C-18 is Good News for Farmers
Preliminary Analysis on the proposed changes:
o Advance Payments Program
o Plant Breeders Rights Act
For more information,
CFA Executive Director
613-236-3633 ext: 2323
CFA Director of Communications
613-236-3633 ext. 2322
OTTAWA, DECEMBER 12 - Proposed changes under Bill C-18, TheAgricultural Growth Act, announced by Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz this week is overall good news for farmers says the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA).
The bill, which includes a number of legislative changes that will have an impact on a large array of areas for the agricultural sector - from plant protection and breeding to farm financials and feed - outlines changes to the Agricultural Marketing Products Act and the Plant Breeders Rights Act.
"The bill is ambitious and takes on several issues that will increase access to important programs for farmers and will result in cost savings for administrators and farms," said CFA President Ron Bonnett.
"The proposed changes reflect a number of recommendations made by industry over the years and showcase the government has been listening. We're pleased the government has taken action and followed-up in a concrete way with legislative changes and formal consultations on these proposed amendments," Bonnett added.
Of note is the inclusion of multi-year agreements between producers and administrators of the Advanced Payment Program, which should reduce red-tape by limiting the administrative burden of using the program year after year. Increased flexibility around security arrangements, proof of sale, and the means of repayment will all go a long way to making a great program more accessible to industry.
In addition, the government has taken steps to better align the Plant Breeders Rights Act with UPOV '91 by striking a good balance between ensuring variety developers have the ability to see a return on investment for their plant breeding research efforts while also preserving the right for farmers to save and condition seed for their own use. The CFA anticipates that Canadian farmers will benefit greatly from increased innovation and an increase in new crop varieties as a result of these changes.
CFA will take part in all relevant follow-up consultations over the next few weeks and will work closely with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Canadian Inspection Agency (CFIA) to ensure the changes translate into measurable improvements for the sector.
"The CFA is committed to bringing the farmers' voice to these meetings to seek further clarification on some outstanding questions and to ensure comprehensive information and recommendations are put forward as details are fleshed out in industry-government conversations," Bonnett concluded.