Pizzerias urge Canada’s dairy industry to think globally

TORONTO – Fed up with artificially high prices for cheese and other dairy products, pizzeria owners are offering some advice to Canada’s dairy industry at a new website called DairyPlanet.ca.
 
Starting this week, the website will be promoted on 1.8 million pizza delivery boxes through a special sticker that reads: “Why are dairy prices out of this world?” and directs consumers to www.dairyplanet.ca.
 
On the website, visitors can complete a quiz to learn why Canadians pay among the highest prices in the world for dairy products.  At the same time, per capita milk consumption has fallen by more than 16 per cent over the past 20 years, and is expected to drop another 12 per cent by 2020, according to a report prepared for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. 
 
“Focusing on a shrinking domestic market is not a long term strategy for success,” says Ron Reaman, Vice President, Federal with the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA).  “As one of the dairy industry’s largest customers, we have an interest in ensuring the long-term viability of Canada’s dairy industry.”
 
Here is Dairy Planet’s three-point plan for Canada’s dairy industry:

1. Increase domestic dairy consumption
There is room to significantly cut prices – while still providing a fair return to dairy producers – to stimulate consumer demand for dairy products.

2. Implement a responsible transition to open markets
Australia and New Zealand have successfully transitioned out of supply management, to the benefit of dairy producers and consumers.

3. Grow the export market
As an exporting nation, Canada must shift its focus from protecting a mature domestic dairy market to capitalizing on the growing demand for dairy products in other countries.
 
CRFA is Canada’s largest hospitality association with 34,000 members representing restaurants, hotels, caterers, bars, institutions and foodservice suppliers.