Union Farmer Newsletter - April 2018

 
In this issue …
 
Seed Synergy or Seed Sovereignty?
The anticipation of spring seeding and the joy of harvest is something every farmer experiences. Yet, in January 2018, the seed and agro-chemical companies began promoting a proposal for an extreme make-over of Canada's seed regulatory system. If adopted by government, it will dramatically increase companies' power over seed to the detriment of farmers.
 
Global agribusiness consolidation
In the flurry of “merger and acquisition” activity among global agribusiness corporations since 2016, the most controversial transaction is Bayer's plan to buy up Monsanto, which was approved with conditions by the European Union regulator on March 21.
 
Reconciliation must include rural communities:
Max FineDay leads a national non-profit that works with youth to advance reconciliation. In this article he reflects on current challenges to rural reconciliation.
 
An NFU innovation to improve grain handling and transportation for farmers —by Terry Boehm, former NFU President and long-time analyst of transport legislation in Canada
Canada's grain rail transportation system has been deregulated extensively to the point it is now able to extract money from farmers with impunity. Instead of continuing that trend, why not do something daring in this country to make the system work better for farmers and the country as whole? Here, we encourage the federal government to enact a new NFU idea for positive change in the grain handling and transportation sector that will benefit farmers: the establishment of Grain Car Receivers at the west coast and Thunder Bay.
 
Are Influence Elites setting Canada’s Agriculture Agenda?
In March 2016, Finance Minister Bill Morneau appointed his Advisory Council on Economic Growth to develop strategies to accelerate growth of the Canadian economy with Domenic Barton as its Chair. Its second report, known as the “Barton Report” recommends restructuring the economy by targeting specific sectors. It suggests an agriculture pilot project could serve as a model for other sectors to follow. This article explores implications of this approach to ag policy.
 
New award-winning Canadian documentary on genetically modified food
The film Modified looks at genetically modified food policies to make a strong case for a more transparent and sustainable food system.
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