FNA President Weighs-in on Competitiveness Issues to House of Commons Committee

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture & Agri-Food is currently studying and hearing
testimony on Growing Forward 2, and most recently has been looking at “Competitive Enterprises” in
particular. FNA President, James Mann, appeared before the Committee on Thursday, November 24 to
provide input on competitiveness issues that need to be part of the next round of agriculture policy,
Growing Forward 2.
“For farmers to achieve a higher level of cost competitiveness, more will need to be done than just
increased production efficiencies”, explains Mann. “We need to work on reigning in the escalation of input
costs”.
The FNA submission included several practical solutions focused on what will be best for farmers. Among
the points made in the submission by FNA was a call for the Federal government to do an agriculturespecific analysis on anti-competitive behaviour, including an investigation by the Competition Bureau.
In surveys done by Farm Credit Canada, farmers have repeatedly identified the cost of inputs as being one
of their biggest concerns. In fact, in a recent FCC survey they identified input costs as a higher priority in
achieving profitability than market price. FNA recognizes the priority that cost of inputs is for farmers, and
believes it’s critical to listen to what farmers are saying.
With regard to generic pesticide registration regulation, FNA recognized to the Committee that progress
has been made, but noted that more needs to be done. Among the other recommendations in its
submission, FNA recommended that we get much closer to harmonization of this regulation with the U.S.
Another important recommendation to the Committee included encouraging innovation and investment in
projects designed to maximize future revenue for the farmer investor by allowing fund 2 withdrawals from
the AgriInvest tier of the business risk management suite of programs without being taxed.
The work done so far by Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments on developing the next round of
agriculture policy has been a step in the right direction. FNA applauds the governments on the types of
issues they are looking at, especially in recognizing the cost competitiveness issue, and including it as a
priority in the Growing Forward 2 consultation.
The full submission and all the recommendations is available on the FNA website at www.fna.ca
– 30 – Farmers of North America Strategic Agriculture Institute (FNA-STAG) is a not-for-profit organization with
the single mission of “Improving Farm Profitability.”
For more information contact:
Bob Friesen, CEO: (613) 230-2222 / (613) 852-9711