1 in 8 Canadian jobs relies on the agriculture industry and the next federal government needs to focus on restoring trade for products grown and produced here in Canada, Keystone Agricultural Producers president Bill Campbell said today. This comes shortly after the provincial election campaign and is the second opportunity this year that KAP has had to raise the profile of agriculture issues.
“The next federal government needs to focus on the importance of the agriculture industry and stand up for the millions of Canadians that are employed in our sector, including farmers like me,” Campbell said. “Trade for Canadian agricultural products is expected to grow by 50% by the year 2050, and politicians of all stripes need to work with partners around the world to ensure our products continue to find open markets.”
Agriculture was responsible for $112B in GDP in 2016, with 11% GDP growth between 2012 and 2016. 2.3M Canadians, or approximately 1 in 8, are employed in the agriculture industry and agriculture is the second largest employer in the country.
KAP is calling on the federal parties to focus on three areas: stronger business risk management programming to better protect farmers from natural disasters and trade pressures, a plan to address labour shortages to attract skilled workers to agriculture operations, and effective climate change investments that recognize the stewardship of Canadian farmers. These three priorities would ensure the continued contribution of primary agriculture for years to come.
“It’s important that both farmers and non-farmers alike ask their candidates at the door what they know about agriculture, and what their plan is for our industry,” Campbell added. “We are more than happy to meet with any and all candidates to ensure that they are aware of just how important agriculture is to the Canadian economy.”
KAP is also a member of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, who has released their “Producing Prosperity in Canada” action plan for the upcoming federal election. These priorities can be found here.
For more information:
Joey Dearborn, communications coordinator
Keystone Agricultural Producers
September 25, 2019
KAP sets out priorities for federal election campaign
Agriculture represented $112B to Canada’s GDP to 2016, representing an 11% growth since 2012. 2.3M Canadians are employed in the agriculture sector which makes agriculture the second largest employer in the country. By 2050, agriculture demand is expected to grow by 50% and as Canada is already a top five exporter of agricultural products, the sector needs to grow to keep up with world demand.
Business Risk Management
Farmers face a unique set of weather and market risks that they cannot manage from within their operation, which results in reduced investment and economic growth. KAP is asking for improvements to the AgriStability program, including restoring the 85% loss coverage and expanding production insurance to those commodities not presently served by AgriInsurance. For more information, click here.
Research from the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council shows that farmers across Canada’s agriculture sector reported $2.9 billion in lost sales because of a shortage of skilled agriculture workers. The federal government should increase the supply of agriculture workers and improve the knowledge and skills of workers in the industry. This would include ensuring efficient pathways for international workers to come to Canada through the immigration system and through the temporary foreign worker program.
The federal government should be working towards ensuring that farm income statements include ecological goods and services revenue included with crop and livestock cash receipts. This recognizes farmers’ stewardship role and provides incentives to continue to make good decisions for soil health, water management, and climate change technologies. This can happen through research, the promotion of best practices, and continued work on programs such as the carbon offset.