RBC report highlighting economic growth opportunities in Canada’s Agri-Food sector latest proof of substantial benefits for all Canadians
OTTAWA, ON – September 3, 2019 – CFA, the unified voice advocating for Canadian farmers at the national level, welcomes the message, and the timing, of RBC’s new report, Farmer 4.0.
Noting the sector’s vast potential to increase its GDP contribution from $112 billion in 2016 to $131 billion by 2030, the RBC report clearly identifies Canadian agriculture as central to Canada’s health and prosperity.
CFA’s national campaign, Producing Prosperity in Canada, outlines three key benefits that agriculture provides all of Canada: Economic growth, environmental stewardship and food security. The report’s findings reinforce agriculture’s potential for economic growth, with the following recommendations echoing those CFA has been making throughout the year to politicians from all parties in the lead-up to the federal election:
- The federal government should reduce barriers to high skilled immigration to agriculture, and consider a dedicated service channel under the Global Skills Strategy
- Fulfill the federal commitment to provide high-speed Internet to the remaining 1.5 million rural and remote households within 10 years, giving them access to online learning and cloud computing
- Recognize agriculture’s centrality to Canada’s future health and prosperity
Recognizing the urgent need for skilled labour and increased agtech innovation, RBC’s report culminates with several forward-thinking recommendations to government, in terms of education, skills training and strategies to attract and expose young Canadian to agriculture, all supported by the CFA.
The report mentions that Canadian agriculture is at a “critical turning point”, where the sector can either continue on its current path or embrace this new era of farming and work with government to train and attract a new generation of tech-savvy, high skilled farmers that will turn Canada into an “agriculture superpower”.
But CFA believes there is more than one critical turning point that agriculture is facing right now. Current trade disruptions and disputes are creating a huge amount of uncertainty and financial duress in the sector, and it will be impossible for Canadian agriculture to ever reach the RBC’s forecasts without government support and programming that will help them weather the current challenges such as the Chinese trade actions against Canadian agriculture.
“In a year of unprecedented challenges for Canadian farmers it’s exciting to see a banking institution, whose business is the Canadian economy, pro-actively recognize and promote the massive potential of Canada’s agriculture sector,” says Mary Robinson, President of CFA.
Subsequent to the federal government’s recent commitment to Canadian dairy farmers, the CFA urges support for all commodities negatively affected by trade and strained foreign relations.
This sentiment was reinforced by Pierre Lampron, President of Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC):
“Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is pleased the federal government announced compensation funding promised to Canadian dairy farmers for the market access they gave up, and that there will be no more trade concessions on the part of dairy. DFC strongly encourages the Canadian government to support our agriculture colleagues in other sectors who have been so dramatically and negatively impacted due to disruptions in international trade, through no fault of their own.”
Adds Robinson: “Now more than ever our farmers need government support to move forward to build a robust, innovative Agri-Foods sector, for the benefit of all Canadians.”
With less than two months until the federal election, CFA members across Canada continue meeting with politicians to promote the vital importance of the Agri-Food sector, as the most significant economic engine in Canada, champion of food security, and innovative contributor to national environmental stewardship.
To learn more, please visit: www.producingprosperitycanada.ca
Laurie Karson, Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations, CFA
Phone: 613-236-3633 ext. 2322