National Newswatch

ASF conference creates great expectations for follow up action

May 14 2019 — Alex Binkley — McCain warns outdated rules could create an economic Armageddon.   Ottawa—The united front shown by the Chief Veterinary Officers of Canada, the United States and Mexico at a two-conference on confronting African Swine Fever (ASF) was a good start, say agrifood leaders and veterinarians. However much needs to be done by the three governments and […]

Produce industry looking to alternatives to plastic packaging

May 13 2019 — Alex Binkley — Packaging matters for producers and consumers.   Ottawa—In a move the rest of the agrifood sector will be watching, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) has formed a working group to look into what alternatives to current plastic packaging are available. “This is a complex issue which is a focus for consumers, governments and industry,” […]

Farm groups gain support of senators for changes to fisheries habitat rules

May 7 2019 — Alex Binkley — Ottawa—Agrifood groups seeking changes to a fisheries bill to ensure it doesn’t disrupt farm operations across the country have the backing of the Senate fisheries committee. Committee Deputy Chairman Senator Marc Gold of Quebec said the Government Senate Leader Peter Harder and Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson have indicated they are prepared to amend sections of […]

Advance payment program boosted to $1 million and enrollment deadline extended by two months

May 1 2019 — Alex Binkley — Canada will keep working on diversifying agrifood markets and trying to get China to talk science.   Ottawa—The maximum available under the Advance Payments Program (APP) for all crop growers will be raised to $1 million from the current $400,000 and the enrollment deadline pushed back two months, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced May 1. […]

European trade deal hasn’t been a breakthrough for Canadian agrifood

Apr 29 2019 — Alex Binkley — Chamber offers several suggestions for overcoming European protectionism.   Ottawa—The federal government has to make better use of dispute mechanisms in the free trade deal with the European Union to tackle protectionist measures that are hindering agrifood exports to Europe, says the Canadian Chamber of Commerce The 18-month-old trade deal removed most tariffs but that […]

Maintaining public trust will be an on-going issue for the agrifood sector

Apr 24 2019 — Alex Binkley — Farm and food organizations have their own issues but maintaining public trust is one they must collaborate on.   Ottawa—When it comes to building and maintaining public trust in the food system, agriculture and processing organizations have to exit their silos and work together cooperatively, says Jean-Michel Couture of Groupe AGECO. “We need a collective […]

Growth of the agrifood sector stunted by regulations, Canadian Chamber of Commerce warns

Apr 22 2019 — Alex Binkley — PMRA under-resourced for current pesticide evaluation workload.   Ottawa—The federal government should fulfill its promise to streamline the regulatory system for agriculture and food processing with action before the October election, says the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Numerous reports during the last few years on the need for regulatory reform have drawn promises of action, […]

Agriculture groups keep pressing for changes to federal legislation that could disrupt farms

Apr 17 2019 — Alex Binkley — Current law could endanger many farm operations.   Ottawa—The Canadian Federation of Agriculture and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association are pressing the government to protect farms from unintended handicaps that legislation under study in the Senate could cause. CFA will get to make its case May 2 for changes to Fisheries Act amendments that could handicap […]

Government can help deliver agrifood’s public trust message

Apr 15 2019 — Alex Binkley — The public needs to hear how the food regulatory system ensures safety.   Ottawa—The federal government could provide an important assist to the agrifood sector as it prepares to launch its initiative to build public trust in the safety of Canadian produced foods, says Susie Miller, Executive Director of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops. […]