there is no
sandwich"
 
dumpthemonarchy
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

Call it what you will it ensures farmers make a living on the land and we don't have a
race to the bottom so the folks in rural Canada don't end up like a third world nation.
In many parts of the country we have farmers in more remote locations without the
benefits of modern life or immediate access to them yet they are paying taxes for the
services they are not getting.


Those people you are talking about are not farmers, they are subsistence cultvators who are not in the market. If they cannot make money, quit and move to get the benefits of modern life. Which is what I have to do in the city. I have no sympathy for these people.
 

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