MONTREAL, Nov. 24, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - La Coop fédérée is aware of the preliminary report of the Commission de révision permanente des programmes (permanent commission for program revision) which was made public on Sunday, November 23, 2014. Based on argumentation and premises that would greatly benefit from being more in-depth, the report recommends nothing less than the abolition of the Programme d'assurance stabilisation des revenus agricoles (ASRA – farm income stabilization insurance) in its actual form. Indeed, in its analysis of ASRA and its impact on the agri-food sector in Québec, the Commission seems to have set aside structural effect of the program on Québec's economy. The abolition of ASRA will be hazardous and damaging to agriculture and agri-food processing in Québec which is evolving within very volatile markets.
The Farm Income Stabilization Insurance (ASRA) program is crucial for Québec. La Coop fédérée has taken note of what the President of the Treasury Board, Martin Coiteux, said during his press conference on Monday, November 24th, when he recognized the outstanding contribution of the agricultural sector to the economy and recalled that he would always assist efficient producers in difficulty. We understand from this that the government will remain present to support agricultural producers. In this context, La Coop fédérée is confident that the government will distance itself diligently and firmly from any recommendation susceptible to a profound deconstruction of Québec's agriculture and agri-food sector.
The Québec government must provide for a stable and predictable business environment. The agri-food investments by the Government of Québec have allowed the sector to overcome some large-scale crises and to position itself for a new phase of growth. To secure the number of stable and sustainable jobs attached to this growth, and to undertake investment projects across Québec, it is essential that the Government of Québec provide for a stable and predictable business environment.
La Coop fédérée and its members intend to take an active role and join with the Government of Québec as a partner in this process. While understanding the necessity for rigor in the management of Québec's public finances, La Coop fédérée considers essential that program evaluation not only take into account the cost but also the value that these programs generate in the economy. La Coop fédérée is ready to participate actively in the discussions to come on the tools to support Québec's agriculture and agri-food sector that will be led by the Québec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, Pierre Paradis. Far from a deconstruction and loss of added value in the regions, the agri-food sector aspires to a new phase of prosperity. La Coop fédérée and its members intend to take an active role and join with the Government of Québec as a partner in this process.
About La Coop fédérée
Founded in 1922, La Coop fédérée is the largest agri-food enterprise in Québec. It is owned by over 100,000 members grouped into 97 cooperatives located in several Canadian provinces and is present throughout the agri-food chain. As well as being a wholesaler, it also provides agricultural producers with all the goods and services they require for their farming operations. The network has five brands: Elite and La Coop (animal and crop production, grain marketing), Unimat (hardware and farm machinery), Sonic (energy) and Olymel (meat processing). La Coop fédérée employs nearly 10,000 people with sales totaling over $5.2 billion. Including its affiliated cooperatives, La Coop fédérée employs almost 16,000 people with combined sales of $8.3 billion.www.lacoop.coop and twitter.com/LaCoop_federee.
SOURCE: La Coop fédérée
For further information: Ben-Marc Diendéré, Vice-president, Communications & Public Affairs, 514 710-9772