Farmers say Growing Forward 2 must foster Ag competitiveness

Nearly 70% of farmers with a succession plan will retire in the next 10 years

OTTAWA AND REGINA, July 11, 2012 /CNW/ - Nearly 70 per cent of Canada's agri-business owners who have succession plans will be retiring in the next ten years. As a result, it's imperative government policies encourage growth and expansion of Canadian farms. In Fostering Ag Competitiveness, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) outlines its farm members' priorities for Growing Forward 2 to improve the agriculture sector's overall competitiveness.

Federal and provincial governments are currently working to finalize Growing Forward 2, the next agriculture policy agreement, which will come into effect on April 1, 2013.

"As this succession train is coming down the track, fostering agricultural competitiveness has never been more important" said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB's vice-president for Agri-business. "And while we recognize there is little governments can do to solve many of the global market issues facing farmers, they can certainly take steps to improve the regulatory and tax environment to attract new entrepreneurs to the Ag sector."

The CFIB's Future of Agriculture Policy survey, completed by 1,049 agri-business owners, indicates regulatory reform (72 per cent), reducing the total tax burden (68 per cent) and improving market access for Canadian agricultural products (66 per cent) are top priorities for government action. "CFIB agri-business members have made it clear these priorities are crucial to moving the industry forward and ensuring farmers are competitive on the world stage," added Braun-Pollon.

CFIB is encouraged by the progress being made by the federal government on managing red tape by announcing the implementation of the 'one-for-one' rule. The Federation is also pleased the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recently launched a Statement of Rights and Service and the Complaints and Appeals Office. "While progress has been made, governments must continue reducing barriers that hold back competition and deter entry of new entrepreneurs," noted Braun-Pollon.

"CFIB hopes Growing Forward 2 results in farmer-friendly policies that foster entrepreneurship, growth, diversification, and continued production of high-quality food for consumers," concluded Braun-Pollon. "Time will tell if Agriculture ministers are up to the task."

CFIB is the business voice for agriculture, representing 7,200 independently owned and operated agri-businesses in the country, the majority of which are primary producers.


SOURCE CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

For further information:

To arrange an interview with Marilyn Braun-Pollon, call 306 757-0000 or 1-888-234-2232 or email mssask@cfib.ca 

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CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

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