Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Agriculture Ministers Conclude Annual Meeting

The annual conference of Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture was
held in Fredericton, New Brunswick, from July 19 to 21, 2023. Ministers discussed the agriculture
and agri-food sector’s key issues, including the successful launch of the $3.5 billion Sustainable
Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) that came into effect on April 1, 2023. In
the face of current challenges and concerns related to global food security, Ministers underlined
the importance of working together to ensure that hard-working producers and processors in
Canada have the supports they need to continue to feed Canadians and a growing global
Ministers expressed their concerns regarding the extreme weather situations currently impacting
producers across the country, including drought and wildfires. Ministers committed to working
together expeditiously to share data and complete AgriRecovery assessments. Ministers also
committed to ensuring that producers have access to a full suite of Business Risk Management
(BRM) programs that are timely and reliable. In view of this, Ministers committed to continuous
improvement of BRM programs to support farmers and ranchers. In order to ensure timeliness,
simplicity and predictability of AgriStability, Ministers agreed to the implementation of an optional
new model.
Prevention and preparedness planning for African Swine Fever was also discussed. Ministers
acknowledged the need for continued strong collaboration between federal, provincial, and
territorial governments as well as industry on the development of integrated disease prevention,
surveillance and management plans and cost-shared response programming. Ministers
recognized the importance of increasing Canada’s readiness and capacity to respond to potential
disease outbreaks and re-affirmed their commitment to closely collaborate on this issue, and to
engage with key players across the value chain by the fall. It will be critical to maintain public
confidence in the Canadian food supply and to mitigate trade-related market disruptions, notably
by establishing zoning arrangements with our trading partners. Ministers also discussed actions
taken already, such as the ongoing work through Animal Health Canada (AHC).
AHC is a national organization that provides a collaborative space for government and industry
partners to achieve animal health and welfare priorities, while providing expertise in areas such
as emergency preparedness, emerging diseases, animal health surveillance, and updating the
codes of practice for the care and handling of farm animals. Ministers unanimously endorsed
AHC’s proposed role in emergency preparedness and indicated their support for continued
investment and its operations. Ministers support the importance of traceability measures and
stated the necessity of ensuring that measures are designed to reflect operational realities.
Ministers agreed that innovation, scientific research and development, and collaboration play key
roles in continuing to increase productivity and economic growth, while protecting the
environment. Ministers highlighted the importance of building on a foundation of strengths and
expertise from across jurisdictions and noted actions already taking place across the supply
chain to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sequester carbon and improve the environmental
and economic sustainability of the sector. Ministers continue to champion the work of industry
partners, in building a clean future that is both sustainable for our planet and supports farmers’
economic livelihoods. Ministers committed to continuing to work with stakeholders to respond to
the challenge of climate change and extreme weather events, such as drought and wildfires, and
to meet the growing demands for healthy, sustainable and nutritious food. The federal
government presented on the Sustainable Agriculture Strategy and provinces and territories
shared their current strategies and initiatives. Ministers emphasized the importance of science
and evidence-based decision-making in improving the long-term growth, resilience and
sustainability of the agriculture and agri-food sector.

Ministers recognized that Canadian producers need effective tools to manage weeds, pests and
plant diseases. Ministers agreed that science and evidence-based decision-making on regulating
crop protection products is paramount. They also recognized the importance of supporting
research into pest management tools, practices and solutions such as biopesticides and
integrated pest management approaches. Following the Pest Management Regulatory Agency
(PMRA) presentation, and recognizing the difficulties faced by our producers, Ministers agreed to
create an FPT working group which will explore the challenges of pesticide management.
Ministers are committed to improving supply chain resiliency and as such, received an update
from industry on the Grocery Sector Code of Conduct consultations held in May 2023. Ministers
recognized the important steps taken by industry towards the implementation of the Grocery
Sector Code of Conduct by year’s end. Ministers were also briefed on the plan to establish an
office which will provide training, education, dispute resolution services and oversight, as well as
send a signal to Canadian consumers that the grocery sector is improving its transparency.
Ministers supported the industry-led collaborative process and remained open to discussing how
governments can support this effort going forward, including through short-term financial support
for the creation of the office. Ministers remained united in calling for the participation of all key
players in the industry, who will support its operations.
Ministers advanced talks on the federal government’s commitment in Budget 2023 of $57.5
million over five years (starting in 2023-24) and $5.6 million in ongoing funding to support and
establish a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank for Canada, and to develop FMD
response plans with provinces and territories. Ministers agreed on a collaborative approach,
working with industry, to support this project which will enable the Canadian Food Inspection
Agency to secure a strategic reserve of vaccines to help Canada’s livestock industry against
FMD outbreaks.
Ministers discussed international trade and market diversification, including ongoing trade
negotiations with key partners. Discussions also centred around collective efforts to position
Canada as a trusted and sustainable supplier of choice to the Indo-Pacific region by leveraging
Canada’s first-ever Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office, which will be in Manila,
Philippines, as well as existing federal, provincial and industry resource investments in the
Ministers also discussed labour, including recent disruptions at the Port of Vancouver, Specified
Risk Material, Clean Fuel Regulations as well as honey bee health. In addition, Ministers
highlighted advancements on interprovincial trade pilots and committed to continue the progress
on this issue. For more information, please see the Backgrounder: Summary of Items from the
2023 Annual Meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture.
The next Annual FPT Ministers’ meeting will be held in Whitehorse, Yukon, in July 2024. The
Ministers who were not in attendance in Fredericton were represented by other officials*.
*Nunavut was not represented at the meeting.

(Government of Canada news release)

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