OTTAWA, May 10, 2017 /CNW/ - Canada's federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture met today to discuss the path forward to developing the next agricultural policy framework, which will help Canadian farmers and food processors grow their businesses. Ministers* are committed to continued support to the agricultural sector and will reconvene in July to ensure work is on track to launch the next framework on April 1, 2018.
The meeting today was co-chaired by Lawrence MacAulay, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Steve Crocker, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources. FPT Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to developing the next framework and discussed the next suite of programs and services for the sector, including Business Risk Management programs. This work builds on the key priorities outlined in the Calgary Statement which was issued by FPT Ministers in July 2016. FPT governments have been consulting with a wide range of stakeholders, including producers, processors, indigenous communities, women, youth, and small and emerging sectors.
The importance of trade and market development were also discussed by Ministers. Canada and the United States have a long-standing history of cooperation and remain each other's number one trading partner for agricultural products. This mutually beneficial and highly integrated trading arrangement supports millions of middle class jobs on both sides of the border, and FPT governments will continue to foster this strong relationship. Ministers also committed to preserve the integrity of the supply management system.
FPT Ministers emphasized the importance of agriculture and agri-food to the Canadian economy. The 2017 federal budget outlines the Government of Canada's plan to support the agricultural sector and underscores the importance of the next framework which will help define and drive the future of agriculture across the country.
"Together with the provinces and territories, the Government of Canada remains committed to developing innovative programs and services to help ensure agriculture continues to be a leading growth sector of Canada's economy. Our strong agricultural sector will help meet the world's growing demand for high-quality, sustainable food and help us grow our middle class."
- Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
"Newfoundland and Labrador's agriculture industry plays a vital role in the province's economy. The growth of our sector will be key to helping Canada achieve its national priorities. Recognizing there are tremendous opportunities for the future, we continue to work closely with our local industry, our federal and provincial counterparts to advocate for programs that will meet the needs of our farmers, producers and consumers."
- Steve Crocker, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources
- The current agricultural framework, Growing Forward 2 (GF2), is a $3 billion investment for strategic initiatives over five years (2013-2018) by FPT governments in programming to support innovation, competitiveness and market development.
- The GF2 FPT Business Risk Management suite of programs are demand-driven, and to date, have provided $5.7 billion in support to help producers address risks that are beyond their capacity to manage and that threaten the viability of their farms.
- FPT Ministers issued the Calgary Statement, which outlines the key priorities for the next policy framework, in July 2016.
- Canada's agriculture and food industry is a key driver of the Canadian economy and a high-performing sector in today's global marketplace, contributing over $100 billion annually to the GDP and employing one out of every eight Canadians.
*Ministers from Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Yukon were not in attendance, but were represented by officials.
**The Government of Ontario has proposed a review of BRM programs, and noted that Ministers have asked officials to continue to work on a path forward that would address BRM and other aspects of the framework as part of an overall package that will be presented at the July Annual Conference.
SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, 613-773-7972, 1-866-345-7972; Guy Gallant, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, 613-773-1059; Connie Boland, Fisheries and Land Resources, 709-637-2923, 640-6409, [email protected]