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RBC and Farm & Food Care Foundation encourage Canadian farmers to grow a greener, more sustainable future

Mar. 6. 2012, Toronto, ON - According to a new report by RBC and the Farm & Food Care Foundation, further investment and innovation in sustainable business practices at the farm level is critical for the future success of the Canadian agriculture industry.
“Canadian farmers have an established track record as leaders in sustainable farm management,” said Andrea Bolger, head, Business Financial Services, RBC. “With continued investment in innovative technology and energy efficient equipment; farmers can capitalize on the many productivity benefits of sustainable business, while ensuring access to global markets, now and in the future”
The report entitled, Growing from Strength: Farmers enhancing productivity with sustainable innovation, provides an overview of the latest trends and technologies in the agricultural industry and how farmers can incorporate environmental considerations into strategic decision making so they can continue to provide healthy, safe and affordable food.
“We’ve seen a growing trend over the past 10 years in some regions among Canadian farmers making investments in environmental sustainability,” said Bruce Christie, chair, Farm & Food Care Foundation.  “For example, in 2010, farmers in Ontario invested more than five times the amount in environmental improvements to their farms than in 1999.”
Key highlights of the report:

                    Major trends driving change in the agriculture sector such as farmers’ important role in feeding a growing global, urbanized population, competing land uses, consumer scrutiny and biological innovation.
                    The top environmental challenges that farmers need to be aware of:
o             Land productivity: Doing more with less
o             Water: Protecting an essential resource
o             Ecosystem services: Stewards of habitat and biodiversity
o             Climate change: Adapting to uncertainty
o             Bioenergy and biomaterials: Discovering market opportunities
                    Case studies that showcase best-in-class examples of how farmers are responding to global environmental sustainability challenges by greening their business for enhanced productivity and reduced operating costs.
Copies of the report (in English and French) are available on the RBC Commercial Advice Centre and on the Farm & Food Care Foundation’s website.
RBC and the environment

RBC has long been committed to environmental sustainability, and will maintain that commitment through the activities detailed in its Environmental Blueprint. The RBC Environmental Blueprint formalizes RBC’s longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability, outlining our policy, priorities and objectives, which include reducing the intensity of our environmental footprint, promoting responsible lending, and offering environmentally responsible products and services. In 2011, RBC was named one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World, one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, one of Canada’s Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations, and one of Canada’s Best 50 Corporate Citizens. RBC is also listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North American Indices, the Jantzi Social Index, the FTSE4Good Index and the Canadian Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index.

About Farm & Food Care Foundation
The need to connect the consumer with farmers has never been greater.  Canadian farms are at the leading edge of innovations to reduce the impact of food production on our environment. The Farm & Food Care Foundation plays a key role in communicating to the public with a true and positive story about Canada’s farming and food production systems.

March 6, 2012  By Farm & Food Care Foundation


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