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Abstract

The current function of the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) raises important public policy issues that have implications for wealth redistribution, administrative law, and civil liberty. The CDC's purported economic relevance in Canadian society serves as a facade for a short-sighted management approach that is devoid of the rudiments of a market mechanism. In order to suggest future public policy developments, an exploratory field survey was conducted and results are presented in this paper. Although the results do not infer that Canadian consumers are discontented with dairy prices in Canada, our evidence shows that consumers know very little about the processes behind marketing milk in Canada, especially with the price setting powers of the CDC. This study indicates that future policies should address this lack of consumer awareness. As global dairy markets evolve, policies designed to protect against domestic and foreign competition will most likely become less effective. Protectionist policies can be detrimental to a country's long-term prosperity as opportunities for new products, adoption of new technologies and faster responses to consumer demands are squandered. The study's limitations and implications for practice and future research are described.

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