National Newswatch

Bibeau, Hardeman up pressure for agreement on BRM reforms

Jan 22 2021 — Alex Binkley — Quick agreement to proposed changes needed by producers, they say.   Ottawa—Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and her Ontario counterpart Ernie Hardeman are putting the pressure on reluctant colleagues to agree to proposed changes to the AgriStability component of the federal-provincial Business Risk Management (BRM) program for farmers. The changes were unveiled by Bibeau in […]

Ottawa finally launching consultations on the Canada Grain Act

Jan 15 2021 — Alex Binkley — The review has been stalled by the Covid pandemic.   Ottawa—The federal government is finally launching the consultation phase of the Canada Grain Act review it started in March 2019. Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says it will be conducted online until the end of April. The government wants to hear the views of the grain […]

No quick fix to grocery store concentration expected

Jan 8 2021 — Alex Binkley — Federal-provincial committee expected to propose action by mid year.   Ottawa—While federal and provincial officials are working on a solution to complaints from farm groups and food processors about fee increases being imposed on them by the large grocery store chains, no action is likely until this summer, Agriculture Canada says. The federal-provincial working group […]

Agrifood has prominent role in restarting the Canadian economy

Jan 7 2021 — Alex Binkley — Food and agriculture get prominent mention throughout restart report.   Ottawa-A game plan developed by business leaders for firing up the post-pandemic Canadian economy envisages a prominent role for the agrifood sector. The 136-page report of the Industry Strategy Council, released last month with little fanfare, sets out the steps “for building a digital, sustainable […]

Food processing sector doesn’t get the recognition it deserves

Jan 6 2021 — Alex Binkley — Pandemic served up a series of shocks to the sector.   Ottawa—While food and beverage makers constitute the country’s largest manufacturing sector, their importance isn’t well understood or appreciated, says Daniel Vielfaure, Deputy CEO of the Bonduelle Group and CEO of Bonduelle Americas. Domestic food manufacturers buy over half of Canada’s agriculture output and turn […]

Agrifood needs regulatory modernization to boost the economy

Jan 5 2021 — Alex Binkley — The change would be quick and deliver result without extra costs.   Ottawa—Regulatory modernization is the simplest and quickest way to enable the agrifood sector to help drive a national economic recovery, says CropLife Canada. Governments already have a road map to steer the sector “as a driver for investment, jobs and growth at a […]

The Canadian Agri-food Sustainability Initiative launched

Dec 30 2020 — Alex Binkley — CASI will spend a few months consulting on a sustainability platform.   Ottawa-After about a year of preparation, the Canadian Agri-food Sustainability Initiative (CASI) has been launched with Keith Currie as one of two co-chairs. The outgoing President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture will work with Paul Uys from Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph […]

Federal Climate Plan needs a better balance for agriculture, CAPI says

Dec 29 2020 — Alex Binkley — Many details still need to be clarified.   Ottawa—The federal Climate Plan, which has angered some farm groups because of steadily-rising fuels costs, does contain some positives for agriculture but could be better balanced, says the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute. While the Plan recognizes the significant progress Canadian farmers have made during the last 20 […]

Food processors need to be profitable before implementing automation

Dec 23 2020 — Alex Binkley — Workforce vacancies remain a big challenge for companies.   Ottawa—While automation could solve the worker shortage that food processers currently face, companies have to be profitable enough to make the transition, says Michael Graydon, President and CEO of Food, Health and Consumer Products of Canada. The sector is struggling with 28,000 unfilled vacancies and employers […]

Fix farm supports or risk losing the next generation of farmers, CCA president warns

Dec 22 2020 — Alex Binkley — Ottawa—The federal and provincial governments need to fix shortcomings in agriculture programs or risk losing the next generation of producers who could decide farming isn’t financially sustainable, say national farm leaders. Bob Lowe, President of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, said broken financial support programs and a shortage of livestock processing capacity are among a number […]

Quebec group thinks it has a model for beef farmers everywhere

Dec 18 2020 — Alex Binkley — Smaller automated regional processing plants are needed.   Ottawa—Beef processing in Canada needs a massive overhaul if the sector is to remain internationally competitive, says Jean-Sebastien Gascon, Director General of Boeuf Quebec (BQ), a small but ambitious group of beef producers. Gascon compares the initiative to the Cirque du Soleil. It’ll have a marketing strategy […]