Turkey Farmers of Canada has two priority objectives: ensuring that Canadians have access to a constant supply of high-quality Canadian-raised turkey; and, the long-term sustainability of the Canadian turkey industry. As part of this, the Agency closely monitors any international trade negotiations that may hold implications for the industry, Canada’s food supply and the well-being of Canadian turkey farms.
For supply management to work effectively, the turkey industry must be able to predict the volume of turkey products imported into Canada in advance of each year. Knowing the volume of imports allows the industry to produce and market to Canadian demand, avoiding surpluses without producing in excess.
Each year, a predictable level of turkey (5% of domestic consumption) is imported tariff-free into Canada (primarily high-valued breast meat). Over-quota tariffs are then applied to prevent imports above this pre-determined level, which provides the necessary certainty for effective supply management.
The outcome of multilateral, bilateral and plurilateral trade negotiations could jeopardize the industry if the marketing system is not upheld by the current import mechanisms that prevent surges of low-priced imports, which may be subsidized. This would threaten the livelihood of turkey farms across Canada and greatly hinder consumers’ access to many local farm products.
This is why Canadian turkey farmers have called on Canada’s government to continue to stand up for and defend our collective marketing system at the WTO negotiations on agriculture, and within the context of other ongoing international trade negotiations.