Conference of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers of Agriculture


Innovation and Market  Development at the Fore of Canada’s  Next Agricultural Policy Framework

Gatineau, Québec –  April 20, 2012 – With record high farm incomes and a positive economic outlook  for the Canadian agriculture industry as a backdrop, Agriculture Ministers met  today and launched the final stage of negotiations of the next agriculture  policy framework for the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector. Ministers  agreed that the new framework will focus on investments in innovation,  competitiveness, market opportunities, adaptability and sustainability.  Ministers aim to sign the agreement at their next annual meeting in September  and to have the new framework in place by April 2013.  

“Just as farmers constantly adjust their farm  practices to suit changing market or weather conditions, so too must governments  review and adapt programs so they continue to support the evolving needs of the  agriculture industry,” said federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “By  focusing on innovation, market development and the long-term prosperity of the  farm gate, federal, provincial and territorial governments will be able to help  farmers capitalize on new innovations, emerging market opportunities, and  increasing global demand for safe, high quality food.”

Ministers called  for stronger government-industry partnership to foster a culture of innovation  and to ensure investments and priorities are aligned with the needs of the  sector. Ministers also discussed the need to continue to engage the entire  value chain including the food processing industry.

FPT governments will  continue to work closely  with industry to create new market opportunities through science, market  access, and food safety. Governments will strengthen their efforts to create  and maximize opportunities for Canadian farmers, producers and processors to  sell their safe, quality products to consumers here at home and around the  world. Ministers also reiterated their support for advancing Canada's trade interests in free trade  negotiations to benefit Canada's  agricultural and agri-food sector, while maintaining support for Canada’s  supply management system.

“I am pleased that all jurisdictions are  united in our resolve to ensure the policies and programs outlined in the  successor framework agreement will support the evolving needs of the industry,”  said meeting co-chair Brad Cathers, Yukon Minister for Energy, Mines and  Resources. “Together we are building a solid foundation to help producers and  processors remain competitive and successful, now and well into the future.”

The next annual  meeting will be held September 12-14, 2012, in Whitehorse, Yukon.

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