UPA sets its pri­or­i­ties

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier

Mem­bers of the Union des Pro­duc­teurs Agri­cole (UPA), its twelve re­gional fed­er­a­tions and twenty-seven spe­cial groups, while to­gether in Le­vis to dis­cuss farming chal­lenges and the pri­or­i­ties of the au­tumn, re­ported their main ac­com­plish­ments since last De­cem­ber. A clear mes­sage was also sent to the Que­bec govern­ment: “Agri­cul­ture here has a fu­ture if the farm­ers from here have sup­port equiv­a­lent to what is given to Euro­pean and Amer­i­can pro­duc­ers. Que­bec and Canada could and should do more,” said the pres­i­dent of the UPA, Mar­cel Groleau, ad­ding that their in­ter­na­tional com­peti­tors con­tinue to be sup­ported by ag­gres­sive agri­cul­tural poli­cies as their gov­ern­ments have iden­ti­fied the farming in­dus­try as an im­por­tant eco­nomic lever. Que­bec statis­tics When com­par­ing the Que­bec farming sec­tor to the rest of Canada, par­tic­u­larly to that of On­tario, there are rea­sons to be wor­ried. Ac­cord­ing to Statis­tics Canada, spend­ing on fixed as­sets in the Que­bec agri­cul­tural sec­tor went from $496 mil­lion to $609 mil­lion (+ 23 %) be­tween 2006 and 2015. Dur­ing the same pe­riod, in Canada the spend­ing went from $1.6 bil­lion to $4.2 bil­lion (+ 160 %). In On­tario, in­vest­ments went from $722 mil­lion to $1.4 bil­lion (+ 94 %).

Spend­ing in re­search and devel­op­ment of busi­nesses in the Que­bec farm sec­tor went down by 30 % be­tween 2008 and 2015, from $199 mil­lion to $139 mil­lion in food trans­for­ma­tion, and $105 mil­lion to $73 mil­lion in farm pro­duc­tion.

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