Calling on all political parties to support Canada’s Agri-Food industry to grow and prosper, for the benefit of all Canadians
The CFA, the unified voice advocating for Canadian farmers at the national level, launched the Producing Prosperity in Canada campaign this morning on Parliament Hill.
The campaign is a non-partisan initiative leading up to this year’s federal election aimed at incumbent MPs, new candidates, and policymakers, to promote the potential of the Agri-Food sector as the most significant economic engine in Canada, a champion of food security, and innovative contributor to national environmental stewardship.
In 2017 the federal government’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth, led by Dominic Barton, highlighted Agri-Food as a key growth sector for Canada. Canada possesses world-class agricultural expertise, has a modern economy, and established infrastructure to move products to market, noting that more is needed to leverage the sector’s potential for expanded trade and domestic growth. Internationally, Canada’s Agri-Food industry has earned an excellent reputation for producing safe, high-quality food, due in part to our high environmental safety standards. Canada is well-positioned to satisfy increasing food demands, both domestically and abroad.
The Producing Prosperity in Canada campaign highlights several important benefits of a larger, more prosperous domestic agri-food industry:
- Economic Growth – The Canadian agri-food industry generated $112 billion in GDP in 2016, and between 2012 and 2016 overall growth of the sector was 11%, compared to 7.8% across the entire economy. The industry provides 3 million Canadian jobs, that’s 1 in 8, making it the second largest employer in the country. Canada produces twice as much food as it consumes, and is well-positioned to benefit from increasing domestic and global food demand.
- Food Security – Canadian agriculture produces among the most diverse range of products and food in the world. Our regulatory leadership has allowed our farmers to produce food of exceptionally high quality, enabling us to become among the most efficient and affordable Canadians spend less on food than most other countries, using under 10% of disposable household income on groceries.
- Environmental Stewardship – Currently only about 6.5% of Canada’s land mass is being farmed, and a strong agri-food sector helps ensure this precious resource is preserved for future generations. Canadian farmers have drastically reduced carbon emissions from on-farm activities over the past 3 decades, and new technology and innovation efforts continue to further reduce the carbon footprint. Research partnerships between government, academia and agriculture are targeting lower emissions from crop production and livestock, and continue to explore opportunities to use water more efficiently.
“The CFA looks forward to collaborating with our membership, industry stakeholders and government, as we continue to identify solutions for Canadian Agri-Food issues. Over the coming months we are looking forward to meeting hundreds of political candidates and officials as we move toward the federal election. Our goal is to convince government to treat Agri-Food policies as a national priority, regardless of whether they represent rural vs urban ridings,” says Mary Robinson, President of CFA.
“Farmers feed the world, which makes the agriculture industry arguably recession proof. For economic, food security and environmental reasons we firmly believe the Producing Prosperity in Canada campaign possesses the key ingredients for national support. A robust national Agri-Food industry will benefit all Canadians.”