Federal-Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Agriculture


OTTAWA, December 4, 2002 -- Federal-Provincial-Territorial agriculture ministers met in Ottawa today to review the most recent proposals on improving Canada’s business risk management programs under the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF), emphasizing that it will be important to continue working closely with producers toward this goal.

Ministers reconfirmed their long-standing commitment to an orderly transition to new business risk management programming. They reiterated that the implementation of new programs and features will progress, in consultation with industry, commencing April 1, 2003 with the goal of having a mature system in place by 2006.

Ministers reviewed progress in the development of options to improve risk management programs, including a recently released consultation paper.

The APF sets out a plan for business risk management that builds on two core programs -- a new Net Income Stabilization Account (NISA) and a broader crop insurance program. The consultation paper provides more detail on proposed program changes.

Ministers indicated that consultations with the farm sector on the paper will continue this month and into the new year. Upon completion of the consultations, ministers will be in a position to make decisions about program details.

Copies of the business risk management consultation paper, and annexes of more detailed analysis on the program options, are available through the Agricultural Policy Framework Web site: www.agr.gc.ca/puttingcanadafirst.

Business risk management is a key component of the APF which aims to improve the profitability of the agriculture and agri-food sector in Canada and make sure it is the world leader in food safety and quality, environmentally responsible production and innovation.

NOTE: Québec indicated that because it has not yet signed the APF agreement, it cannot endorse this communique. However, Québec also indicated that discussion continues with a view to signing the framework agreement.

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