Source: Jennifer Shike, Farm Journal’s Pork, 17 March 2021, photo credit: Lonely Planet
Canada’s 7 000 pork producers are urging the Federal Provincial and Territory Ministers of Agriculture to meet and choose to support pork producers that need assistance by signing onto the proposal to raise AgriStability’s payment rate from 70% to 80%, the Canadian Pork Council said in a release.
A March 17 announcement from Minister Bibeau and Minister Carr reiterated the need for a national consensus on AgriStability and the need for provinces to decide on the proposed solutions to fix the program. AgriStability is a business risk management program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership designed to protect Canadian producers against large declines in farming income for reasons such as production loss, increased costs and market conditions.
“We understand that the priority of all governments is on COVID-19 vaccination and economic recovery, but we need a consensus on AgriStability as soon as possible to mitigate the economic risks that producers are facing on a daily basis” said Rick Bergmann, chair of the Canadian Pork Council in a release. “It’s not the time for backyard politics, hog producers across Canada are impacted by inadequate programs.”
When something is broken in our businesses, homes or farms, we fix it, Bergmann said in the release. Pork producers are already operating on razor-thin margins and market uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has significantly impacted farm income, the release said. During the last 12 months, Canadian pork producers have had to weather many disruptions including some of the most profound price declines in history, border closures and processing plant shutdowns.
“We are urging the provinces to agree to a Federal-Provincial-Territorial meeting and come prepared to support the proposed solutions put forward by Minister Bibeau to fix AgriStability, it would be a step in the right direction and send a clear message to all producers that they have our backs,” Bergmann said. The Canadian Pork Council said it is important that there is agreement to fix AgriStability across the country so that farmers are treated equally.