OTTAWA, MAY 9, 2017 — A report released yesterday on increasing market access for Canadian agricultural products recommends a series of policy changes that would position Canada for broad economic gains and bring value to all Canadians.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) welcomes the Standing Senate Committee of Agriculture and Forestry’s new report titled “Market Access: Giving Canadian Farmers and Processors the World.” The report recognizes the importance of export markets for Canadian agriculture and the committee’s recommendations largely align with positions advocated by CFA.
“The recommendations in the Senate agriculture and forestry committee’s report stand out as a clear acknowledgement that Canadian farmers are poised to seize on business opportunities presented by an expanding world population and heightened demand for quality products,” said CFA President Ron Bonnett, who spoke at the Senate committee news conference today.
“What we need now is a commitment from the federal government to act on the advice they’ve received — to make the changes urgently needed in areas like grain transportation systems; regulatory harmonization without compromising health and safety; labour requirements; access to farm inputs; and agricultural research.”
In particular, CFA is pleased to see that the report recommends a coordinated, multi-departmental approach, including participation from numerous ministries and agencies.
The committee made 18 recommendations, including:
- That the federal government eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade and pursue free trade agreements with other countries.
- That all levels of government work together to eliminate interprovincial trade barriers and invest in rail, road and marine infrastructure to guarantee that Canadian producers and processors are able to efficiently transport their products to consumers.
- That the federal government improve access to infrastructure grants for farmers and food producers who want to invest in new technologies, and that Employment and Social Development Canada and Immigration and Citizenship Canada create programs that help farmers hire foreign workers to address labour shortages.
Farm leaders look forward to ongoing consultation with elected officials and policy makers as they await the government’s formal response to the report.
CFA Director of Communications
Phone: 613-236-3633 ext. 2322