CFIB study shows that rising operating costs and supply issues are chief concerns for the ag community in 2022.
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Graphic supplied by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business
As part of its Red Tape Awareness Week, February 22-25, 2022, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is once again challenging governments across Canada to reduce red tape and modernize regulation.
One of its mandates revolves around the ag industry.
While red tape reduction and the burden of regulation remain top priorities for those within the ag sector, reducing the total tax burden remains the chief concern.
Its Red Tape & Regulation - Impacts on Agri-Business report is compiled by Virginia Labbie, Senior Policy Analyst, Agri-business for the CFIB. The CFIB surveyed its agri-business members on their priorities for the Next Policy Framework, between January 18-21, 2022.
Not surprisingly, 91% of those surveyed agreed that rising prices of fuel, food, insurance, etc. were a concern for 2022, and 76% were worried about how supply chain issues could impact them.
Only 55% were worried about labour shortages impacting their business.
One of the results showed that a whopping 77% of agri-business operators agree that given the burden of red tape and regulation, they question whether their children should take over the business or start their own.
A further 81% agreed that red tape and regulation is holding their business back from innovating—such as the creating or improving of products, services or processes.
Regarding the potential impact of proposed fertilizer emissions reduction targets by 30 percent, 72% of farmers agreed that the yield of their crops and overall food production would be reduced, with 60% believing it would reduce the profitability of their agri-business.
Fifty-six percent said they would become less competitive in the global market.
While 99% of those surveyed agreed that the government needs to consider the financial impact of new policies and regulations on agri-business before implementing them, 88% said the government should employ science-based decisions in areas impacting agriculture—making one wonder what the remaining 12% believe how ag decisions should be pondered.
Within the report, Labbie noted some recommendations and policies for the Next Policy Framework, advising that Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments need to focus on:
- Reducing the total tax burden for agri-businesses, such as the carbon tax;
- Regulatory Reform – ie reducing the burden of government red tape and regulation;
- Implementing policies to address the labour shortages in agriculture (such as helping improve access to temporary foreign workers);
- Improving access to reliable broadband internet in rural Canada;
- Increasing processing capacity and value-added opportunities, such as via food and meat processing;
- Designing more effective Business Risk Management Programs like AgriStability;
- Increasing trade and market access for Canadian agricultural products.
For more information on the CFIB and how it can serve you, visit https://www.cfib-fcei.ca.