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Agricultural ministers and leaders discuss policy

Sept. 13, 2012, Whitehorse, YT - Canadian farm and industry leaders from across Canada met with federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers to discuss the next suite of agricultural programs and collaboration for a national food strategy.

The 13th annual Tripartite Roundtable hosted by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) comes directly before the ministers meet to finalize the next five-year agricultural policy framework.

"With industry representation from every province and various commodities, the CFA was pleased to have a valuable exchange with the ministers from provinces and territories across Canada. The ministers are going into discussions on policy that will affect our livelihoods and businesses, and this Roundtable serves as an important exchange of information between industry and government," said CFA President Ron Bonnett.

"The CFA has submitted proposals to optimize the programs and investment priorities to improve industry competitiveness and ability to innovate; these were highlighted again during today's discussions. We hope to work together with government on these issues and hope to see these recommendations reflected in the new framework," Bonnett added.

Some key issues raised by the farm leaders included:

  • The need for a national food strategy
  • The need for on-going investment in public and private research and innovation
  • Effective regional funding delivery model to ensure targeted, appropriate allocation, especially considering the announced phase-out of the Adaptation Councils
  • Priority is placed on succession planning and opportunities within the sector continue to be developed and communicated by the Canadian Young Farmers' Forum
  • The need to continue partnering around industry-led efforts promoting disease prevention, food safety, traceability, and animal welfare

"We greatly appreciate the depth of discussions we had today with farm leaders from across Canada. The Harper Government is committed to developing policies that promote a vibrant and strong industry, not only for today but for the longer term," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "We look forward to continuing to develop a long-term vision for agricultural policy together with CFA and all stakeholders."

"We firmly believe that policy should be built around a national food strategy, with the sustainability of the food system and all its players in mind. We are pleased to see the federal government working to create policies that focus on the long-term prosperity of the industry with its commitment to develop a national farm and food strategy. There is broad support across the agriculture and agri-food industry for a long-term plan for agricultural and food policy, and we look forward to working together," said Bonnett.

About The Canadian Federation of Agriculture

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is the country's largest farmers' organization, representing provincial general farm organizations as well as national and interprovincial commodity organizations from every province - over 200,000 Canadian farmers and farm families.