Saputo sees abandoning supply management system as business opportunity

Saputo sees abandoning supply management system as business opportunity
Saputo sees abandoning supply management system as business opportunity

Published on: August 1, 2017 | Last Updated: August 1, 2017 4:40 PM EDT

Saputo chief executive Lino Saputo, left, speaks to his son Lino Jr. before the start of the dairy giant's annual meeting on Aug. 1, 2017 in Laval. Saputo is stepping down and will be replaced by his son Lino Saputo Jr.

Saputo chief executive Lino Saputo, left, speaks to his son Lino Jr. before the start of the dairy giant's annual meeting on Aug. 1, 2017 in Laval. Saputo is stepping down and will be replaced by his son Lino Saputo Jr. Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canadian dairy producer Saputo would consider the abandonment of the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s supply management system as a business opportunity in light of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations, confirmed CEO Lino Saputo Jr. at their shareholder meeting in Laval on Tuesday. 

Assuming Canada will remain in favour of the supply management system, Saputo Jr. argued that Canadian factories could operate at 100 per cent capacity if they could source American milk, which he said they would like to do. 

The CEO said he’s “shared his vision” with elected officials, but added he hasn’t done any lobbying or gotten involved in policy. 

He said Saputo’s still looking to expand with American acquisitions, despite uncertainty surrounding NAFTA negotiations and the administration. 

Shareholders also learned that the company’s net income was $ 200.3 million, or 51 cents per share, for the first quarter of 2017, compared to earnings of $ 176.7 million (44 cents per share) for the same period last year, up 13.4 per cent.

Saputo attributed the increase in revenue to more international sales, while Canadian sales have remained stable. 

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