OTTAWA – Now that the federal election cycle has officially begun, Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) is urging political leaders to share their party’s plan to address the market access challenges facing Canada’s export-oriented agriculture sector.
“We are just weeks away from choosing a new federal government and we have yet to hear anything concrete regarding trade from any of our major parties or political leaders,” said GGC Chair Jeff Nielsen from his farm in Olds, AB. “Whoever wins this election will be inheriting this situation and must have a strategy in place to address it in short order.”
With the vast majority of Canadian grain destined for international markets, the importance of a robust and clear strategy for trade cannot be understated.
While China has dominated the headlines – and rightly so – due to their halting of canola, soybeans, beef, and pork products, the market access problems experienced by farmers have extended beyond Canada’s second-largest trading partner. GGC members have borne the brunt of the cost associated with halted durum wheat trade with Italy, the shutdown of pulse products shipped into India, and persistent challenges with Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.
The volatility of these export markets is having a clear and negative impact on hard-working farm families. Statistics Canada has reported that our nation’s farmers saw net farm income fall by 45 per cent to $3.9 billion in 2018, the second-consecutive annual drop in income and the lowest reported in eight years.
Without any indication that geopolitical tensions will ease anytime soon, harvest 2019 doesn’t offer any cause for optimism.
“Canadian grain farmers need market certainty,” added Nielsen. “That means having a federal government who acts aggressively to remove trade barriers that stand in our way and ensures that those with whom we have trade agreements live up to their commitments.”
As Canada’s united voice for grain producers, GGC will continue to advocate for reassurance for Canada’s export-oriented farmers. We look forward to working with whoever is willing to stand up for our farmers and our economy.Source : GGC