Why farmers are not celebrating CETA’s five-year anniversary
September 21 marked the five-year anniversary of the provisional application of the Canada–EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). It is no surprise to the National Farmers Union (NFU) that farmers are not happy with the results. Negotiations on the agricultural chapter were strained to the point that it was one of the last areas to be agreed upon. In the media, the issues were presented as a trade-off between allowing the EU more access to our supply-managed dairy market in return for gaining more access to the EU’s market for Canadian beef. Some political commentators looked for cheap points by framing this purported stalemate as a conflict between western ranchers and dairy producers in Ontario and Quebec. The NFU had a more sophisticated analysis, which time has proven to be accurate. Read more
Grocery Prices are Rising and Farmers’ Share Declining as Corporate Processors and Retailers Take More and More
Swift Current, SK—Retail food prices are rising. To explain these increases, many commentators point to rising prices for farm products and cite drought, other production problems, the pandemic, or supply-chain Read more
Taking Stock of Abattoir Regulations
How provincial rules help or hinder regional meat production
The NFU's Taking Stock of Abattoir Regulations report reviews provincial regulations on slaughter, meat processing (cut/wrap), and marketing across Canada. It highlights common points and differences among the regulations, and identifies where specific aspects of these regulations (or how they are applied) create barriers to local and regional meat production, as well as those pieces that support thriving local and regional food systems and local producers. Read more
Op-Ed: Regenerate Canada’s beef sector by addressing corporate concentration
By Iain Aitken In a recent report from Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), its president Bob Lowe stated that there is a critical need for better Business Risk Management tools for Read more
Urgent need for support to increase local and regional abattoir capacity
The increase in demand for locally produced food, particularly meat, in response to COVID has been widely reported all across Canada. This has the makings of an economic success story – a silver lining in the pandemic’s very dark cloud – but serious, targeted investment in to create and expand its infrastructure is needed to allow this emerging source of local prosperity to become well established. Read more
Union Farmer Quarterly: Summer 2020
In this issue … Messages from the Editorial Committee, NFU President Katie Ward (bilingual), Women’s President Coral Sproule and Regional Reports Articles: Catching up with Martha Robbins, new (returning) International Program Read more
Letter – Time to rebuild our meat processing system
Smaller, safer slaughter plants in each province would disperse threats to food security. If one plant was forced to close it would not disrupt the food chain across the entire country. Providing safe secure food from local farms to local consumers is entirely possible without putting meat packing workers at risk. Bigger is not always better.  Read more
COVID emergency funds can help build a more robust food system
The pandemic shines a spotlight on vulnerabilities in our food system, providing the opportunity to use emergency supports to create the foundation for a more robust and resilient food system. Read more
Meat packing concentration makes Canada’s food system vulnerable
The National Farmers Union (NFU) offers heartfelt condolences to family and friends of the Cargill beef packing plant worker who lost her life  to COVID-19 on April 20. The COVID-19 Read more
COVID-19 shuts down half of Canada’s beef supply
A COVID-19 outbreak in a Cargill plant at High River, Alberta has shut down almost half of Canada’s beef supply, leaving many farmers with no place to sell their cattle. Read more