RealAg Politics, Ep 8: Fertilizer sanctions, emission reduction targets, front-of-product labelling, and food security
Happy Friday and welcome to another edition of RealAg Politics!
Today, co-hosts Shaun Haney and Kelvin Heppner, of RealAgriculture, are joined by a great list of guests to talk about the big ag policy issues of the week that are impacting farmers and ranchers across Canada and the US.
This episode features guests:
- Karen Proud, of Fertilizer Canada, on fertilizer sanctions, emissions reductions and expanding production.
- Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in Alberta on potential new beef labelling by Health Canada
- Keith Currie, VP of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, just returned from the World Trade Organization Ministerial meetings in Geneva.
Karen Proud President and CEO of Fertilizer Canada
- What is Fertilizer Canada’s position on sanctions on fertilizer coming from Russia and Belarus
- Supports the government’s efforts in ending the war, however they didn’t/don’t realize the impact they have on the farming community
- Fertilizer Canada holds the position that the sanctions should be removed
- Is the government contemplating lifting the sanctions or providing a rebate for the increase in input prices
- A decision needs to be made in the very near future, time is of the essence as we can already be looking ahead to the 2023 crop
- Current programs need to be looked at to see if they are viable and evaluate the federal governments regulations within the sector, ie. climate change initiatives
- Canada should be looking at bolstering investments into our fertilizer sector
- Does Canada’s investment mean Canadian farmers get an assured supply at an un-inflated price?
- Fertilizer Canada’s position on the 30 per cent emission reduction
- Government recently came out with a white paper which outlined more of their thinking on the target and are now conducting consultations
- Government says the emissions targets is not about reducing fertilizer usage or productivity of farmers
- Right now, the measurements do not take into consideration the 4Rs, which many say, it should
Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in Alberta
- Front of package labelling/warning concerns
- The Alberta Ministry recent press conference to show support for the sector and essentially say, enough is enough
- Alberta Ministry has been advocating against this labelling
- There are some exemptions but the government’s reasonings for these exemptions don’t necessarily line up
- Cooking the meat can vastly change the saturated fat content, making the labels even more misleading
- Does the government have an ulterior motive? Ultimately, why is this happening? Something isn’t adding up.
- How could the changes affect exports?
- What are the additional costs associated with the labelling changes?
- Is there an opportunity for Health Canada to turn this around?
- Individuals and organizations need to have their voices heard with their local MLA’s and MP’s
Keith Currie, VP of the CFA
- … he did not find his luggage at the Pearson Airport in Toronto
- Talks at the WTO Ministerial Meeting in Geneva
- Ministers were simply looking for progress
- Food security was top of mind given the Russia/Ukraine war
- Protecting domestic supply while also ensuring sufficient exports
- Came out with a statement on food security – a genuine desire to get around the tariff barriers and maintain responsible exporting
- No unanimous decision was agreed upon, progress was made but no substantial agreement
- Talks on reforming WTO and dispute resolution
- Meetings are looking to be annual oppose to every two years to continue to work on these issues
- Spoke with other ag organizations from other countries – what are they saying?
- Significant move on fisheries at the meeting
- How do we move forward with green box programs to make them fair across the board
- CFA’s position on cross-compliance on climate change initiatives