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Canadian government steps in to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on dairy sector

20 May 2020

The Canadian government has amended the Canadian Dairy Commission Act to support dairy producers and processors and ensure Canadians maintain access to affordable food.

The Government of Canada and Prime Minister Trudeau previously announced the government’s intention to amend the Canadian Dairy Commission Act and increase the Canadian Dairy Commission’s (CDC) borrowing limit by $200 million to allow cheese and butter to be temporarily stored and avoid waste. Parliament has adopted these amendments that will increase the CDC’s borrowing limit from $300 million to $500 million.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Marie-Claude Bibeau said: 

“With $200 million in increased lending capacity, the Canadian Dairy Commission can provide stronger support for the supply management system by buying and storing more butter and cheese. It’s a great way to help manage production and to support our producers and processors, while ensuring a secure supply of local dairy products for Canadians.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant fluctuations in the demand for many dairy products. Unfortunately, dairy farmers have had no choice but to discard some of their milk. Stakeholders throughout the dairy industry supply chain are working closely with provincial marketing boards to ensure that Canadians continue to have access to a wide variety of dairy products, while implementing measures to temporarily reduce production.

The CDC plays an important regulatory role in our supply management system, which allows the dairy sector to match supply with demand. Increasing the CDC’s borrowing capacity will allow it to purchase and store more butter and cheese. These changes will complement existing CDC programs to help the sector manage surplus milk while delivering essential assistance to keep the supply chain strong.



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