March 5, 2019
Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Dear Minister Bibeau:
On behalf of the National Farmers Union, I would like to congratulate you on your appointment as the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
We look forward to working with you on the many and varied files within your purview that are critical to the well-being of Canada’s farmers.
The NFU was founded in 1969, and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. It is the largest grassroots, direct–membership farm organization in Canada, with members in every province from coast to coast. We represent all farmers, not only over a varied geography, but also the entire range of production practices.
The National Farmers Union has always stood for the family farm, and our structure mandates leadership roles for women and youth in our organization. Notably, our Women’s and Youth Presidents have been active in working with Global Affairs Canada’s Food Security Policy Working Group on improving and implementing Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.
We are also active internationally as a founding member of La Via Campesina, with our International Programs Committee supporting family farm organizations around the world on issues such as seed rights, trade deals, and land ownership.
Over the last four years, our Indigenous Solidarity Working Group has been working steadily to expand and deepen our understanding of indigenous issues, not only as they apply to food sovereignty and relationships to farmers, but to reconciliation issues across Canada as a whole.
Our organization is also striving to increase our bilingual services, and is working to build its association with Quebec’s farm organizations. The NFU’s historic support for supply management and farmer empowerment provides a natural fit for our groups to cooperate.
The National Farmers Union is a non-partisan organization, working with individuals, groups, and governments on issues that align with the best interests of farmers and the environment. We earnestly supported your government’s position on its ability to implement a carbon pricing strategy by intervening on its behalf in the case that is currently before the courts. While the NFU believes that more work needs to be done to ensure that details regarding agriculture’s carbon emissions and contributions to carbon sequestration are fairly addressed, we applaud your leadership on this initiative.
We would like to request a meeting in the near future to discuss our priority issues with you, and work toward opportunities that expand employment, equity, and innovative environmental improvements to the Canadian agricultural sector. The National Farmers Union is pleased to have the opportunity to welcome you, and wish you success in your new position.
National Farmers Union