Letter: Supply management is blocking my cheese

Now I’m annoyed that I’ve been kept from such deliciousness for so long

Supply management is blocking my cheese

I discovered the wonders of New Zealand grass-fed cheddar cheese — on sale! — recently, after a trip to a Quality Foods in Victoria (which we don’t have in Duncan, and the annoyance with either Duncan or North Cowichan or both regarding that are for another time and discussion). The only reason we even have access to this amazing cheese in the first place, is that New Zealand took Canada to court over Canada’s refusal to even let in New Zealand dairy products, and New Zealand won.

Now I’m annoyed that I’ve been kept from such deliciousness for so long. I’m also annoyed that we don’t have access to famous Wisconsin cheddar. It’s bad enough that if I want my fix of Tillamook cheddar from Oregon I have to get it in Washington State, trips to which are infrequent indeed (for the record NZ cheddar > Tillamook, but Tillamook’s still good). Protectionism to that degree drives me absolutely nuts.

If Canada didn’t do supply management (New Zealand got rid of theirs), we could be exporting our own cheese to a huge degree and reach many markets which would be more to the benefit and profit of farmers than the current system which denies low-income families even the most basic dairy products — or at least seriously puts a strain on their ability to afford it. At least the U.S. gives out food stamps to low-income people so they aren’t beholden to the cost of certain staples such as milk.

April J. Gibson