On Monday, Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture met in Ottawa to discuss key areas of interest for Canada’s agriculture sector. The meeting was a precursor in the lead up to the Annual Conference in July.
Areas discussed included progress on the Next Agricultural Policy Framework (NPF), the successor to the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which expires on March 31, 2023. Ongoing exchanges will set the stage for the upcoming Multilateral Framework Agreement (MFA) signing, which will see the realization of the Guelph Statement.
Ministers discussed the need for action on climate change, and opportunities for the sector to lower emissions while maintaining and enhancing sector competitiveness.
Ministers, who stand united with Ukraine, also spoke about their ongoing concerns around global food supplies, food security and the supply of essential inputs, including fertilizers. Ministers discussed how to help maximize Canada’s contribution to global food supply. They also recognized the multiple strains this is causing on the agricultural and agri-food system from producers to consumers, and agreed to work together to stabilize the supply chain wherever possible.
Ministers discussed industry progress on a code of conduct for the food retailers and suppliers. The purpose of the code of conduct is to ensure that conditions are in place in Canada for all supply chain partners to prosper. The Ministers will invite representatives of the industry to present a concrete action plan at the next meeting in July.
Given the unprecedented year for highly pathogenic Avian Influenza globally, Ministers remain aligned that there is an ongoing need to continue to work together to prevent further spread of the disease and minimize the impact on industry and trade.
The prevention of and preparedness for the threat posed by African swine fever (ASF) was also discussed. Governments agreed to continue to cooperate and collaborate in order to prevent the spread of ASF from entering Canada and agreed to advance readiness to respond and support the sector’s recovery in case of an ASF outbreak.
Ministers will next meet in July, at their 2022 Annual Conference in Saskatoon.