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Dairy Commission won’t budge on high prices


December 7, 2009
By Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association



Dec. 7, 2009, TORONTO – Consumers won’t be getting any
relief from high dairy prices next year.

The Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC)
announced on Friday there will be no change to the price of industrial milk in
2010, even though dairy production costs fell by nearly two per cent this year.

The price of industrial milk – used
to make cheese, butter, ice cream and yogurt – has skyrocketed by 60 per cent over the
past 15 years, or twice the rate of inflation, making Canadian dairy prices
among the highest in the world.


“The decision by the CDC to keep
dairy prices artificially high does nothing to reverse a long-term trend of
falling demand for dairy products. The CDC is pricing dairy right off our menus,” says Garth Whyte, president and CEO of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association
(CRFA). "Year after year the
CDC forces Canadians to swallow price increases when production costs go up,
but they refuse to pass along the savings when production costs go down."

CRFA and restaurant
industry leaders appeared before the commission last week to argue for a
reduction in the price of industrial milk. They delivered three messages to the CDC:

  1. During
    an economic downturn when consumers are pulling back on spending, dairy prices
    must be reduced to be more competitive.
  2. Dairy
    prices need to be rolled back by 16.5 per cent to bring them back in line with the
    consumer price index.
  3. Canadians
    need to know who is accountable for ensuring dairy prices are fair to all
    customers.

The restaurant industry
is a major dairy customer, buying nearly $2.5 billion in dairy products
annually. 




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