Canada’s Ministers of Agriculture have reached agreement on the key elements of a new federal, provincial, territorial (FPT) agricultural policy framework during the annual meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture held in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, from July 19-21.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3 billion investment, will come into effect on April 1, 2018. It will strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector, ensuring continued innovation, growth and prosperity. In addition, producers will continue to have access to a robust suite of business risk management (BRM) programs.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership will focus on six priority areas:
- Science, Research, and Innovation – Helping industry adopt practices to improve resiliency and productivity through research and innovation in key areas.
- Markets and Trade – Opening new markets and helping farmers and food processors improve their competitiveness through skills development, improved export capacity, underpinned by a strong and efficient regulatory system.
- Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change – Building sector capacity to mitigate agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, protect the environment and adapt to climate change by enhancing sustainable growth, while increasing production.
- Value-added Agriculture and Agri-food Processing – Supporting the continued growth of the value-added agriculture and agri-food processing sector.
- Public Trust – Building a firm foundation for public trust in the sector through improved assurance systems in food safety and plant and animal health, stronger traceability and effective regulations.
- Risk Management – Enabling proactive and effective risk management, mitigation and adaptation to facilitate a resilient sector by working to ensure programs are comprehensive, responsive and accessible.
Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, BRM programs will continue to help producers manage significant risks that threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond their capacity to manage. Governments responded to industry concerns regarding eligible coverage under AgriStability, ensuring a more equitable level of support for all producers. Highlights of upcoming BRM changes are available at Canadian Agricultural Partnership – Business Risk Management Programs.
Governments further committed to engaging in a review that explores options to improve BRM programming. The review will recognize the important role played by all programs (AgriStability, AgriInvest, AgriInsurance) in the risk management plans of producers given the diversity of the sector. The review will also directly involve producers and have an early focus on market risk, including as it relates to AgriStability addressing concerns regarding timeliness, simplicity and predictability. Ministers will be presented with options in July 2018 for consideration based on early findings of the review.
A summary of items discussed at the annual meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture meeting is available at Summary of items from the 2017 Annual Meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Agriculture. The next annual FPT Ministers’ meeting will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, in July 2018.
The agriculture and agri-food sector is a key growth industry in Canada, contributing over $100 billion annually to the economy and employing 2.3 million Canadians. Canadian farm incomes rose to $14.8 billion in 2016, the 2nd best year on record. In 2016, the total value of Canadian agriculture, agri-food and seafood exports reached an all-time high exceeding $62 billion.