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  • Kyle Bolt

Agriculture Ministers Reach New Partnership Agreement, Invest New Funds to Support the Sector

Hon. Margaret Johnson, Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries and her federal, provincial and territorial counterparts have reached an agreement in principle for the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, at their annual meeting in Saskatoon. This new five-year agreement builds on the current Canadian Agricultural Partnership and will take effect April 1, 2023.

“I am pleased we could come together and agree on matters that will benefit our agriculture and agri-food sector,” said Johnson. “The agriculture sector is an important part of New Brunswick’s economy. The new framework is meant to position our agri-food producers and processors, and others in the sector, as world leaders in sustainable agriculture and enable a globally competitive sector.”

The new agreement includes $500 million in new funding, which represents a 25 per cent increase in the cost-shared portion of the partnership. Ministers agreed to the $250 million cost-shared Resilient Agriculture Landscape Program to support ecological goods and services provided by the agriculture sector. Ministers also agreed to, over the course of the agreement, add new measures to business risk management programs that will make them more timely, equitable and easy to understand, as well as better protect producers against the effects of climate change. Ministers will continue to collaborate with producers to ensure they have a range of programs they can rely on when they face extraordinary situations.

Other aspects of the agreement include more ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, working to increase sector competitiveness, revenue and exports, and efforts to have more women, youth and Indigenous Peoples participate in the industry. There will also be a focus on measuring the impact of the framework’s investments.

“The path forward leverages regional strengths and diversity to rise to the climate change challenge, support Canadian producers, capture new markets and meet the expectations of consumers at home and abroad,” said federal Agriculture and Agri‑Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. “Our discussions this week, and plans for the future, will build off the great work farmers and processors already do. Our ambitious vision, collaborative spirit, and future additional investments will help the sector go even further.”

The agreement, which will require approval by each jurisdiction, aims to advance the five priorities agreed to in the Guelph Statement.

Ministers also held discussions on other matters, including the country’s opportunity to feed Canadians and the world through global leadership and vision. Other topics included market access, food supply chain, trade issues, how to maximize Canada’s contribution to the global food supply, African Swine Fever prevention and preparedness, labour and ongoing work towards a national agricultural labour strategy and regulatory priorities, and interprovincial trade.

Ministers addressed the importance of the health of bee populations to Canada's economy and the environment. They agreed to work together to make science-based decisions about the safe import of honeybees. Ministers also noted the ongoing collaboration between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and cattle sectors to perform a risk analysis to potential changes to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) control measures.

The ministers discussed progress made on a code of conduct for grocery retailers and suppliers, which included a presentation by the industry steering committee. They encouraged industry to present a complete code by November.

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