NFU Director of Research & Policy, Cathy Holtslander, wrote the chapter on Agriculture for the Alternative Federal Budget Recovery Plan by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. As with all of Cathy’s work, it’s solid, well-founded, and visionary. You can read it here.
“With policy rooted in principles of food sovereignty and agroecology, the AFB Recovery Plan will build a food system that will democratically provide sustainability, security, and stability in our food supply, and fair incomes for food providers and food consumers. In recognition that COVID-19 is not the first or last crisis we will face, our food system will no longer be designed to maximize extraction with “just in time” and “lean” approaches, but instead will build in buffers and reserves that provide resilience.
Using climate-friendly, low-emissions production, the post-pandemic agriculture sector will deliver a healthy and secure domestic food supply and provide sustainable livelihoods to a larger, younger, and more diverse population of farmers. This will allow Canadian agricultural producers to engage in fair international trading relationships in solidarity with the peoples of other countries.
Farmers are the foundation of the food system. They should have the security of land tenure, seed sovereignty, control of animal breeding stock, and effective market power within the economy. To support a vibrant ethos of agriculture—to nourish the larger community, culturally as well as physically—farmers will pass knowledge from generation to generation, both within farm families and to new farmers from non-farm backgrounds.
Our new food system will broaden the foundation of rural prosperity by embodying gender equity, antiracism, and decolonization. Our postpandemic food system will honour the treaties, traditional territories, and inherent rights of Indigenous peoples. Indigenous food sovereignty, food lands, and food ways will have priority. Farmers and farm workers will earn equitable incomes, realizing the full value of their products, as Canada leaves behind its cheap food policy and reduces socioeconomic inequality so that all can afford high-quality, balanced diets.”
For the entire Alternative Federal Budget Recovery Plan by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, read here.