Country Life in BC

December 19, 2018

Dairy working group meets

by PETER MITHAM

A working group convened to develop strategies to mitigate the impact of Canada’s new free trade agreement with the US and Mexico (CUSMA) met for the first time December 13.

“Our government will continue to defend the interests of our dairy farmers and we are making sure that they are fully and fairly supported well into the future,” federal agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay told Country Life in BC in a written statement.

The group includes representatives of the dairy industry from across Canada, including the BC Dairy Association. A second group, made up of policy and financial exports, will identify strategies to drive innovation in the sector so it remains a source of jobs for future generations.

“The groups will collaborate to create a vision for the dairy sector to ensure the sector is well positioned in the economy of the future and is increasingly responsive to consumer needs,” MacAulay said.

On December 6, Ottawa announced the second phase of its Dairy Farm Investment Program, originally announced in August 2017. The first phase saw $12.1 million given to 169 projects in BC, including automated feeding systems, robotic milkers and herd management tools.

The second and last phase will see $120.8 million given to more than 1,000 projects nationwide. They’re eligible to receive up to $100,000 each. Applications will be accepted between January 7 and February 9, 2019.