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AGRI Committee News Release

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Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food
House of Commons / Chambre des communes
Comité permanent de l'agriculture et de l'agroalimentaire

For immediate release


Facing the Unexpected: Enhancing Business Risk Management Programs for Agriculture and Agri-food Businesses

Ottawa, November 20, 2020 -

Today, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food presented a report on agricultural business risk management programs. This is the Committee’s first report in the 2nd Session of the 43rd Parliament.

The report, entitled Facing the Unexpected: Enhancing Business Risk Management Programs for Agriculture and Agri-food Businesses, includes 15 recommendations that address the current limitations of these programs, among other issues. The recommendations could prove useful at the annual meeting of federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers, where potential changes to these programs are discussed. Their next meeting is scheduled for November 20 and 27, 2020.

Agriculture is an inherently risky sector. Extreme weather events, lost opportunities because of global trade disputes, and health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic can all cause significant losses for agriculture and agri-food businesses, sometimes ending in bankruptcy.

Business risk management (BRM) programs play a key role in protecting farm businesses from these risks. Most of the programs are jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Some provinces supplement these programs with initiatives that take into account local conditions.

“BRM programs are extremely important to managing modern farms in Canada, but they do have their limitations,” said Pat Finnigan, Chair of the Committee. “The Committee hopes that its recommendations will inform the discussions the agriculture ministers have at their upcoming annual meeting and that the ministers will improve the programs to better reflect the needs of certain segments of the agriculture sector, such as small farms and diversified operations.”

The Committee recommendations include increasing some parameters that determine program payments of the AgriStability and AgriInvest programs. The Committee also recommends expanding access to insurance programs for horticultural crops and livestock. It further proposes improving the programs so that they meet the specific needs of the young farmers, supporting research into risk management and providing farmers with more training on risk management and the tools available to them.

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For more information, please contact:
Aimée Belmore, Clerk of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food
Tel: 613-947-6732