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Agriculture ministers gather in Quebec City while watching the Canada-EU summit in Montreal

As agriculture ministers gathered in Quebec City for their annual mid-summer policy meeting, they were keeping an eye on the two-day Canada-EU summit up the St. Lawrence River in Montreal.
Representatives of the AgGrowth Coalition travelled to Quebec City to remind the ministers of their earlier requests for changes to Business Risk Management (BRM) programs to help farmers cope with the vagaries of international trade and the weather.
At the same time, they monitored how the federal government pressed the EU on removal of trade barriers to Canadian food products starting with the notorious Italian ban on Canadian durum.
Farmers need “immediate improvements to BRM programming that can help manage risks beyond farmers’ control,” said Markus Haerle, chairman of the Coalition and president of Grain Farmers of Ontario.
Chris van de Heuvel, a vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Agriuclture, said the Coalition expects “governments from across Canada to stand up and support Canadian farmers so we can remain globally competitive in the face of challenging market and weather conditions.
Chairman Jeff Nielsen of Grain Growers of Canada said, “Market volatility and barriers in traditional markets are impacting farmers across the country. Farmers need a BRM suite of programs that is bankable and predictable to help manage these risks. And we need it put in place this year!”
The Coalition is seeking an immediate change to AgriStability to start covering losses starting at 85 per cent of historical reference margins with no Reference Margin Limits. It also action on livestock and horticulture crops which are not currently covered under AgriInsurance.
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