Bullseye, November 2018

If ever there was a time for the dairy industry to unite behind a campaign, now is the time. USMCA will do major harm to our supply managed dairy sector. As a company WestGen is generally purposefully apolitical but in this discussion, we are all in; standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with our producers. To that end we have received many favourable comments regarding our decision to go forward with the buy Canadian campaign. It seems the right thing to do, and it has had a strong impact on the views and actions of our own staff – not all who live in a rural setting.

We understand the concerns and disappointment many producers feel. It is fair to say anything that impacts you negatively has the same impact on our business too. Still, while the industry begins to decipher the text in the agreement and what it will mean, there is one irrefutable part that we do have control over and that is promoting the differences our dairy products offer, the value to small communities that family farms deliver and the choice consumers have when they make their purchases.

Public sentiment is on our side. Consumers are engaging across the country – not only as it relates to dairy products – with a strong buy Canadian response to the strong-arm tactics that have been employed in the negotiations. Canadians do not like to be pushed around and this is only tangible way in which most of us can provide a response.

The Canadian industry has long used the blue cow as a symbol of quality. That decision now may provide value like never before. Our consumers want to learn about what products are Canadian and are eager to support your/our industry. Let’s all do our part to engage whenever we can to educate our urban neighbours. Let’s also ensure we are doing likewise in our purchases wherever possible to support those companies that use Canadian raw materials and employ other Canadians to manufacture and bring them to market. A strong Canadian economy will in turn consume more Canadian dairy products too. #BuyCanadian.