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Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Agriculture ministers met in Whitehorse on September 12-14, 2012 and reached an agreement on Growing Forward 2 (GF2) - the new 5-year agricultural policy framework which will come into effect on April 1, 2013. The governments’ news release details specific changes reached in the agreement.
Prior to the negotiations, CFIB released its report, Fostering Ag Competitiveness, which outlines our farm members’ priorities for GF2 to improve the agriculture sectors’ overall competitiveness. Our agri-business owners indicated regulatory reform (72%), reducing the total tax burden (68%), improving market access for Canadian agricultural products (66%), increasing focus on research, development and innovation (45%) and designing more responsive Business Risk Management (BRM) programs (42%) are top priorities for government action.
We also heard that federal and provincial governments were considering significant changes to AgriStablity and AgriInvest programs. Just prior to the Ag ministers’ meeting in September, CFIB sent a letter to Ag ministers raising our members’ outstanding questions and concerns regarding proposed changes to various BRM programs and the impact on producers across Canada.
Key highlights of Growing Forward 2:
CFIB has mixed views of GF2 – welcoming the focus on research, innovation and market development, but has outstanding questions regarding how the changes to BRM programs will affect farmers. Our agri-business members have consistently called for more responsive, transparent, accessible, predictable, and timely BRM programs. BRM tools are a last resort, but when producers need them they have to work.
Given our outstanding questions, CFIB is pleased governments have committed to a mid-term review of BRM programs, as we hope this will ensure the changes resulting from GF2 will foster entrepreneurship, growth, diversification, and continued production of high-quality food for consumers.
If you have any further questions, please contact a Business Resources Counsellor at 1 888-234-2232 or email.