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Geographical Indications, Reallocated Cheese Quotas Would Restrict U.S. Access to Canadian Markets

(Washington, D.C. – September 29, 2014) The text of the European Union-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) released at the end of last week contains provisions on geographical indications (GIs) and reallocates a portion of the World Trade Organization tariff rate quota for cheese to the EU. The U.S. dairy industry expressed concern today that these provisions would raise artificial trade barriers restricting market access for American cheeses to the Canadian market. In addition, CETA provides very limited access to many EU dairy products as a result of the agreement’s prioritization of the GI goals of a few “squeaky wheels,” at the expense of broader gains across the full EU dairy industry, according to U.S. dairy industry trade groups.

The provisions on geographical indications are particularly alarming because they grant automatic protection to the EU for “asiago,” “feta,” “fontina,” “gorgonzola” and “munster” in complete disregard of Canadian intellectual property laws. Cheese manufacturers that produced those cheeses prior to October 18, 2013, will be allowed to continue to use those names, but future producers of those cheeses will have to add qualifiers, such as “kind,” “type,” “style” and “imitation.” These new limitations on the use of generic names clearly violate Canadian intellectual property procedures and existing international trade commitments.

NMPF Also to Hold Seminar Next Week at World Dairy Expo

ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation has posted a slide presentation on YouTube to help dairy farmers understand the new federal dairy safety net, known as the Margin Protection Program (MPP), as part of its ongoing effort to educate farmers about the new program.

There are links to the narrated presentation on both the NMPF website, and the Future for Dairy website serving as NMPF’s information hub for the new MPP program, which was launched by the U.S. Department of Agriculture September 2nd.

The 21-minute, 34-slide presentation walks the viewer through the details of the program, including who is eligible, how to sign up, and what the fees and payments might look like under various scenarios. Also covered are the basic concept of the program, what it replaces, and how it compares to the previous dairy safety net. This narrated presentation is a video file to accompany a more basic, slides-only version already available online.

CEO’S CORNER


Jim Mulhern
NMPF President
& CEO

 

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, how much is a video worth, particularly when it’s shared with thousands of others via social media? In terms of the price tag for a farm’s reputation, or even the entire dairy industry, the wrong kind of video can be quite costly indeed. That has been demonstrated, yet again, as animal rights activist group released last month another undercover video depicting improper animal care practices on a dairy farm.

Introducing the New Margin Protection Program

On August 28, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced details for a long-awaited and much-improved safety net for dairy farmers. Developed by the National Milk Producers Federation and five years in the making, the new Dairy Margin Protection Program, or MPP, is the most significant rewrite of dairy policy in more than a generation. Sign-up started September 2, 2014, and continues through November 28, 2014.

 

Use our website www.futurefordairy.com to find up-to-date information on how the program will work and how it can help limit the volatility in farmers’ margins.

 

A regular, detailed update on the margins between milk prices and feed costs can be downloaded from the Margin Protection Program webpage.

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