Bottling Canada’s Food Policies – What the debate over ketchup says about the future of farming
The recent social media splash made over French’s ketchup highlights what the National Farmers Union (NFU) has been talking about for years – food sovereignty matters.
Our beef is not just with Earl’s – a better system is within reach
Earl’s sourcing decision also highlights Canada’s need for a more diversified beef system that would create more value for both farmers and consumers.
Rail Service on Vancouver Island is Essential for Economic Development, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Sovereignty
The Nanaimo and Capital Regional Districts and several First Nation funders are unhappy with the lack of progress made by the Island Corridor Foundation to re-instate rail service between Victoria and Courtenay with a branch line to Port Alberni.
Democracy, supply management threatened
published in the Western Producer, February 4, 2016 The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism gives foreign corporations the right to sue our government if they believe their future profits will be reduced as a result of democratically enacted measures. While ISDS puts a chill on public interest regulation, the TPP also has more insidious
Bill 6 Benefits For Farmers Are Far-Reaching
On December 10, 2015, the Alberta Provincial Government passed Bill 6 – the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranching Workers Act. Until this time, farm and ranch employers were not required to register with the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) or provide any form of workplace insurance for employees. The Farming and Ranching Exemption regulation didn’t allow health and safety inspectors to enter or conduct investigations on farms and ranches where people, including children, have been seriously injured or killed. It is estimated that between 1990 and 2015, 9,000 workers have sustained injuries requiring hospitalization and approximately 400 people have lost their lives on Alberta farms and ranches. 65 were children.
Benefits of farmers’ workplace insurance are far-reaching
I have the good fortune of living and working in a rural community and I have also had the privilege of working with individuals and families whose livelihoods depend on farming and ranching. In addition to this, I am proud to be a member of a multigenerational farming family. Over the years I have observed a trend in regard to farm related injuries and the economic and social ramifications for those who are not covered by workplace insurance.
Conference Board of Canada’s ideas for changing Supply Management are ill conceived and self-serving
The Conference Board of Canada (CBoC) embraces the mantra that “all growth is good.”  Their plan to change supply management for growth is a prescription for weakening, if not eliminating, the three pillars of supply management for dairy production in Canada – production controls, import tariffs and farmers’ cost of production pricing -- in order to produce more milk, lower its price and increase exports.
OP ED Public research and extension key to adoption of farmer controlled pest management
<em<span class="nfu nfu-angle-double-right"</spanBy Ann Slater</em<span class="nfu nfu-angle-double-right"</span In a report published in 2005 on Corporate Profits, the National Farmers Union (NFU) analyzed some of the mechanisms agribusiness corporations, including chemical and seed corporations, use to extract profits from our farms. Two of the mechanisms identified were "cost externalization" and "shifting knowledge". The current discussions in Ontario about the government's proposal to restrict the use of neonicotinoid seed treatments have brought these two mechanisms to mind. The move to widespread prophylactic use of neonicotinoid seed treatments, has provided the insecticide manufacturers with a ever-expanding market for their product over the past fifteen years. Many farmers have accepted the financial cost of the insecticides in return for some assurance that their crops will be protected from early season pests.
Op Ed – Conference Board of Canada’s ideas for changing Supply Management are ill conceived and self-serving
The Conference Board of Canada (CBoC) embraces the mantra that “all growth is good.” Their plan to change supply management for growth is a prescription for weakening, if not eliminating, the three pillars of supply management for dairy production in Canada – production controls, import tariffs and farmers’ cost of production pricing -- in order to produce more milk, lower its price and increase exports. The CBoC claims to be an independent think tank, but is affiliated with the New York-based Conference Board, run by and for US-based multinational corporations.
Op Ed – Changes to agricultural legislation patently absurd
By Randall Affleck The Agricultural Growth Act, Bill C-18, is currently before Parliament. It is an omnibus bill amending nine separate pieces of agricultural legislation. The changes vastly increase corporate control of seed and will result in higher seed costs for farmers in the future. The Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (PBRA), adopted in 1990, confers to a breeder of a new plant variety, a form of intellectual property rights similar to a patent. The Plant Breeders’ Rights Office receives between 300 to 400 applications per year with about 100 coming from Canada. This office has no role in enforcement of a breeders’ right once granted. It is up to the rights holder to pursue infringements through the court system. The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) is an international Convention of which Canada is a member state and signatory.