Business & Policy
NFU says Growing Forward 2 is inadequate
By National Farmers Union
Feb. 26, 2013, Saskatoon, SK - The National Farmers Union (NFU) says it has studied Ottawa's Growing Forward 2 plan and has major concerns.
"Our study shows that Growing Forward 2's five-year Strategic Initiatives policy framework will intensify globalization and increase corporate control of agriculture while leaving the interests of farmers and consumers – and health of the land itself – on the sidelines," says Colleen Ross, NFU vice president (Policy). "It takes Canada further down the same road we've travelled for decades, and further away from achieving food sovereignty."
Ross contends that the theme of Growing Forward 2 (GF2) - Competitiveness and Market Development, Innovation and Adaptability and Industry Capacity – might sound helpful, "but the way they are being put into action will increase the imbalance in market power between farmers and agri-business," she notes. "Only private-public partnerships will be eligible for research funds. This means that research will be controlled by private interests and conducted only if there is opportunity for private gain. At the same time, planned changes to trade-related regulations will make it easier and cheaper for global corporations to source their agricultural products anywhere in the world and simply download costs and responsibilities onto farmers' backs."
Ann Slater, NFU Ontario Coordinator, says GF2 needs to be understood in the context of existing and planned trade agreements such as NAFTA, CETA and the TPP. "GF2 both responds to the conditions created by these trade deals, and implements measures agreed to in secretive negotiating sessions with trade representatives from other countries," she notes, adding many people do not want what trade deals offer.