Agri-food growth council needed for industry
By Top Crop Manager
Canada’s agri-food leaders want Prime Minister Trudeau to create an Agri-Food Growth Council to focus on actions that will unleash growth in the industry, according to the Canada as an Agri-Food Powerhouse report, released by the Public Policy Forum (PPF) and the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI).
The report is a summary of roundtable discussions held in March 2017 with more than 150 agri-food stakeholders across Canada. It builds on the February 2017 report issued by the Minister of Finance’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth which emphasized the potential for Canada to become “the trusted global leader in safe, nutritious and sustainable food for the 21st century.”
The report also calls for the creation of an inter-departmental agri-food task force, to improve alignment within government and resolve priority regulatory obstacles. Following are some of the most common comments from stakeholders during the roundtable meetings:
- The aspirational vision – being the trusted global food leader – should be the lens through which all relevant policies and strategies are assessed.
- The responsiveness of our regulatory system should be made a comparative advantage that ensures both consumer protection and a nimbler, modernized regulatory environment. This would help encourage investment, innovation and competitiveness.
- While export growth must be prioritized, there are also opportunities to drive significant growth domestically, particularly among small and medium enterprises. This requires swift action on internal trade barriers.
- Delivering co-benefits – enhancing health and natural capital – is crucial to building public trust and strengthening our global food brand.
In February 2017, the Advisory Council on Economic Growth, established by the Minister of Finance, released its second wave of recommendations, which emphasized the potential for Canada to become “the trusted global leader in safe, nutritious and sustainable food for the 21st century.” Using the Advisory Council’s report as a starting point for discussion, the PPF and CAPI partnered on a coast-to-coast consultation convening roundtables in Charlottetown, Montreal, Ottawa, Guelph, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary and Vancouver to hear from more than 150 sector leaders and stakeholders. This report is a summary of those discussions.