Quotes from family farmers – especially dairy farmers – about why fair prices, economic empowerment, and emergency action for dairy farmers NOW is essential.
As the formal talks to renegotiate NAFTA begin in Washington, DC this week, family farm organizations from Canada, the United States and Mexico denounce the direction of the talks. Despite repeated demands by civil society organizations in all three countries, the governments have refused to open the talks to the public or to publish proposed negotiating texts. All signs point to negotiations designed to increase agribusiness exports and corporate control over the food system rather than to support fair and sustainable trade and farming systems.
At a press conference held at the Perkins Restaurant in Tunkhannock, Arden Tewksbury, Manager of Progressive Agriculture Organization (Pro-Ag) announced that several farm organizations, milk cooperatives, and county commissioners have petitioned the USDA in Washington DC asking for a national milk hearing for all dairy farmers. The petition clearly asks the Department of Agriculture to conduct milk hearings that would allow the average dairy farmer to testify and illustrate the severity of the problems that the majority of dairy farmers are experiencing.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) must be replaced with a transparent trade agreement that ensures farmers in all three nations—Canada, Mexico, and the United States—receive fair prices for their production, that consumers are guaranteed the right to know the content and origin of their food, and that strong environmental protections are put in place to protect the sustainability of rural communities.