Annual Conference of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Agriculture

NEWS RELEASE – Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Set the Direction  for the Next Agricultural Framework

July 22, 2016 - Calgary, Alberta

Canada's federal, provincial and territorial  (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture today concluded their annual conference with  Ministers issuing the Calgary  Statement ― representing a consensus among Ministers regarding the key  priorities to develop the next agricultural policy framework, set to launch in  April 2018.

This year's conference was co-chaired by  Lawrence MacAulay, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Oneil  Carlier, Alberta Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. FPT Ministers reaffirmed  their commitment to work together to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food  sector - an industry that generates over $108 billion for the Canadian economy  and employs one in eight Canadians.

FPT Ministers will continue to collaborate with  stakeholders to enhance the sector's ability to compete, innovate and capture  new opportunities. Ministers discussed increasing market access and  development, advancing investments in science, innovation and research, the  need for a strong science-based regulatory framework, enhancing public trust,  the continued importance of Business Risk Management programs and systems such  as supply management, and renewed emphasis on environmental sustainability and  climate change. Ministers committed to preserve the integrity of the supply  management system.

The Calgary Statement was developed by FPT Ministers based on  ongoing discussions with stakeholders and will guide the development of the  next agricultural framework. The second  phase of federal online consultation was also launched to seek comments on  the Calgary Statement and help inform the development of future FPT  agricultural programs and services.

Ministers discussed the importance of efficient  transportation systems in order for Canada to be a reliable supplier of  agriculture and agri-food products to customers around the world, and the  importance of access to labour, and finding short- and long-term solutions to  labour needs. Ministers also stressed the importance of the quality of Canadian  and imported products (reciprocity of standards) and the strict controls to  which all foods are subject.

* Although Quebec is not opposed to the content of this  joint communique, it will issue its own communique as it considers this joint communique  incomplete and not reflective of a full consensus.


"The Calgary Statement sets the direction for  future agricultural programs and services that will help the sector continue to  innovate, grow the economy, create jobs and help grow the middle class. Along  with the provinces and territories, I will continue to work with stakeholders  and interested Canadians to chart the way forward for Canadian agriculture."
Lawrence  MacAulay
Minister  of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"Agriculture  is an enormous contributor to a strong and diversified Canadian economy. As we  move forward, we will continue to work closely with industry and my colleagues  from across the country, to implement programs that help ensure the agriculture  sector is well-positioned for sustainable growth and continues to be a leader  in the global marketplace."
Oneil  Carlier
Alberta  Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

Quick Facts

  • The  current agriculture framework, Growing Forward 2 (GF2), is a $3 billion  investment for strategic initiatives over five years (2013-2018) by FPT  governments in programming to support innovation, competitiveness and market  development.
  • Canadian  farm incomes also continue to hit new records with net cash income expected to  close out 2015 at a record $15 billion and remain strong in 2016.
  • The  GF2 FPT Business Risk Management suite of programs are demand-driven, and to  date, have provided over $4 billion in support to help producers address risks  that are beyond their capacity to  manage  and that threaten the viability of their farms.
  • In  2015, the total value of Canadian agricultural exports reached an all-time high  exceeding $60 billion.
  • The  agriculture and agri-food sector represents close to seven per cent of Canada's  GDP.

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On  July 20-22, 2016, federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Ministers of  Agriculture from across the country met in Calgary, Alberta for their annual  Ministers' Conference. Ministers discussed the opportunities and challenges  facing the sector:

Next Agricultural  Framework:

  • FPT  Ministers are  currently collaborating on the development of the next agricultural policy  framework, set to launch in 2018.
  • Ministers  issued the Calgary Statement on July 22, 2016 which outlines the overarching  themes and priorities that will guide the development of the next framework.
  • The  Calgary Statement recognizes the diversity of the sector and the importance of  flexibility in addressing its changing needs.
  • Engagement  with stakeholders has been underway since early 2016 and additional  consultation activities will be ongoing in the coming months to gather feedback  that will help inform future agricultural programs and services.
  • Ministers  are committed to a strengthened focus on results and continuous improvement of  policies and program delivery.  

Business Risk  Management (BRM):

  • FPT  Ministers agreed that BRM programming must help Canadian producers address  risks that are beyond their capacity to manage and that threaten the viability  of their farms.
  • FPT  Ministers also share the industry's concerns about the level of participation  in AgriStability and have tasked officials to consult with industry on options  aimed at improving participation in the program, including with young farmers.
  • Ministers  will continue to consult with industry on BRM as part of the engagement process  on the next policy framework and agreed that BRM will play a key role in the  next framework.

