Jerry Huigen revealed dirty dairy secret of Canada to the rest of the country in one quick video: Canada wastes a lot of milk to keep prices high. Huigen, a dairy farmer from southern Ontario, shared an emotional video on TikTok depicting his dairy operation pouring milk since he had exceeded his January quota.
“I dumped 30,000 litres of milk. It breaks my heart,” Huigen said in the video.
According to Huigen, the excess milk could be given to low-income families or food banks, or even donated to hospitals, but instead it is ordered to be discarded by the system’s authorities.
In Canada, milk production is governed by a national supply management system that includes provincial arms. Farmers are limited in how much milk they can produce, and this quota must be purchased. No farmer may sell or distribute more milk than their quota permits.
Dumping milk has been going on since the start of the system to control supply, and thus price, but few people know about this dirty dairy secret.
In Ontario alone, farmers dumped 74 million litres of milk between Nov. 1, 2020, and Oct. 31, 2021. Those figures, which used to be public, are now considered “commercially sensitive” information and kept secret.
The supply management system attempts to ensure farmers produce the right amount of milk to feed people of Canada’ desire for dairy products. But major deviations have time and again resulted in unforeseen fluctuations. The Covid outbreak is a perfect case study. On the retail front, demand skyrocketed as people flocked to grocery stores to stock up on necessities. Because their just-in-time distribution system couldn’t handle the new milk quantities and keep shelves stocked quickly enough, some grocery stores limited the amount of butter and other dairy items consumers could buy.
It does not take a PhD in economics to understand why Canadian prices are rising. Even at the height of demand, requiring farmers to throw away tens of thousands of litres of perfectly good milk is hardly a solution to rising prices. The same can be said about production quotas.
Trudeau’s personal preference for veganism may possibly be a factor in the quota system’s continued existence. We have already seen how Trudeau’s genuine ambition to emerge as a progressive leader of the world has made the lives of impoverished Canadian farmers miserable.
However, change is the only constant. The current system must be replaced because it is not providing significant results. There are numerous remedies offered by various professionals. First and foremost, Canada must make milk dumping illegal. Farmers will be encouraged to adapt as a result of this policy change. Dumping is the simplest option right now. By making it illegal, marketing boards would be forced to find a market for the surplus.
Second, the CDC should establish a strategic reserve for powdered milk or milk. Most Canadians are unaware that they have a strategic stockpile of almost 85,000 kilos of butter. A buffer like this could aid between processing and shipment to international markets.
Furthermore, the country needs processing plants. Canada dairy producers had long contended that they couldn’t send Canadian milk abroad, until China decided to build its own Canadian Royal Milk plant in Kingston, Ont. That’s correct, Ontario dairy farmers supply to this Chinese-owned business, which manufactures instant formula and ships it all to China. Canadians are undoubtedly capable of doing so.
The dairy business of Canada already has a bad reputation due to rising pricing, and this dumping scandal would certainly exacerbate that. If they do not innovate, someone else will, and it may not be to their liking.