Government of Canada announces new working groups for dairy sector

News release

October 29, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Canada’s farmers and food businesses are vital to Canada’s prosperity, creating good jobs, growing the middle class, supporting rural communities, and bringing high-quality products to the tables of Canadian consumers.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, announced today new working groups comprised of dairy farmers and processors.

While informal engagement has already begun with the dairy sector, the working groups bring together officials from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), representatives from national dairy organizations and associations, as well as regional representatives.

The structure of the working groups is informed by consultations with the Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Dairy Processors Association of Canada, and is comprised of two components:

  • A working group that will collaborate to develop mitigation strategies to fully and fairly support farmers and processors to help them adjust to the short-term impacts of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). It will also discuss support to reflect the impact of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP); and,
  • A separate working group that will chart a path forward to help the dairy sector innovate and remain an important source of jobs and economic growth for future generations. Supporting expertise to the working group may also include academic leaders, as well as industry and financial experts, as necessary.

The federal government will also engage with provincial and territorial governments on an ongoing basis throughout the process.


“The Government understands how much hard work goes into building and growing a dairy business, and we also know how important our farmers and farm businesses are to this country's economic prosperity. That is why we will make sure the voices of the working group representatives are reflected in the development of a long-term vision for the dairy sector. Together, we will make sure the sector remains strong, stable, and competitive well into the future.”

- Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick facts

  • The USMCA preserves tariff-free market access within North America for agricultural trade valued at $119 billion, and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that rely on that access.

  • Throughout USMCA negotiations, the Government of Canada worked extremely hard to advance the interests of Canadian farmers and food businesses, including defending and preserving our supply-managed sector from strong United States (U.S.) attempts to dismantle it.

  • Canada’s market access for dairy in the USMCA is estimated at approximately 3.59% of Canadian production.

  • Total market access to foreign competitors for dairy under all trade commitments, including the USMCA, is estimated at approximately 10% of Canada’s production. Canadian farmers will continue to supply the vast majority of the Canadian market. Since market access is granted in terms of specific volumes, as the demand for dairy products rises in Canada, the production of milk of our Canadian farmers will also rise to meet this market growth.

  • Canada has negotiated reciprocal access to the U.S. dairy market, including tonne-for-tonne access for most dairy products.

  • Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay also announced today the formation of a new working group with poultry and egg farmers and processors

  • Market access highlights for the Canadian dairy sector under the USMCA.

  • Market access highlights for the Canadian dairy sector under the CPTPP.

  • Further information on the working group’s membership will be available on AAFC’s website.

Associated links


Katie Hawkins
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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