Canadian farmers approve of regulatory system for products



    OTTAWA, Oct. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Agricultural producers are confident in the
regulatory system that ensures commercial fertilizers and supplements used in
food production are safe and effective.
    Three quarters of agricultural producers canvassed in a national survey
conducted last spring by Ipsos Reid for the Canadian Fertilizer Products Forum
(CFPF) said that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency was doing a good job in
its regulation of fertilizer and supplement products. The approval rating was
highest in Ontario at 86% while on the Prairies it ranged from 80% in Manitoba
to 70% in Alberta and 69% in Saskatchewan.
    "The current regulatory system provides a strong foundation for the
fertilizer and supplement industries founded on a science-based approach for
all products," said Clyde Graham, Executive Director of the CFPF. "While the
current system works, there is still room for improvement to ensure that
farmers have access to a variety of high-quality fertilizers and supplements
in a timely fashion."
    The survey of 400 agricultural producers on a wide variety of soil
treatment issues found that the vast majority are satisfied with the physical
quality of the available fertilizers and supplements and 90% approve of the
blended products provided by manufacturers. Close to 20%, however, have
complained about or returned a product for being lumpy or dusty.
    The survey also noted that about 20% of agricultural producers mainly in
the west are aware of fertilizer products that are available in other
countries but that have not been approved for use in Canada. Producers said
they would like to have more choice, for example, in nitrogen and phosphate
products.
    Farmers said they pay close attention to the cost of fertilizers and
supplements and base their purchases on perceived benefit and availability of
various products. The survey also found that farmers are looking to
incorporate more manure and compost, when it is available, on their land to
reduce their nutrient requirements. About half the respondents cited price as
the main reason for using fewer products.
    Among other findings of the survey, only 2% of those polled said they had
not used any fertilizers or supplements in last three years. It also found
that producers make annual use of the traditional products containing
nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium but are less familiar with newer products
such as wetting agents and biosolids.
    "The Canadian Fertilizer Products Forum conducted this survey to get a
better idea of farmers' usage, familiarity and attitudes towards fertilizers
and supplements," explained Craig Rickard, Chair of the CFPF. "Farmer input is
critical to making sure that regulatory decisions governing fertilizers and
supplements reflect the needs of Canadian farmers."

    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is pleased to participate in the
production of this publication. AAFC is committed to working with our industry
partners and the Canadian Fertilizer Products Forum to increase public
awareness of the importance of the agriculture and agri-food industry to
Canada. Opinions expressed in this document are those of the Canadian
Fertilizer Products Forum and are not necessarily those of the Department.




For further information:

For further information: see backgrounder. To view the full survey,
refer to the CFPF web page at: www.cfpf-fcpf.ca.; For comments please contact:
Clyde Graham, Executive Director, Canadian Fertilizer Products Forum, (613)
236-2600, cgraham@cfi.ca; For additional project or background information,
please contact: Carla Ventin, Project Manager, Canadian Fertilizer Products
Forum, (613) 878-6784, info@cfpf-fcpf.ca


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