New Brunswick egg farmers warily watching WTO

NEW BRUNSWICK - Atlantic Canada's agricultural viability will be at risk if the world's farm-subsidized nations alter tariff limits at the upcoming World Trade Organization negotiations, say Maritime producers.

"Depending on what happens there our systems could be at risk," said Gordon Hunter, an egg farmer from Florenceville.

Mr. Hunter, who is also vice-chairman of the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency, said supply managed systems, such as the ones used in New Brunswick, are at risk of changing.

"The proposals that are out there won't be favourable to us," he said. For farmers, especially poultry, turkey, milk, and egg producers, supply management takes the risk of out of farming and generates wealth by managing production through a quota system.

Once farmers purchase a quota, they are assured a stable source of income. Smaller farms withstand price fluctuations since quotas are initially capitalized dollar for dollar, and all farms get fair prices from the marketplace without taxpayer assistance.

calendar icon 31 October 2005
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