Celebrating agriculture during Agriculture Month

New survey highlights importance of Ag sector to Saskatchewan’s economy

Regina, October 30, 2019 – At the end of Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Month and as farmers try to wrap up a challenging harvest, it is important to recognize the significant role agriculture plays in local communities across the province. In fact, 96 per cent of Saskatchewan small business owners say that a healthy agriculture sector is important to the overall success of their business, according to a new survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

“Agriculture is vital to the success of small businesses in every sector across Saskatchewan,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president of prairie and agri-business. “Given the tough harvest conditions producers have endured this year, we must recognize our farmers who make important economic and social contributions by producing safe and healthy food, while protecting the environment.”

CFIB’s farm members want the public to know that:

  • 94% of agri-business owners strongly agree producing safe and healthy food is important to them;
  • 98% of agri-business owners say they have implemented ways to protect and preserve the environment;
  • 88% of agri-business owners say governments should make science-based decisions in areas impacting agriculture.

Majority of Saskatchewan farmers have confidence in their provincial Ministry of Agriculture:

When surveyed, more than eight in 10 (85%) of Saskatchewan agri-business owners were confident that their provincial Ministry of Agriculture is committed to improving the business climate in the agriculture sector. Last Wednesday’s Speech from the Throne stated that agriculture will play a major role in the New Saskatchewan Growth Plan with a goal of increasing agricultural value-added exports to $10 billion by 2030.

“While the devil will be in the details on how we achieve this goal, CFIB is encouraged to see a focus on trade and expanding value-added exports,” noted Braun-Pollon. “Saskatchewan farmers see increased market access as one of the best ways governments can help their business improve its competitiveness and reduce risk for their farm.”

Market access needs to be a top priority for the new federal government:

“Government policies can either fuel or dampen optimism and there must be a concerted effort by all levels of government to create the conditions for farmers to grow and expand,” added Braun-Pollon.

CFIB is encouraging the new federal government to make market access a top priority in the coming months. In fact, 74 per cent of Saskatchewan agri-business owners said increasing market access for Canadian agricultural products through international trade agreements was the top way governments could help their business improve its overall competitiveness.

“We need the federal government to resolve the existing trade issues in order to open up market access for many agricultural commodities such as canola, pulses, and meat products. This action will help improve the bottom-line for Saskatchewan producers,” concluded Braun-Pollon.

To arrange an interview with Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s Vice-President, Prairie & Agri-business, please call (306) 757-0000 or email mssask@cfib.ca. You may follow CFIB Saskatchewan on Twitter @cfibsk.

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members (5,250 in Saskatchewan) across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.