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Opinion: Flawed Bill C-49 won’t aid farmers

The Senate is now studying Bill C-49, a bill to amend Canada’s Transportation Act and other related acts, which the House of Commons passed in November. The National Farmers Union (NFU) is one of many groups urging the Senate’s Transportation and Communications Committee to amend the bill before it goes back to the Senate for […] Read more

Editorial: Long-term fix needed

Canada’s grain handling and transportation system has descended into one of its periodic episodes of chaos and uncertainty. A big crop and some cold weather have met railways cut to the bone in search of profit, observers say, leading to the predictable outcome of grain movement grinding to a near halt. The last time was […] Read more

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Supply management protects few, could harm more

Why are broad trade agreements that benefit almost all Canadians being jeopardized to protect a small subset of farmers, estimated at just 13,500 across Canada? The United States has repeatedly indicated that a key tension in North American Free Trade (NAFTA) renegotiations is Canada’s protection of dairy, poultry and egg producers. These protectionist policies were […] Read more

Soy bean seeds on a white background

U.S. to stay stuffed with soybeans despite Argentine losses

Demand for U.S. soybeans remains stubbornly depressed due to high global stocks

The soy complex may be rallying on the Chicago Board of Trade, but the outlook for U.S. supply retains its bearish feel, despite significant losses to Argentina’s soybean crop amid parched conditions. Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut domestic soybean exports to 2.1 billion bushels, some three per cent smaller than last year’s […] Read more

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What StatsCan and Loblaw numbers are really telling us

While food prices are rising, a newly competitive food retailing landscape makes increasing margins difficult

Recent StatsCan numbers indicate that grocers are in trouble. Food inflation is now above two per cent for the first time since April 2016. This is typically good news for grocers as it gives more room for them to increase margins. But given major headwinds affecting the industry, grocers will need to get even more […] Read more

Editorial: Alone again, naturally

For a brief and shining moment, Canadian agriculture truly was “this year’s model,” to quote singer-songwriter Elvis Costello. Just a year ago, the sector was the belle of the ball during the federal government’s annual budget, having for the first time in living memory, captured the imaginations of the nation’s policy-makers. At that point the […] Read more

Opinion: Food policies should support small-scale producers

Ramping up food production via large-scale farming operations alone is unlikely to eradicate world hunger

Ten years ago, a spike in food prices ignited a global food crisis that compromised the ability of the world’s poorest people to access an adequate diet. Governments around the world responded by supporting the expansion of large-scale agricultural production, based on the idea that producing more food in this way translates into lower prices […] Read more

Opinion: Government actions must match rhetoric in supporting agriculture

From international trade to better domestic policy, agriculture should not be an afterthought or window dressing

Time and again, the Liberals look at Canadian agriculture, and our farm families, as an afterthought. For weeks the Liberal government shut out farmers, ranchers, agri-food businesses, processors and even health experts from providing input on the discussion surrounding Canada’s Food Guide. Thankfully, due to the support from our agricultural health partners and pressure from […] Read more

Editorial: Burying the hatchet

There’s a long-running list of issues that, over the years, have been sure to spur fast and furious debate between farmers. It’s such a well-worn trope that there’s an old joke that’s been circulating for many years that goes like this: [Insert agriculture policy-maker’s name] was once asked how you could get anything done when […] Read more

Health Canada’s suggested new food labelling has limitations

The labels would help consumers know what’s in their food but there are some gaps in the system

When it comes to food, the current federal government is big on consultations. Health Canada recently launched online public discussions and consumer-oriented research to find the best front-of-package labelling formula. Four models have been presented – Health Canada appears to want to keep its options open (although all the logos look the same). Saturated fats, […] Read more

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