Canadian Farmers Need Immediate Action on BRM Programs

Canada’s AgGrowth Coalition and its members are calling on the Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Agriculture Ministers to begin implementation of a four-point plan for immediate action on national Business Risk Management (BRM) programs that will be more beneficial to farmers from across Canada than legacy programs that are currently in place.

The AgGrowth Coalition and its members believe the following actions should be implemented by the FPT Agriculture Ministers during their meeting in Quebec City this July:

  1. AgriStability coverage immediately adjusted to cover losses starting at 85 per cent reference margins with no Reference Margin Limits.
  2. Prioritize discussions on production insurance for livestock and horticulture crops which are not currently covered under AgriInsurance.
  3. Discussions on BRM programming options to be meaningful and focussed on program effectiveness rather than funding levels.
  4. The establishment of an industry-government technical working group that allows farm groups to actively participate in BRM data and impact analysis.

“Farmers from across the country are facing risks beyond their control. We’ve been told for years that change is coming, and it is time for action by the FPT Ministers on BRM programming” says Markus Haerle, Chair of AgGrowth Coalition. “The U.S. government is providing support for its farmers; we need our governments from across Canada to stand up and support Canadian farmers so we can remain competitive,” adds Haerle.

Agriculture lays the foundation for 1 in 8 Canadian jobs, provides billions of dollars in economic output, and is one of the most well-respected Canadian industries in the world. As the world's fifth-largest agricultural exporter, Canada has the opportunity to contribute to economic growth in Canada and become the trusted global leader in safe, nutritious, and sustainable food in the 21st century.

“The Canadian agri-food sector is a strategic national asset that needs a BRM program that will truly support farmers dealing with modernized business risks caused by forces outside of their control,” says Jeff Nielsen, co-chair of AgGrowth.

“Canadian farmers are bearing the weight of major uncertainty from the current disruptive global trade environment. Market volatility and barriers in traditional markets are impacting farmers across the country,” says Chris van den Heuvel, co-chair of AgGrowth. “Farmers need a BRM suite of programs that is bankable and predictable to help manage these risks,” adds van den Heuvel.

The AgGrowth Coalition is appreciative of the work done to date in reviewing existing BRM programming and is now seeking meaningful action resulting from that work, which began at the FPT meeting in 2016.

AgGrowth Coalition — www.aggrowthcoalition.ca​

Coalition members represent farmers from across the country and include: Canadian Canola Growers Association, Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the Canadian Horticultural Council, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Grain Growers of Canada, and the National Sheep Network.

Canadian Canola Growers Association
Jan Dyer
Director Government Relations
Phone: 613-232-0223
Email: jand@ccga.ca

Canadian Federation of Agriculture
Laurie Karson
Director of Communications
Phone: 613-236-3633 ext. 2322
Email: communications@canadian-farmers.ca

Grain Growers of Canada
Lindsey Ehman
Manager, Communications & Stakeholder Relations
Phone: 613-233-9954 ext. 202
Email: lehman@ggc-pgc.ca

Grain Farmers of Ontario
Debra Conlon
Government Relations
Phone: 416-805-4490
Email: dconlon@gfo.ca

Canadian Horticultural Council
Mark Wales
Chair, Business Risk Management Committee
Phone: 519-773-6706

National Sheep Network
Jennifer MacTavish
General Manager
Phone: 519-836-0043
Email: jmactavish@ontariosheep.org