Parksville dairy farmer says Canadian industry is very healthy while President Donald Trump says regulations north of the border are unfair to American producers.
Clarke Gourlay loves his cows and gives them the TLC they need to produce the best milk possible.But his operation at Morningstar Farm and Little Qualicum Cheeseworks in Parksville is also high tech including a milking machine the cows literally line up to get into 24 hours a day.
He says the dairy industry in Canada is doing well.
“The industry is very healthy. Yeah, we’re glad to be dairy farmers and we’re glad that our kids are actually taking over our farm, so my kids are in their 20’s still and they’re excited about a future in dairy farming” said Gourlay. And U.S. President Donald Trump doesn’t like it, telling a crowd in dairy producing Wisconsin on Tuesday that Free Trade and dairy regulations in Canada are hurting American dairy farmers.
“In Canada, some very unfair things have been happening to our dairy farmers. And we’re going to call Canada and ask what’s happening and they might give us an answer but we’re going to get the solutions and not just the answer ok?” said Trump.
Canada has a supply management system that controls how much milk is produced here and imposes stiff tariffs of up to 300% on dairy imports. In the U.S. there’s no limit to how much milk is produced.
“They already export far more dairy ingredients into Canada than we export into the US. and that’s ongoing, despite what he’s saying now” said Gourlay about Trump’s comments.
There’s also what’s called ultra filtered milk that is not subject to a tariff. But Canadians lowered prices on this side of the border to remain competitive, in the process shutting out American sellers of the same dairy product.
“We’ve lowered our prices in response the the market, the international market so that the big producers in Canada would be able to buy Canadian mild and feel good about it” Gourlay told CHEK News.
Ultimately are Canadian dairy farmers afraid of what Donald Trump is saying?
“We’re concerned but we’re going to keep on farming and we feeling like we’re doing the right thing” added Gourlay.