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 is imported tariff-free into Canada (primarily high-valued breast meat products). Over-quota tariffs are then applied to prevent imports above this pre-determined level, which has traditionally been 5% of domestic consumption, and which provides the necessary certainty for effective supply management.

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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. Market access concessions made in the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will hurt turkey farm families across Canada and greatly hinder consumers’ access to many local farm products.

This is why Turkey Farmers of Canada has called on Canada’s government to refuse any additional erosion of supply management, work with us to minimize the damage, and 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.