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Canada’s mayors overwhelmingly support supply management

The vast majority of mayors and reeves across Canada believe their local egg, dairy and poultry farmers play a central role in their economy and community. They cited the importance of ensuring their citizens have access to fresh, safe and affordable food and that farmers get fair, stable producer prices.

The Ipsos Reid poll, which interviewed 124 municipal leaders across all provinces and territories, shows that 53 per cent of mayors and reeves said they were familiar with supply management. Once the system was explained, 87 per cent overall expressed their support, with 40 per cent saying they were very supportive.

“Municipal leaders coast to coast recognize supply management creates a stable environment that allows local family farms to remain the foundation of more than $25 billion a year in economic activity, supporting 300,000 jobs,” says Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) Chair, Peter Clarke. “Mayors and reeves clearly understand just how important this sector is to Canadian consumers and to the health of their own communities.”

The survey, released at the annual Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Vancouver, involved in-depth interviews with mayors across the country, from small towns to the country’s largest cities, representing 25 per cent of the Canadian population. It is the largest survey of municipal leaders that Ipsos Reid has undertaken. Support for supply management was coast to coast, with Quebec and Nova Scotia municipal leaders stating the highest levels of support, with 57 per cent and 67 per cent strongly supporting supply management.

Consumer research done earlier this year by EFC shows that 40 per cent of Canadians are aware of supply management. Of those who say they understood how it works, 71 per cent said they “strongly supported” it, citing the desire to buy eggs that are both local and of high quality, and to ensure farmers receive fair prices. When Canadians not familiar with the system were told about it, support for supply management increased. “There is a growing interest in food security, food safety, and local food – and we have a great story to tell thanks to supply management,” adds Clarke. “This latest research confirms that consumers and political leaders stand firmly behind our mission of ensuring Canadians have a secure source of locally produced eggs, poultry and dairy products.”

Eighty per cent of the mayors and reeves polled said that supply management is important to ensure the survival of Canada’s family farms; 71 per cent said that opening the borders to imports would put family farms in jeopardy. If the entry of foreign products resulted in lower prices paid to farmers, 74 per cent believe there is no guarantee retailers would pass along any savings to consumers. Other highlights of the mayors and reeves poll include:

About the Survey
Ipsos Reid interviewed 124 mayors (or deputy mayors) and reeves in all provinces and territories by telephone between March 27 and April 26, 2013. The results have a margin of error of +/- 8.7 percentage points 19 times out of 20.