Canada's turkey farmers offer a sobering message as we approach Thanksgiving: The Trans-Pacific Partnership will cost their industry jobs, they say.
The trade deal, agreed upon by 12 countries but yet to be signed, would strengthen ties among 12 Pacific Rim countries, including Canada.
The pact is being sold to Canadians as a way to open new markets for domestic products.
Mark Davies, with the Canadian Turkey Producers, says small-scale Canadian farms and processors cannot compete under the deal.
"There's plants down in the States that would process as much in a few weeks or a month than we would in a year, to put things in perspective," he said "So again, we're very concerned. It will cost jobs."
Turkey Farmers of Canada is a national organization representing Canada's 500-plus turkey farmers.
There are 176 turkey farms employing nearly 3,000 people in Ontario alone.
The Canadian turkey industry is worth $388 million.
Davies said the TPP would open the door to more American imports, and Canada just can't compete with U.S. corporate farms.
"Up here, you have the small family farm. The scale of efficiencies is a challenge for us," he said. "Part of our issue is we want to maintain these farm communities in rural Canada, and turkey farmers are an integral part of that."
Davies claims Ontario has more to lose than the rest of the country because the province produces more than 40 per cent of Canada's turkey.
While the turkey farmers are skeptical of the deal, the Canadian Pork Council "strongly supports Canada participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership," it said in a statement.
"The TPP agreement provides important export growth potential which will encourage Canada's 7,000 pork farmers to invest in their production facilities and to create new job opportunities for Canadians both on and off the farm," the statement continued.