GUELPH, ON and LONGUEUIL, QC and MONCTON, NB – Atlantic Grain Council, Grain Farmers of Quebec (Producteurs de grains du Québec), and Grain Farmers of Ontario draw attention to a recent report warning the Canadian government of the consequences of its continued lack of support for farmers in the face of heightened competitive disadvantages with respect to U.S. farmers.
In their October 2020 Policy Note: “Business Risk Management Under Siege: Alternatives for Canada,” the independent think tank Agri-Food Economic Systems released a sobering warning to Canadians that if the Canadian government does not take action right away, farms will be lost in Canada. Loss of farms in Canada will impact Canada’s domestic food supply, the report states. Grain farmers across Canada have been issuing the same warning without any action from the federal government.
“The Agri-Food Economic Systems report raises the alarm bell that time is running out for the federal government to take action on our under-served business risk management programs. Canadians cannot wait. The federal government needs to take the leadership required to get this done,” says Markus Haerle, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario.
“Farmers cannot rely on the World Trade Organization to solve the U.S. farm subsidy issue, farmers need the federal government to step in, and the Agri-Food System report clearly reinforces this,” says Roy Culberson, Chair, Atlantic Grains Council.
“The United States provided its farmers with billions of dollars of support to get through these times. Our federal government is asking farmers and provinces to bear the cost of geopolitical powerplay and this is unconscionable. The federal government needs to step up to protect the food system, just like the AgriFood report states,” says Christain Overbeek, Chairman, Grain Farmers of Quebec.
Grain farmers are asking that the AgriStability Program, a current Business Risk Management program at the federal level, be properly funded with the proper triggers in place to help farmers in times of crisis/ AgriStability is a program cost-shared by farmers and only triggers a payment when it is needed, giving farmers the security they need to run their farm businesses when faced with political situations outside of their control.
Farmers need the BRM programs to cover the cost of production in times of crisis, or the Canadian food system risks losing Canadian grain farms and access to locally-grown grains.Source : GFO