July 25, 2022 – OTTAWA – On July 19-20, CFA held its Summer Board Meeting in Saskatoon, SK. This meeting brought together farm leaders from across the country to discuss the priority issues in Canadian agriculture, and to prepare for the following Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Agriculture Ministers Roundtable.
CFA is pleased to announce that Scott Ross accepted the position of Executive Director at CFA on a permanent basis during the board meeting. The CFA Board looks forward to the future with new leadership in the National Office.
On July 20th, CFA also hosted the Annual FPT Agriculture Ministers Roundtable, where Canada’s Agriculture Ministers met with farm leaders to discuss the pressing challenges confronting Canadian agriculture, as well as the sector’s vision for continued Green Productivity Growth. During this meeting, CFA highlighted that the impending Next Policy Framework (NPF) presents an opportunity for FPT governments to demonstrate a true partnership with industry to achieve shared ambitions, by investing in the full range of tools needed to make Canadian agriculture a global leader in truly sustainable productivity growth.
CFA recommended that the NPF focus required additional investment to keep pace with the sector’s aspirations and potential, in two closely related areas:
- Support for the adoption of environmental best management practices and tools to communicate evidence-based information on Canadian agricultural sustainability; and
- Enhancements to research and risk management to support producers in addressing global food security demands while on the forefront of climate change.
Following the Roundtable, the Ministers met on July 21st and released a statement on July 22nd, which you can view here.
CFA was pleased to see that the FPT statement aligned with several of CFA’s recommendations, taking a step towards our shared ambition in making Canadian agriculture a global leader in sustainable food production.
The statement unveiled a $500 million dollar increase to the cost-shared funding envelope over the course of the five years of the NPF. This represents a 25% increase in funding, with half of that increase dedicated to climate change and emissions reductions programming.
Improvements will also be made to the AgriStability program, increasing the compensation rate to 80%, while committing to further changes to program timeliness in the initial years of the framework. This has been a long-standing ask of the CFA and many other agriculture groups.
Producers remain concerned with respect to how emissions targets for the sector may detrimentally affect food production. So CFA was pleased to see Ministers speak to Canada’s global leadership as a producer of food and the need to ensure emissions reductions efforts do not impede Canada’s ability to contribute to domestic and global food security. This is critical to the green productivity growth espoused by CFA and other industry partners last week.
One area of concern that CFA noted was a new cross-compliance tier for large farms within the AgriInvest program, which would demand that larger farms have Environmental Farm Plans, or equivalents, in order to access the program. The introduction of environmental obligations to risk management programming is a point of concern for CFA, and we will be further assessing the implications in consultation with members.
Also mentioned was the continued support for the industry-led development of a Grocery Code of Conduct in Canada with a revised deadline of November 2022. CFA remains committed to this process as an integral step towards improved transparency, predictability, fair dealing in the food supply chain.
“Today’s announcement was a positive step in the right direction for the future of Canadian agriculture,” said Mary Robinson, CFA President.
“These kinds of investments and programs are what our sector needs to harness its astounding potential for both the environment and the economy. At CFA we truly believe that Canadian agriculture is uniquely positioned to feed Canadians and the world while delivering climate solutions. While more investment is needed to harness the sector’s full potential, this is moving in the right direction to accomplish that goal.”