CETA, the little sister of TTIP, might finally be undersigned this autumn. While other sectors of the economy might benefit from the agreement between the Canadians and the Europeans, the advantages for the EU dairy sector will be limited. And in terms of milk exports, there isn’t much to gain for Canadian farmers anyway.
The draft for the CETA treaty foresees an import quota of 16,000 tons of EU cheese plus 1,700 tons of industrial cheese (mainly Mozarella and Cheddar type products) that add up to the existing import quota of 13,472 tons that Europe has been granted so far. This makes a total of 31,072 tons of “decent” plus 1,700 tons of industrial cheeses that may be shipped to Canada duty-free. Although one should never disesteem a market where one can sell products, CETA really isn’t the big jump for EU cheese makers. In fact, it doesn’t even get close to a modern single cheese plant’s output on this side of the Atlantic.
As Canada is more or less self-sufficient in milk, Canada will not be able to export significant amounts of dairy products to the EU. And given the fact that Canada had sealed its milk market tightly off, milk process of about 50 Eurocents are more than prohibitive when it comes to export. As market protection has prevented Canadian dairy farmers from being hit by the global milk proce, the Canadians are surely keen to keep up their shields at the border. The “generous” triplication of the import quota for European cheeses isn’t that generous when one considers that Canada has over 35 million consumers.
In the end, CETA cannot help the milk sectors of both sides. The real benefir surely is elsewhere.