A discussion document and survey on a Sustainable Agriculture Strategy are now available online and open for comment.

The federal government says the overall goal for the Sustainable Agriculture Strategy is to support the livelihood of farmers, while growing a sustainable sector.

The Strategy will focus on five key areas - soil health, climate adaptation and resilience, water, climate change mitigation, and biodiversity. 

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau noted that the strategy is being developed in close collaboration with the ag sector, and will include public consultations, targeted workshops and an Advisory Committee.

That committee is being co-chaired by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and includes a number of key agricultural groups.

The Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) are encouraged by the move.

President Bill Campbell says KAP has been advocating for the inclusion of farmers when it comes to tackling the challenges affecting our sector, and the announcement demonstrates the federal government is listening to ensure Canadian farmers have a seat at the table,

He notes one of KAP’s main goals is to reduce the regulatory burden for farmers and find solutions that include their perspectives, focused on sustainable growth and practical strategies that can be applied on-farm,

Meantime, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers President Gunther Jochum is concerned that this is really about setting up a system of higher costs and increased regulation for farmers.

"We will be watching these consultations carefully, but we are prepared to expend resources to tell average, urban, non-farming Canadians that their food supply and the cost of their food could be very negatively impacted by further federal 'sustainability' regimes."
He says it's important that farmers take part in the consultations and survey and let their voices be heard, adding they'll be watching the consultations carefully.

You can hear more of Glenda-Lee's conversation with Gunther Jochum by clicking the link below.