The country’s agriculture ministers agree on the ‘Guelph Statement’

Farmland in the fall ( stock photo by John Chippa)

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and her fellow Ag Ministers from across the country have agreed on what they’re calling the “Guelph Statement”, which sets the direction for the next Canadian agriculture policy framework set to launch in the Spring of 2023.

Bibeau co-chaired the Ministers of Agriculture meeting this week in Guelph with Provincial Minister of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs and Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson, where they discussed how the industry will look coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and amid increasing climate change and growing concerns surrounding African Swine Fever.

The Guelph Declaration is, as Bibeau puts it, a unanimous vision of an even more sustainable agriculture, and commits Canada to investing and collaborating in the fight against climate change, labour shortages and risk management.

“We have agreed on a vision that Canada is recognized as a world leader in sustainable agriculture and agri-food production, and drives forward from a solid foundation of regional trends in diversity, as well as the strong leadership of the provinces and territories in order to rise to the climate change challenge, to expand new markets in trade, while meeting the expectations of consumers, and feed Canadians in a growing global population,” said Bibeau.

Thompson added there was a consensus.

“A priority that we all reached consensus around this week, is that the flexibility to respect regional diversity is paramount, and that needs to be reflected as we look to improve our suite of Business Risk Management products,” said Thompson.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture responded to the comments by officials through a tweet.

The agreement will be the final five-year framework that takes place prior to the the 2030 Paris Agreement deadline.