OTTAWA – Agriculture industry leaders highlighted several options for economic strategy in their meeting today with federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) agriculture ministers. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture’s (CFA) annual industry-government FPT Roundtable took place in Vancouver, BC, where farm leaders from each province sat side-by-side with their provincial agriculture ministers to talk about how local and regional aspects connect with the national plans to grow the sector.
“The growth potential for Canadian agriculture reflects the sector’s vibrancy and diversity. However, this also reflects the range of complexities we must clarify if we are to prosper to the fullest extent possible,” said Ron Bonnett, CFA President. “That why CFA members stressed to Canada’s agriculture ministers that we must remember the interconnected nature of our agricultural policies, such as those involving labour, trade, and rural infrastructure.”
CFA presented the ministers with a discussion document titled “Canada’s Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table: A Roadmap to Growth”. As an overview of CFA’s views on progress made to date by the National Agri-Food Strategy Roundtable, this document set the stage for a productive dialogue, one that will continue over the coming year, between industry and government officials.
Roundtable participants heard presentations from Murad Al-Katib, chair of the National Agri-Food Strategy Roundtable, as well as CFA directors Andy Kuyvenhoven, a horticultural producer from Ontario, and Lynda Atkinson, a BC-based cattle producer.
Trade, risk management, and consumer trust top CFA board agenda
CFA’s summer board meeting preceded the roundtable, providing a timely opportunity to look at concerns during the lead-up to FPT discussions.
Topics at the board session included international trade, federal budget consultations, public trust in Canada’s food system, labour shortages and preparations for next federal election.
Canada’s leading agriculture negotiators, Steve Verheul of Global Affairs Canada and Frédéric Seppey of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, provided an update on NAFTA negotiations and other trade agreements. CFA directors were pleased to share their views on trade challenges and opportunities, particularly in light of an increasing protectionism in certain parts of the world.
Business Risk Management (BRM) programs also emerged as a primary focus as farmers rely on these important tools to mitigate against periods of instability. CFA and other organizations that form part of the AgGrowth Coalition have advocated for an extension of the BRM program review and increased producer engagement in the consultation process.
While in Vancouver, CFA representatives appreciated the opportunity to learn more about British Columbia’s farmers and ranchers, some of the most innovative producers in the country.
“BC is pleased to host farm leaders from across the country,” said Stan Vander Waal, BC Agriculture Council President. “Agriculture is a major economic driver for Canada and BCAC is thrilled to be part of an organization that is working to lead the future of the sector.”
Looking ahead, CFA remains committed to working in partnership with all orders of government as farm organizations build on their vision for a modern, expansive agriculture sector, with inclusive growth opportunities that will benefit all Canadians.
CFA Director of Communications
Phone: 613-236-3633 ext. 2322