The recent jump in oil prices and the controversy about Canadian Supply Management under attack by Mr. Trump makes me wonder who is running the Canadian economy.
What does OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) and Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) or any other of our supply-managed commodities have in common?
During the period prior to 1999, prices for petroleum products hit rock bottom because of over-production.
This group (OPEC) then forced their members into production cuts.
We see the results today at the gas pumps and the bottom line of OPEC oil producers.
Both, DFC and OPEC, control production. DFC and the other supply-managed commodities do it in a responsible manner, with farm gate prices based on a strict cost of production formula.
OPEC for all intents and purposes is holding the world to ransom.
That begs the question why supply management in agricultural products is bad and has to be eliminated because it infringes on international trade rules, while OPEC policies are under no controls whatever?
These vertically integrated oil producers control their product from well head to the pumps and points between and we can see the competition playing out at the pumps (no joke).
If the present NAFTA negotiations result in elimination of OUR agricultural supply management system, vertical integration of agricultural corporations will increase as the family farm declines.
Once the family farm is gone, a foregone conclusion with present agricultural policies in Canada, the Canadian consumer will see the same effect on food prices in supermarkets as we see now at the gas pumps.
Right now, if you don’t want to pay the price at the gas pump, you can walk or buy a horse.
Once the corporate world controls agriculture, and you don’t want to pay their prices, tough luck. You don’t eat.
Karl Braeker, Meaford