CFA meeting discussed Canadian ag priorities and the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (SPAC).
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Image by dancebunnynose from Pixabay
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), held its Summer Board Meeting in Saskatoon on July 19-20, 2022. It discusses the priority issues in Canadian agriculture, and to prepare for the following Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Agriculture Ministers Roundtable.
Headquartered in Ottawa, the CFA is Canada's largest general farm organization, representing 200,000 farmers and farm families.
At the meeting, Scott Ross accepted the position of Executive Director of the CFA on a permanent basis.
At the Annual FPT Agriculture Ministers Roundtable, held on July 20, 2022, 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.
CFA noted that the upcoming Next Policy Framework (NPF) is an opportunity for FPT governments to demonstrate a true partnership with industry to achieve shared ambitions, by investing in a wide range of tools to make Canadian agriculture a global leader in truly sustainable productivity growth.
The 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 said it was pleased to see that the FPT statement aligned with several of CFA's recommendations, taking a step towards a 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 is a 25 percent 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 percent, 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, but the CFA was pleased to see the Ministers speak to Canada’s global leadership as a producer of food and the need to ensure emissions reductions efforts do not impede the country’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.
However, the CFA did have one area of concern: a new cross-compliance tier for large farms within the AgriInvest program.
This 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 the CFA, and it said it would further assess 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.
The CFA said it 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, President of the CFA.
“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.”