A new agriculture policy framework will strengthen Canada’s agriculture industry and product sectors and allow them to innovate, grow, and prosper.
Key elements of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3 billion investment, were agreed upon today at the Canadian Ministers of Agriculture meetings in Newfoundland and Labrador. The agreement sets the stage for federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) governments to put programs in place by April 1, 2018.
“Prince Edward Island’s agriculture industry is the foundation of our province’s continued economic strength,” Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Alan McIsaac said. “This new funding agreement will help us remain Canada’s Food Island by meeting the needs of farmers, producers, processors, and consumers for years to come.”
Over the past two years, Prince Edward Island’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has evaluated existing programming and consulted extensively with the industry and Islanders to ensure the new framework meets the needs of the province and that there is a smooth transition from the current policy framework.
The agriculture ministers’ meetings also included updates on the status of trade negotiations, market access initiatives in key export markets, the FPT National Regulatory Agenda, Indigenous agriculture in Canada, and the development of a Food Policy for Canada. Next year’s meetings will be in Vancouver in July 2018.
Agriculture is a key contributor to Prince Edward Island’s economy. Farm cash receipts from 2016 totalled $487 million and the industry employs approximately 3,500 people primarily in rural communities.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership will focus on six priority areas:
• Science, Research, and Innovation – Helping industry adopt practices to improve resiliency and productivity through research and innovation in key areas.
• Markets and Trade – Opening new markets and helping farmers and food processors improve their competitiveness through skills development, improved export capacity, underpinned by a strong and efficient regulatory system.
• Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change – Building sector capacity to mitigate agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, protect the environment and adapt to climate change by enhancing sustainable growth while increasing agricultural production.
• Value-added Agriculture and Agri-food Processing – Supporting the continued growth of the value-added agriculture and agri-food processing sector.
• Public trust – Building a firm foundation for public trust in the sector through improved assurance systems in food safety and plant and animal health, stronger traceability and effective regulations.
• Risk Management – Enabling effective risk management, mitigation and adaptation to facilitate a resilient sector by working to ensure programs are comprehensive, responsive and accessible.