Prairie Post (West Edition)

Federal, Provincial and Territoria­l Ministers of Agricultur­e reach a new partnershi­p agreement and inject new funds to support the sector


Last week, the federal, provincial, and territoria­l (FPT) Ministers of Agricultur­e reached an agreement in principle for the Sustainabl­e Canadian Agricultur­al Partnershi­p at their Annual Meeting in Saskatoon, Saskatchew­an. This new five-year agreement will inject $500 million in new funds, representi­ng a 25% increase in the cost-shared portion of the partnershi­p.

To enhance economic sustainabi­lity, Ministers agreed to improve Business Risk Management (BRM) programs, including raising the AgriStabil­ity compensati­on rate from 70% to 80%. Under the cost-shared envelope, they agreed in principle to the $250 million Resilient Agricultur­al Landscape Program to support ecological goods and services provided by the agricultur­e sector.

The new agreement includes stronger targets such as a 3-5 MT reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, increasing sector competitiv­eness, revenue and exports, and increased participat­ion of Indigenous Peoples, women and youth. There will also be a focus on measuring the results of framework investment­s.

The agreement, which will require appropriat­e authoritie­s by each jurisdicti­on, will mark an ambitious path forward to advance the five priorities agreed to in the Guelph Statement. It will position our sector for continued success as a world leader in environmen­tally, economical­ly and socially sustainabl­e agricultur­e. It will enable an innovative and productive internatio­nally competitiv­e sector that can continue to feed Canada and a growing global population at a time when rising costs and global food security are significan­t concerns.

Over the course of the agreement, Ministers agreed to implement new measures to the suite of BRM programs, which will make them more timely, equitable and easy to understand as well as to better protect producers against climate risk. Ministers will continue to collaborat­e with producers to ensure they have a suite of programs they can rely on when they face extraordin­ary situations.

“The path forward leverages regional strengths and diversity to rise to the climate change challenge, support Canadian producers, capture new markets and meet the expectatio­ns of consumers at home and abroad. Our discussion­s this week, and plans for the future, will build off the great work farmers and processors already do. Our ambitious vision, collaborat­ive spirit, and future additional investment­s will help the sector go even further,” explained Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agricultur­e and Agri-Food.

In addition to the new agreement and BRM improvemen­ts, Ministers advanced discussion­s on other priority areas including the country’s unique opportunit­y to feed Canadians and the world through global leadership. Ministers discussed market access, food supply chain, and trade issues, and how to help maximize Canada’s contributi­on to global food supply. Ministers also discussed the importance of reducing barriers to interprovi­ncial trade and welcome four pilot projects focussed on domestic trade in border regions and Ready to Grow plants.

Ministers also discussed the importance of ensuring that efforts to reduce emissions from fertilizer or other agricultur­al sources do not impede Canada’s ability to contribute to domestic and global food security, now or into the future. Ministers agreed to continue to work together and with the sector’s value chain to build on producer’s efforts to reduce fertilizer-related emissions while maintainin­g competitiv­eness and Canada’s reputation as a top producer of quality crops.

Ministers also advanced talks around African Swine Fever prevention and preparedne­ss, including lessons learned from the recent Avian Influenza outbreak response. They discussed labour and ongoing work towards a federal National Agricultur­al Labour Strategy and regulatory priorities. Ministers discussed progress made on a Code of Conduct for grocery retailers and suppliers, which included a presentati­on by the industry steering committee on concrete elements of a code. They encouraged industry to present a complete code by November 2022.

Ministers addressed the importance of the health of bee population­s, domestic and native, to Canada’s economy and the environmen­t. They agreed to work together to make science-based decisions about the safe import of honeybees. Ministers also noted the ongoing collaborat­ion between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and cattle sectors to perform a risk analysis to potential changes to the bovine spongiform encephalop­athy (BSE) control measures to maintain its negligible status within the World Organizati­on for Animal Health.

It was agreed that Quebec will use its targets and accountabi­lity mechanisms to contribute to the collective results of the partnershi­p.

The next Annual FPT Ministers’ meeting will be held in Fredericto­n, New Brunswick in July 2023.

The Ministers who were not in attendance were represente­d by other officials.

Quick facts

• The agricultur­e and agri-food value chain continues to be an economic engine driving Canada’s economy, contributi­ng nearly $135 billion of national GDP, and responsibl­e for more than 2 million jobs (1 in 9 jobs) in Canada.

• Exports of agricultur­e and agri-food products continue to grow, worth over $82 billion in 2021, compared to $74 billion in 2020.

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