February 26, 2020, Ottawa, Ont. – Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau was at the annual general meeting of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) recently and spoke in support of the sector’s efforts to boost sustainability and build public trust.
During a speech, she announced a federal investment of $562,870 over three years for the CFA to develop the Canadian Agri-Food Sustainability Initiative (CASI). The new initiative will provide Canadian farmers and processors an online national platform to proactively meet the growing demand for proof of sustainability from customers.
With this support, the CFA will create a single window for data on the sustainability of the Canadian agri-food supply chain. This will provide a forum where producers and processors can share information and connect with new networks interested in sustainability. This initiative will also serve as a hub to benchmark and track the sustainability of the Canadian agri-food industry compared to international standards.
Ultimately, the CASI will support Canadian food producers’ use of label claims about the safety and quality of their food products.
“More and more, customers of Canada’s high-quality food want to know that their food was produced ethically, with a minimized impact on the environment,” Bibeau said in a press release. “Canada’s farmers and processors are already leaders when it comes to the use of more green technologies and practices in our food production. This new initiative is an important tool to tell our story and build consumers’ trust for our producers.”
CFA president Mary Robinson said the CASI will provide farmers with an online portal to benchmark their efforts with existing sustainability programs and connect them to potential clients both at home and abroad.
“The goal is to provide farmers with an efficient avenue to connect with clients who recognize their hard work in sustainability. CASI will also aim to connect farmers to programs that serve as criteria to receive environmental funding. This will provide farmers a bridge to resources that help fund their critical environmental efforts.”
The CFA was formed in 1935 as a unified voice to speak on behalf of Canadian farmers. It is a farmer-funded, national umbrella organization comprised of provincial general farm organizations and national and interprovincial commodity groups. They represent approximately 200,000 Canadian farm families from coast to coast.
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