NFU Briefs 2010

  • June 7, 2010

    Losing Our Grip How a Corporate Farmland Buy-up, Rising Farm Debt, and Agribusiness Financing of Inputs Threaten Family Farms and Food Sovereignty

    The land on which our food is grown is, to a significant extent, owned by local citizens and the families who work that land. This family farm model is widely supported—by farmers and non-farmers alike. But this model is under serious threat of extinction.

    • June 7, 2010

      Losing Our Grip How a Corporate Farmland Buy-up, Rising Farm Debt, and Agribusiness Financing of Inputs Threaten Family Farms and Food Sovereignty

      The land on which our food is grown is, to a significant extent, owned by local citizens and the families who work that land. This family farm model is widely supported—by farmers and non-farmers alike. But this model is under serious threat of extinction. And the issue goes beyond mere land ownership: the core issue is one of autonomy and control—ensuring that the men and women who produce our food have stable, resilient bases from which to make good, long-term decisions for their farms and for our food systems. This stability and long-term thinking can lead to superior environmental outcomes, more prosperous communities, and the inter-generational transfer crucial to our family-farm model. In working to ensure autonomy and control, the aim is not farmer "independence," but rather healthy interdependence—the farmer as an integral part of his or her family, community, region, and nation. Our farmers are stewards who need to be free to react to the needs of their soils, animals, families, and neighbours as much as to the dictates of markets, bankers, or agribusiness. If corporations or wealthy investors take control of our land and farms, our food systems and ecosystems will be seriously damaged.

    • March 23, 2010

      NFU presentation to the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation

      Over the last two years, the NFU has met with MASC and voiced concerns over the potential liability for farmers as a result of the weakening of the regulatory powers of the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). These concerns are even more pressing now, as the federal government is likely to once again introduce legislation aimed at changing the mandate of the Canada Grain Act to eliminate the requirement that the CGC regulate the grain trade in the interests of grain producers. This change would effectively make the CGC a servant of the grain companies and would prevent the agency from any advocacy on behalf of farmers. This would institutionalize the unfairness of the marketplace, and place farmers in the same position they were in prior to the passage of the Canada Grain Act in 1912.

    • February 22, 2010

      NFU response to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Environmental Impact Statement on Roundup Ready Alfalfa

      The National Farmers Union (NFU) of Canada welcomes the opportunity to file comments in relation to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0044, specifically the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released December 14, 2009 by the United States Department of Agriculture.

      The NFU has many serious concerns regarding the EIS, and strongly opposes the APHIS decision to grant non-regulated status to two genetically-modified (GM) or genetically- engineered (GE) alfalfa lines, J101 and J163, both produced by Monsanto Company and Forage Genetics International.

    • February 18, 2010

      NFU Comments regarding Health Canada's proposal to permit the use of a GM-derived enzyme, Asparaginase, as a food additive

      The National Farmers Union (NFU) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the proposal by Health Canada to amend the Food and Drug Regulations. Specifically, Health Canada seeks to permit the use of Asparaginase in the manufacture of certain wheat dough-based food products such as bread, crackers and cookies; and also cut potato products including French fries, sliced potato products and fabricated potato chips.

    • January 26, 2010

      NFU Brief to Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) on Crop Insurance in Alberta

      While the need for some form of crop insurance had been apparent since agricultural settlement began in western Canada, it was not until 1939 that the Prairie Farm Assistance Act was passed in the House of Commons. The Act, introduced by Hon. J.G. Gardiner, acknowledged the federal government‟s partial responsibility for opening up areas of the southern prairies, which were known to be susceptible to prolonged periods of drought, to cultivation. The legislation was also intended to save the federal Treasury a significant sum by providing a "less expensive alternative to the continuation of a form of price insurance on wheat; and secondly, it was regarded as a suitable alternative for outright relief payments which the federal government felt it would be obliged to pay in the absence of such a measure." The original PFAA was "the program closest to all-risk crop insurance available to prairie producers".