Vancouver – Mayors and reeves across Canada want their citizens to have access to fresh, safe and affordable food. They also want farmers to get fair, stable producer prices.
And now they also better understand the role supply management has in all of this.
It was the Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) who commissioned Ipsos Reid to conduct the survey, which involved interviewing 124 mayors (or deputy mayors) and reeves in all provinces and territories by phone earlier this year.
Supply management’s role
The survey revealed that 53 per cent of mayors and reeves said they were just familiar with supply management. But once the system was explained to them, 87 per cent expressed their support for it, with 40 per cent saying they were very supportive.
As well, the vast majority of mayors and reeves across Canada believe their local egg, dairy and poultry farmers play a central role in their economy and community.
“Municipal leaders coast to coast recognize supply management creates a stable environment that allows local family farms to remain the foundation of more than $25 billion a year in economic activity, supporting 300,000 jobs,” says Peter Clarke, chair of the EFC.
“Mayors and reeves clearly understand just how important this sector is to Canadian consumers and to the health of their own communities.”
The survey, which was released at the annual Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Vancouver, also found that support for supply management was coast to coast.
Municipal leaders in Quebec and Nova Scotia had the highest levels of support, with 57 per cent and 67 per cent strongly supporting supply management.
Consumer research done earlier this year by EFC shows that 40 per cent of Canadians are aware of supply management. Of those who say they understood how it works, 71 per cent said they “strongly supported” it, citing the desire to buy eggs that are both local and of high quality, and to ensure farmers receive fair prices.
When Canadians not familiar with the system were told about it, support for supply management increased.
Eighty per cent of the mayors and reeves polled said that supply management is important to ensure the survival of Canada’s family farms; 71 per cent said that opening the borders to imports would put family farms in jeopardy.
If the entry of foreign products resulted in lower prices paid to farmers, 74 per cent believe there is no guarantee retailers would pass along any savings to consumers.
Other highlights include:
• Overall, 90 per cent of all respondents said supply management was important to their communities. Of those that said “very important,” support increased steadily going East, from 33 per cent in the West to 67 per cent in the East.
• 50 per cent said they have supply managed industries in their community, with 90 per cent saying they were important to the municipality.
• By region, 64 per cent of Ontario mayors and reeves said they had supply managed industries in their municipalities, ahead of Quebec at 59 per cent and the West at 44 per cent.
• Virtually all mayors and reeves of medium-sized communities (pop. 5,000 to 50,000) with supply management industries said it was important, with 62 per cent saying very important.