CFA Disappointed with Lack of Ministers Action on Trade Plight

OTTAWA, July 22 – The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) was pleased to see the Ministers acknowledge the critical importance of rules-based trade and access to labour for agricultural business in its recent FPT release.  However, farmers are currently facing challenges from a number of trade disruptions that require immediate intervention. CFA is concerned with the Ministers’ inability to both commit to immediate programming that would help farmers overcome these urgent challenges, as well as long-term improvements to Canada’s BRM suite.

These trade disruptions are caused by geopolitical issues outside the control of Canadian farmers. At its Roundtable meeting with Federal, Provincial and Territorial Agriculture Ministers, CFA members urged them to implement immediate programming that would help farmers see themselves through the financial challenges stemming from blocked access to critical markets, especially in China.

CFA appreciates that Ministers have tasked officials with identifying improvements to AgriStability before years’ end, but CFA is disappointed that Ministers did not clearly commit further funding for enhancements to AgriStability.

CFA and its members specifically called to enhance AgriStability margin coverage to 85% and to remove the reference margin limitation. These enhancements are critical to ensure AgriStability has the capacity to provide meaningful support to producers facing unprecedented risks in the marketplace.

“With the Government of Canada having identified Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industries as a sector with immense potential to drive inclusive growth across Canada, we are disappointed that Ministers didn’t rise to the occasion and invest in this critical sector at a time of urgent need,” said CFA President, Mary Robinson.

“We remain committed to working with FPT governments and their officials as they consider reforms to AgriStability, but fear that further delays of concrete action by the Federal Government will see many producers left unable to pay bills, or will force them to take on additional debt without any certainty in the marketplace.”

“Canadian farmers are bearing the financial brunt of the geopolitical brinkmanship across the globe and are disappointed to see a lack of support from the federal government for this critical economic sector, particularly when considered in light of the support provided to other sectors impacted by these trade wars” 

CFA will be reaching out to FPT officials to see how producer groups can engage in the development of proposed improvements to AgriStability, to ensure any potential improvements meet the needs of Canadian farmers.