NFU Briefs 2007

  • November 21, 2007:

    A brief to the Ontario Ombudsman from the NFU regarding the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs and its violation of its public trust

    The National Farmers Union (NFU) formally requests that the Ontario Ombudsman investigate the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

    OMAFRA is failing in its duty to properly direct and shape Ontario food and agriculture systems. By failing to pursue policies that preserve and strengthen (1) rural communities and economies, (2) the healthfulness and safety of our food, (3) the sustainability of our production systems, and (4) the ability of our family farm food producers to thrive today and in coming generations, OMAFRA is failing to live up to its duty to act in accord with citizens’ wishes and to safeguard citizens’ interests. That is to say, OMAFRA is failing in its responsibility to protect and advance the public trust.

  • October 19, 2007:

    “Free Trade”: Is it working for farmers?

    Comparing 2007 to 1988–This is an expanded and updated version of a report originally published in 2002

    We’ve had 19 years of “Free Trade.” How is it working for farm families and rural communities? To help us find out, the following compares economic indicators from 1988 (the year before we set off down the Free Trade path) with those of 2007. Figures are not adjusted for inflation.

  • October, 2007:

    Submission by the NFU on the Grain and Field Crop Trade Sector Review Presented to Measurement Canada, an Agency of Industry Canada

    The paring down of Measurement Canada’s internal resources over the past two decades has been used as a rationale for privatizing the agency’s functions, in accordance with the prevailing ideology of reducing the public sector’s role in the economy.

    The evidence proves that deregulation of the grain sector has not resulted in any savings to farmers, nor has it resulted in adequate protection of the public interest.

  • June, 2007:

    Submission to the Standing Committee on the Economy Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan on the impact of the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA)

    The National Farmers Union is strongly opposed to the implementation of the Trade, Investment, and Labour Mobility Agreement. This agreement has justifiably been labeled as a “corporate bill of rights” that provides private corporations with extensive powers to re-write and enforce regulations which will be in their interests.

  • April 26, 2007:

    National Farmers Union Submission in response to the Regulations to Amend the Canadian Wheat Board Regulations

    The National Farmers Union (NFU) welcomes the opportunity to respond to the proposal published in the April 21 edition of the Canada Gazette. This proposed regulatory change would remove barley from the jurisdiction of the Canadian Wheat Board single desk by instituting changes to the Canadian Wheat Board Regulations.

    The federal government’s justification for introducing this regulatory change is based on a number of inaccurate and misleading premises. As well, the “process” outlined in the Regulatory Impact Assessment Statement (RIAS) has been inaccurately portrayed. The “process” conducted by the Minister of Agriculture was not intended to provide the government or farmers with options or a forum for legitimate discussion about Canadian Wheat Board marketing. To now try to portray the Minister’s process as a legitimate consultation with the affected parties is a gross distortion of the facts.

  • April 26, 2007:

    Submission by the National Farmers Union on The Farm Income Crisis, Business Risk Management, and The “Next Generation” Agricultural Policy Framework – Executive Summary

    Realized net farm income, or the lack thereof, is at the heart of the debate over Canada’s national Agricultural Policy Framework (APF) and associated Business Risk Management (BRM) programs.

  • April 26, 2007:

    Submission by the National Farmers Union on The Farm Income Crisis, Business Risk Management, and The “Next Generation” Agricultural Policy Framework (APF II)

    The current Agricultural Policy Framework (APF), in particular, represents a major concern for our membership. During the past five years since the APF was implemented, there has been a dramatic decline in the viability of family farm operations across the country. Not only have farmgate prices declined for most major commodities, but input prices for machinery, seed, fertilizer and credit have increased while infrastructure and regulatory costs have been downloaded directly onto farmers. Any discussion of a 3 Business Risk Management (BRM) strategy as part of the APF, therefore, must take into account the full extent of this farm income crisis.

  • April 23, 2007:

    The Farm Income Crisis in New Brunswick and the need for immediate action

    In New Brunswick, the last five years have been the worst in history for farmers. But this province is not the only one experiencing record low farm incomes. The following graph is based on Statistics Canada data. It shows the drop in Canadian net farm incomes, from already low levels in the 1990s, to the record-low levels of the most recent five years. Note that while net incomes hit record lows, gross revenues hit record highs. Farmers are creating more wealth and handling more money, but it’s simply flowing through their hands and into the pockets of the corporate sector.

  • March 29, 2007:

    Business Risk Management: Examining the basics of the farm income crisis and the implications for BRM design

    New BRM programs must position farmers to buy and sell collectively, to hold product back if markets do not offer fair prices, to idle land if markets seem to be signalling surpluses, and to manage supplies (as does GM, Nike, Sony, and every sector outside of agriculture).

    If farmers are more powerful, they will be more profitable. Upon this foundation we must build a new generation of BRM programs.

  • February 22, 2007:

    Submission by the National Farmers Union on The Farm Income Crisis and The “Next Generation” Agricultural Policy Framework (APF II)

    At the heart of the debate over farm policy is the question of realized net farm income. Farmers are the foundation of the food system. We are the producers of wealth, and the simple fact is that we need to earn a fair return on our labour and investment. Any agricultural policy that downplays or ignores the legitimate requirements of family farmers in order to boost the profitability of processors, exporters and other components of the food system is inherently inequitable and unsustainable.

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