Annual Conference of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Agriculture

Backgrounder: Summary of Items from the 2023 Annual Meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture

July 21, 2023 – Fredericton, New Brunswick   

Business Risk Management (BRM)   

Ministers were briefed on progress on a range of BRM program changes resulting from the Sustainable CAP agreement, including to AgriStability, and BRM and the environment. On AgriStability, the new model will be offered on an optional basis to producers in applicable provinces and territories in a flexible way that ensures producers have access to the program in a manner that meets their needs. Ministers also raised other potential BRM improvements for further analysis to support crops and livestock.

Ministers discussed progress on piloting AgriInsurance premium rebates for producers who adopt practices that reduce production risks and have a positive environmental benefit. The federal government is also committed to working with interested provinces to continue evaluating the option of whole farm AgriInsurance, which has the potential to reduce premiums for farmers and encourage diversification of crops. Ministers also noted progress on their shared commitment that, starting in 2025, producers with allowable net sales of $1 million or more will need an agri-environmental risk assessment to receive government contributions through AgriInvest.

Livestock Price Insurance

The federal government and the maritime provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island) have agreed to continue discussions on a Livestock Price Insurance program for producers in those provinces. Ontario and Quebec look forward to discussions to explore support for their programs.   


Recognizing the acute labour challenges being faced by the agricultural sector, Ministers highlighted the importance of working together to remove barriers for workers seeking employment opportunities and committed to sharing ideas and approaches. In this context, Ministers received a presentation on the Atlantic Immigration Program which is both a pathway to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers and helps employers hire qualified candidates for jobs they haven’t been able to fill locally.


Interprovincial trade   

Ministers were provided with an update on the interprovincial food trade pilot projects they had requested at their November 2021 meeting and whose tangible progress they supported at their July 2022 meeting. The pilots aim to: address situations like Lloydminster, which lies on the Alberta-Saskatchewan border; explore solutions for meat processing in rural areas that lack slaughter availability, such as in Ontario-Quebec and Ontario-Manitoba border regions; and explore solutions for Ontario’s “Ready to Grow” meat plants for high-volume provincially regulated meat businesses seeking to test market opportunities in other Canadian provinces or territories.

Honey bee health   

Ministers agreed to continue working together with industry representatives and other stakeholders through the Industry-Government Working Group on Bee Sustainability. This Working Group will continue to consider issues affecting Canadian honey bee health and explore both short and long-term solutions for the sector with the aim of helping to improve the sustainability of the Canadian honey bee sector, including on matters relating to the mortality of honey bee colonies, the overwinter honey bee colony losses and the impact of varroa mites. Ministers also discussed the new risk assessment that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will be undertaking to evaluate the risks associated with the importation of honey bee packages from the United States.

Specified Risk Material   

Ministers also noted the ongoing collaboration between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the cattle sector to better understand the challenges with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). Ministers also emphasized the importance of completing the work on a specified risk materials analysis. Ministers discussed considerations and possible approaches to alignment with the United States on the issue of specified risk material and disposal requirements.