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AAFC charts its path for the next year

AAFC charts its path for the next year

The ministry plans to increase international trade and implement the Food Policy

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has released its departmental plan for the 2020-21 year.

The 58-page document outlines the ministry’s priorities for the upcoming year and how it plans to achieve its desired outcomes.

One of the government’s goals for the year is to increase international trade.

The federal government has set a target of reaching $75 billion in agri-food and seafood exports by 2025.

More trade opportunities will help Canada meet its target number.

The ministry’s “efforts to pursue free trade agreements with key partners, and to advocate for science-based trade rules, supports and enhances Canada’s international market presence,” the document states.

Canada exported $56 billion of agri-food goods in 2016, and seafood exports pushed that number to $62.6 billion that year.

Agriculture Canada will continue to implement the Food Policy through 2020-21.

As part of that process, AAFC will establish the Buy Canadian Promotion Campaign to promote Canada’s food system domestically and internationally. The Food Policy will also include the Food Waste Reduction Challenge, the Local Food Infrastructure Fund and the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council.

How Canadian scientists conduct ag research may also be changing.

The Living Laboratories Initiative “funds collaborative federal research projects that bring farmers, scientists, and other partners together to co-develop, test, and monitor new practices and technologies in a real-life context.”

How Canada engages with the ag value chain may shift as well.

Value Chain Roundtables, which were launched in 2003 as part of a likeminded vision between the ag sector and government, will operate differently.

AAFC “will establish and update sector-specific and thematic tables to address issues in the sector and will formalize opportunities for engagement through a modernized model,” the ministry’s plan says.

The ministry also plans to use the roundtables to engage with women, Indigenous peoples and youth.

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