Agriculture Ministers take action to strengthen sector
By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
July 10, 2009
Federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers met today near Niagara Falls to discuss issues affecting producers, and means of supporting the sector amid global economic challenges and weather concerns.
July 10, 2009
Canada's federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Agriculture held their annual meeting in Niagara-on-the-Lake this week to discuss issues affecting the sector and their ongoing support for farmers and the agricultural and agri-food sector across the country.
Ministers discussed developments in agricultural policy and global economic challenges, as well as domestic factors such as adverse climate conditions, and how these factors are affecting farmers' sustainability and profitability. They stressed the importance of ongoing collaboration to ensure that agriculture policies and programs continue to respond and support the sector in addressing challenges and seizing opportunities.
Ministers discussed the situation of the pork industry and how current programming is responding. Proposals put forward by the Canadian Pork Council were also reviewed. Ministers are working with the industry to address the current challenges and move towards a sustainable and profitable industry.
Growing Forward programs are up and running in all provinces and territories addressing local needs and regional realities while contributing to our national objectives. These initiatives will help the sector during these tough economic times and contribute to a profitable and innovative industry. The Government of Canada and the provincial and territorial governments are cost-sharing on a 60:40 basis, $1.3 billion in program funding to support farmers and the agricultural sector across the country.
The federal government is also investing $1.05 billion in innovation, competitiveness, environment and food safety initiatives.
Ministers discussed the steps taken by governments to strengthen the
Canadian food safety system to protect and enhance public health, maintain consumer confidence at home and ensure international competitiveness. Ministers agreed to take a national, science-based approach on food safety and directed officials to advance work in three key areas: enhanced surveillance, pathogen reduction in meat and poultry, and common meat hygiene standards. These actions will build on progress made by federal, provincial and territorial governments in upgrading and improving their systems. Ministers will take stock on progress at their next meeting.