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Feds set up ag working groups

Feds set up ag working groups

The groups will help the supply managed sectors navigate new trade agreements

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The federal government is taking steps to help supply managed industries adjust to operating with two new trade agreements.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is setting up working groups to help the poultry, egg and dairy sectors manage the challenges associated with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The agency made the announcement on Monday.

Member nations in both trade agreements received access to Canada’s supply managed industries.

The working groups will include members of government, as well as national and regional representatives from each industry. The committee members will “collaborate to develop strategies to fully and fairly support farmers and processors to help them adjust” to the new trade deals, the federal government says.

Bringing farmers and the federal government together shows a commitment to helping the ag industry navigate these new trade deals, said Carol Leeming, an egg farmer from Huron County.

“I appreciate the federal government feels that it should set up these groups,” she told Farms.com. “They should be able to communicate clearly about what the issues are and what opportunities could be available.”

The dairy industry will have two working groups.

One will help dairy farmers bring innovations to their farms, and the other will help develop mitigation strategies.

The federal government has committed to a compensation package to offset the impacts of the USMCA and CPTPP. Farmers hope the working groups will help keep the federal government accountable to its promises.

“When CETA was announced, the federal government offered compensation for producers putting up a new barn or installing new technology,” Colin Elliot, a dairy producer from Simcoe County, told Farms.com. “About 95 per cent of us haven’t received anything. So, if the federal government is saying they’re going to help us out, we have to make sure they follow through on that.”

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