Wear a tie featuring the image of French economist, politician, and liberal thinker Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850).
Sylvain Charlebois is associate professor of marketing and Associate Dean of the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan. He teaches strategic and international marketing at the graduate level at the Faculty of Business Administration of the University of Regina. Mr. Charlebois was named 2007, 2008 and 2009 professor of the year there, and in 2006 Maclean's magazine recognized him as one of the best professors at his university. He has written numerous scientific articles published in Canada and abroad. Originally from Quebec, he holds a doctorate in marketing, magna cum laude, from the University of Sherbrooke. His area of expertise covers agricultural policy in particular.
It may sound counterintuitive, since countries tend to isolate themselves during difficult times, but the challenge of the current food crisis invites all nations to agree collectively to policies that promote trade. The protectionist policies of developed countries and the distorted trade rules they lead to in agriculture are the fundamental factors that prevent the adjustments in worldwide food production and distribution needed to meet increased demand from emerging countries. A freer trade environment would allow more flexibility and innovation in order to adapt to market conditions, as in any other sector or industry.
Economic Note on an obsolete, costly and unfair system: supply management
Despite a worldwide trend toward market liberalization and competition, most politicians and people involved in Quebec agriculture maintain a vigorous defence of supply management of certain farm products. Supply management is the mechanism by which milk, poultry and egg producers in Canada (most of them located in Quebec and Ontario) adjust production to protect their incomes. To this end, domestic demand is evaluated arbitrarily, and efforts are made to match this with production of the goods covered by the scheme.