– Oh please! (When pigs fly)

Genetically modified flying pig - no really!

Genetically modified flying pig – no really!

(Oct. 16/15) Some claim beef and canola will benefit from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).  As the kids would say with an eye-roll: “Oh please.”  A little reality check is in order.  First off, the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) never had any problem selling into Asian markets.  Why?  Simply because the CWB and the Canadian Grain Commission guaranteed a quality-assured, premium quality product delivered honestly and reliably.

The Asian market is very concerned with quality, purity, and honesty.  With canola there is not only the problem it is largely sold and delivered by the big international grain companies who have blotted their copy books on those criteria over the years, but also the fact our canola is genetically modified which is a big marketing problem.

Our cattle have a reputation for being given growth hormones and antibiotics that most of the world does not want to eat.  Then there is that little problem of mad-cow disease which polite commentators over here ignore, but the higher quality markets do not.

Setting all that aside, there are the huge distances our products have to travel just to get to deep water.  Asia is considerably closer to our competitors who process agricultural products and our farmer-competitors are usually only dozens of miles from deep water while in Canada we are literally hundreds of miles to port through several mountain ranges.

By killing the CWB and privatizing the Canadian Grain Commission Harper has already bungled keeping our wheat, barley, and durum selling for a premium into this market.  The fact prairie farm gate prices are half of what they were just three years ago when we had a Wheat Board speaks volumes as do public complaints from both Japan and China about quality and reliability.

You can have all the trade agreements you want but if the quality of the product or its reputation is not there it is an empty exercise.  The TPP will not force a single Asian food customer to buy products that do not meet their standards.

Our agricultural problems are largely the creation of the Harper government wrecking our quality-assurance and farmer-owned and controlled marketing systems.  A new Federal government will have the task of restoring what the Harper Conservatives have destroyed.

Speaking of self-inflicted wounds and the TPP deal, what makes dairy farmers think they will get the $4.3 billion dollars Harper has promised to compensate them for the lost value of their quotas when the same PM Harper has refused to compensate western farmers for killing the Wheat Board and fought them tooth and nail through the courts?

Note:  – You can read a detailed analysis of TPP and food sovereignty here.


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