Canada's Ministers of Agriculture focus on important support measures for farmers and processors at their annual conference

OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 27, 2020 /CNW/ - Today, Canada's federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture wrapped up their two-day virtual conference with important discussions on the future of Business Risk Management programs, a discussion on balance in the retail supplier relationship, and a look ahead to the design and development of key priorities for the next agricultural policy framework.Ministers discussed options for short-term improvements to AgriStability. The federal government tabled a proposal that will be considered in more detail by provinces and territories. While no consensus was reached, efforts will continue on a common path forward.
FPT governments are listening to farmers and stakeholder groups, who have been asking for meaningful changes and alternatives to the current risk management approach. Ministers agreed that programs need to improve to better target emerging risks that threaten the viability of the farm, which may include options based on insurance principles. Moreover, programs should be simple, predictable, and respond quickly for producers, while treating farms fairly and equitably.A To address these objectives, Ministers requested that analysis on alternative designs be completed to inform discussions on longer-term risk management reform atA their next meeting in July 2021.
Ministers also took the opportunity to look further ahead as they launched discussions for the design and development of the next agricultural policy framework to follow the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which will come into force on April 1, 2023. Ministers look forward to launching an initial engagement with industry this coming year to consult and collaborate on priority areas for development of the new framework, to be articulated in the policy statement that will be tabled in Guelph next summer. They noted the importance of recognizing regional differences and shared national objectives within that policy statement. Ministers also reviewed the lessons learned from a number of one-time initiatives to support producers and processors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ministers discussed the concerns of processors, producers and independent grocers regarding increased retailer fees on suppliers and the need for balance in the supplier-retailer relationship, while also ensuring that Canadians continue to have access to a reliable food supply at affordable prices. FPT governments agree that collaborative action is the best approach.
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