Survey finds barely half of agri-businesses have a succession plan; action needed to protect future of Ontario farms

TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2011 /CNW/ - A recent survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) finds that 33 per cent of Ontario agri-business owners plan to retire, sell or close their operations within 5 years, while another 25 per cent plan to do so in the next 6-10 years. Yet, nearly half (48 per cent) have no succession plan in place.

"Planning for the future transfer of the business is of utmost importance to the success of Ontario farms," said CFIB's Ontario director, Plamen Petkov. While succession planning is not easy for any business owner, CFIB's farm members have challenges in identifying a suitable successor and many find the process too complex or too time consuming.

"It is also clear that Ontario farmers are feeling the impact of other factors, such as rising fuel and energy costs, higher payroll taxes and red tape, which additionally slow down their plans to pass the baton to the next generation," added Petkov.

The survey findings are included in a new report, A Call to Action - Ontario agri-business post-election roadmap, which makes a number of recommendations to help the province's farming sector to survive these turbulent economic times and to overcome barriers to succession planning:

  • Help agri-business owners with succession planning through policies that encourage them to plan for a successor early and by attracting more youth to the sector;
  • Continue to reduce taxes and red tape for agri-businesses;
  • Ensure employment standards exemptions for farmers remain in place;
  • Make the new Ontario risk management program transparent, accessible, predictable and timely;
  • Increase focus on farm R&D, innovation and education.

"Now that the election is over, we hope the provincial government will act on these recommendations to ensure a bright future for Ontario farms," concluded Petkov.

To view the full report, visit:  CFIB is the business voice for agriculture with over 7,200 independently owned and operated agri-business in Canada, of which 2,800 are in Ontario.

As Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™. Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 108,000 members in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.


For further information:

or to arrange an interview with Plamen Petkov, please contact Gisele Lumsden or Meghan Carrington at 416 222-8022 or via email at 

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