Today, Canada’s Ministers of Agriculture met by video conference to discuss several key areas of interest for Canada’s agriculture sector, as a lead-up to their Annual Conference in September.
The topics of discussion included the next Agricultural Policy Framework (successor to the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which expires on March 31, 2023), prevention of and preparedness for the threat posed by African Swine Fever, potential long-term improvements to the suite of Business Risk Management programs (BRM), and setting the stage for a strong and sustainable future.
Ministers also expressed their concern for farmers and workers dealing with the current heat waves, wildfires and drought conditions in Western Canada and other regions of the country, and reiterated the importance of a strong BRM framework to provide producers with the ability to make sound business decisions in times of economic uncertainty.
Last November, Ministers created the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group on Retail Fees and called on industry to actively contribute to the development of solutions to help ensure that Canada has the appropriate conditions for all supply chain partners to prosper. At today’s meeting Ministers received the findings from the Working Group and called on industry to lead a collaborative process to develop broad consensus around a concrete proposal to improve transparency, predictability, and respect for the principles of fair dealing. Ministers also agreed that alongside the industry-led process, the Working Group will continue to build on the positive momentum and support industry in a constructive dialogue. They have asked for an update on progress before the end of the year and will continue to monitor the issue of fees imposed by grocery retailers to suppliers in order to resolve the issue.
Ministers will next meet in September, at their 2021 Annual Conference in Guelph, Ontario.