CCA at FPT Agriculture Ministers meeting
CCA President David HaywoodFarmer and Executive Vice President Dennis Laycraft were in Vancouver in mid-July for the 2018 FederalProvincial-Territorial (FPT) Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Agriculture annual meeting.
Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Agriculture Ministers from B.C. (Lana Popham), Alberta (Oneil Carlier), Manitoba (Ralph Eichler), Ontario (Ernie Hardeman), Quebec (Laurent Lessard), and Nova Scotia (Keith Colwell) attended the gathering alongside their deputy ministers. Representatives were on hand for the governments of Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.
The meeting, held July 18-20, provided CCA with the opportunity to focus on key issues that need to be addressed to ensure industry can meet the aggressive growth targets for the agri-food sector. Enabling such growth means addressing sector-specific bottlenecks and for the beef cattle industry those include market access, innovation, business risk management programming and chronic labour woes.
One key development from the ministers’ meeting was agreement on continuing the business risk management (BRM) review. Since being agreed upon last July, FPT governments have initiated a BRM review to assess programs effectiveness and influence on growth and innovation. An expert panel made up of producers, academics and global experts was established in late 2017 to evaluate BRM programming in Canada and made recommendations to ministers in Vancouver. The CCA thanks ministers for the continuation of this comprehensive review of national BRM programs and looks forward to meaningful industry engagement as partners in the review process.
Ministers also discussed the chronic labour shortages in Canadian agriculture and agri-food. While the details are not yet known, ministers approved a work plan to address these labour challenges. The acute labour shortage in Canadian agriculture continues to be an issue that threatens the viability of food production and the competitiveness of beef cattle farmers in Canada. The CCA hopes this work will support industry efforts to strategically address national labour shortages and ensure a strong domestic labour supply into the future by facilitating the implementation of the long-term elements of the Canadian Agriculture & Agri-Food Workforce Action Plan.