Market Access, Market  Development and Trade Policy:

  • Ministers  reaffirmed continued support for developing new markets for Canadian products  and strengthening Canadian competitiveness in the agriculture and agri-food  sectors.
  • FPT  partners will work collaboratively to ensure effective coordination to support  companies in getting their products to market.
  • Ministers  discussed their support for implementing the Canada-European Union  Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which will lead to new and  expanded opportunities, create jobs and benefit Canadian consumers. Ministers  also noted the importance of ongoing consultations on the allocation of the new  cheese import tariff rates quotas.
  • Ministers  look forward to the conclusion of consultations on the Trans-Pacific  Partnership (TPP).  Ministers also  discussed the potential benefits and implications of the TPP, should it come  into force.
  • Ministers  noted the importance of free movement of agriculture and agri-food products  within the Canadian market.

Science and Innovation:

  • Ministers  acknowledged the vital importance of continued investments in science and  innovation to drive higher levels of productivity, competitiveness and  sustainability in the farming and food processing sector.
  • They  discussed the importance for these investments to continue the momentum from  previous frameworks, the need for funding to align with industry and government  priorities, and the importance of flexibility to enable regional approaches and  program options that achieve high impact and unlock further potential from all  parts of the sector.
  • Ministers  also discussed the importance of knowledge transfer and uptake by producers to  maximize the value of agricultural research investments, and the need for  governments, producers and academic institutions to work together to strengthen  the transformation of research results into practical advice for farmers.

Environment and Climate  Change:

  • Ministers  discussed the importance of environmental sustainability as a key element in  agricultural development.
  • Ministers  discussed the need for science-based policies that will facilitate clean growth  while achieving progress on environmental sustainability and climate change  mitigation and adaptation.  
  • Ministers  agreed on the need for renewed efforts on environmental sustainability and to  help address the advancement of agri-environmental priorities to support a  competitive, innovative and sustainable sector.

Public Trust:

  • Ministers  acknowledge that Canadian consumer preferences about food are changing.  Consumers expect transparency from industry and assurance that food is produced  in safe, sustainable and responsible ways.
  • Ministers  recognize that governments and industry have important roles to play in  maintaining trust and confidence in Canadian agriculture and the agri-food  system.
  • Ministers  agree on the importance of continuing to work with industry to build and  maintain public trust, and sharing the story of the importance of the sector  and the modern, responsible and sustainable practices it uses.
  • Ministers  reaffirmed their support for continued review and modernization of  science-based regulations for food safety, animal health and welfare, and plant  health.

Food Processing:

  • Ministers  reemphasized the strategic importance of the food manufacturing sector in  Canada, and recognized the need for FPT governments to work together to assist  the sector to improve productivity.  
  • Ministers  also directed FPT officials to examine the capacity of the processing system in  Canada to help it introduce new products and processes to improve  competitiveness domestically and internationally.

Food Policy:

  • Ministers  discussed the development of a national food policy that includes promotion of  healthy living and safe food, and food security. Minister MacAulay encouraged  the continued FPT sharing of ideas about food policy.  
  • The  federal government plans to seek the ideas of Canadians and stakeholders about  the scope and directions of a food policy.

Emergency Management:

  • Ministers  endorsed the new Emergency Management Framework for Agriculture in Canada (the  Framework). Developed in collaboration with FPT officials, the Framework aims  to improve FPT integration and collaboration through a focus on prevention,  mitigation and improving the capacity of governments and industry to prepare,  respond and recover from emergencies.
  • Ministers  also endorsed the Livestock  Market Interruption Strategy. FPT officials, in partnership with the  livestock industry, developed the strategy which includes tools and information  to enable all stakeholders to make timely and well informed decisions in case  of an emergency, such as foot-and-mouth disease.
  • Ministers  also endorsed the development of a plant and animal health strategy, including  the initiation of stakeholder consultation.

Regulatory Framework:

  • Ministers  reaffirmed their support for a science- and outcome-based Canadian regulatory  framework and acknowledged its contribution to food safety, plant and animal  health as well as to trade and market competitiveness. Canada is known for  having the highest standards of food safety which helps make our agri-food  products more attractive in traditional and emerging markets.
  • Ministers  agreed to continue to work together across governments and industry to support  industry's awareness and understanding of the modernized regulatory  requirements e.g. proposed regulations under the Safe Food for Canadians  Act.