On September 14, 2012, federal, provincial and territorial (FPT)
agriculture ministers (except Quebec, which has not taken a
position on these issues) signed an agreement to extend the
Growing Forward program which is set to expire on March
31, 2013. The five-year agreement, referred to as 'Growing Forward 2', sets out the policy
framework for continued co-ordinated government action with respect
to the agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sector through to
According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the new five-year
agreement includes investments of over C$3-billion in strategic
initiatives to enhance innovation, competitiveness and market
development to benefit the agriculture and agri-products sector,
including a 50% increase in governments' cost-shared
initiatives. Similar to its predecessor, Growing Forward 2
will continue to deliver a suite of business risk management (BRM)
In Canada, agricultural policy is co-ordinated through a joint
five-year initiative among the FPT governments called Growing
Forward (GF1), which replaced Canada's original
agricultural policy, the Agricultural Policy Framework, in July
2008. Growing Forward 2 (GF2) is the successor to the
GF1 and will guide Canada's agricultural policy between 2013
and 2018. Agricultural policy under the Growing Forward
programs consists of two branches – first, a set of
strategic initiatives intended to advance policy goals, agreed upon
in the Saint Andrews Statement, related to innovation
competitiveness and market development; and second, a suite of BRM
programs designed to protect Canadian farmers from severe market
volatility and disasters.
Growing Forward Programs
GF2 is intended to build on and extend the programs and policies
of GF1. Current program areas consist of the following:
Agricultural Regulatory Action Plan –
a program aimed at addressing regulatory challenges impacting
innovation and competiveness in agriculture with a focus on minor
use pesticides, veterinary drugs and health claims, novel foods,
Business Development – an initiative
that builds awareness and facilitates the implementation of
business best practices in the agriculture and agribusiness
Business Risk Management – a suite of
business risk management programs designed to protect Canadian
farmers from severe market volatility and disasters.
Environment – an initiative with a
focus on addressing environmental challenges such as water quality,
water use, climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as
exploring economic opportunities that encourage additional
Food Safety – an initiative to enable
the agricultural industry to manage risk proactively and
effectively respond to demands for demonstrable assurances on food
safety and biosecurity risks.
Markets and Trade – a program to
facilitate access to global and regional markets for the Canadian
agricultural and agribusiness industry. The program encompasses
five initiatives (a) the Canada Brand; (b) AgriMarketing; (c) Value
Chain Roundtables; (d) Market Information and Capacity Building;
(e) Enabling Research for Competitive Agriculture Initiative.
Science – a program designed to
encourage industry leadership in investment in agricultural science
Some highlights of GF2 include:
50% increase in non-BRM strategic initiatives to stimulate
innovation, competitiveness, and market development;
continuing to provide BRM programs;
increased opportunity for provinces and territories to invest
in environmental initiatives and on-farm water infrastructure;
improved negative margin coverage in the AgriStability program,
together with lower program fees for producers to participate in
the AgriStability Program.
Implementation of GF2
The suite of BRM programs will be delivered through a
multilateral agreement that was signed on September 14, 2012
by the FPT governments. The other GF2 programs will be delivered
through a series of bilateral agreements between the federal
government and each province or territory, as applicable. As of the
date of this bulletin, it is expected that these bilateral
agreements and GF2 programs will be in place by April 1, 2013,
when the current framework expires.
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