Canada News Wire
Dairy farmers from across the country met in Edmonton, Alberta, from July 18 to 19, to participate in industry discussions and sessions at Dairy Farmers of Canada’s (DFC) Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Business included consideration of the Canadian Healthy Eating Strategy, upcoming re-negotiations of NAFTA, the election of a new President, and the signing of the Rotterdam Declaration by the Canada dairy sector. Canadian Ambassador to the U.S., David McNaughton, spoke to delegates at the farmer-only closed session, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri Food, Jean-Claude Poissant, addressed attendees of the AGM’s banquet.
“Dairy farmers continue to be firmly united behind our system of supply management,” said Wally Smith, outgoing DFC President.
“I am confident in the new leadership of the organization, which continues to have a clear mandate to defend this critically important domestic policy on behalf of our farmers, as Canada engages in NAFTA re-negotiations, beginning next month.”
Elections for a new DFC President were held as Wally Smith has completed the maximum three terms. After a much anticipated vote by delegates, Pierre Lampron was elected as DFC’s new President, for a two-year term.
Additionally, a new Executive Committee has been formed, comprised of David Wiens, Reint-Jan Dykstra, Ralph Dietrich, and Bruno Letendre.
“I am honoured to have been elected as DFC’s President, and look forward to working with DFC staff, and our members, to promote and protect the interests of all Canadian dairy farmers,” said Pierre Lampron.
“While we face challenges, in the coming months as we head into the re-negotiation of NAFTA and proposed changes to nutrition regulations, I am confident that united, we will be successful.”
The AGM also included the official signing of the Rotterdam Declaration by representatives of the Canadian dairy industry, which aims to reiterate the integrated approach that the dairy sector continues to take towards enhancing its sustainability. This is in addition to Canadian dairy farmer’s commitment to the Canadian sustainability initiative, which is already in place.
Speakers at the AGM included Adam Vervoort from Bank of Montreal, Don Anderson of Farm Credit Canada, as well as keynote speaker Dr. Judith Bryans, President of the International Dairy Federation and Dairy Federation UK, who also signed the Rotterdam Declaration.