(February 8, 2016 –Saskatoon) – The National Farmers Union (NFU) was one of several crop-related farm groups who met with federal Agriculture Minister MacAulay at a round-table meeting in Saskatoon today. The Minister’s consultation with stakeholders followed his announcement that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has renewed its agreement with the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) for continued cooperation on plant breeding research carried out by AAFC scientists, which will be funded by over $21 million raised through the WGRF’s wheat and barley check-offs.
“The National Farmers Union was pleased to share with the Minister our views on a number of timely matters,” said Glenn Tait, NFU 2nd Vice President. “We noted that public plant breeding has suffered reduced funding and diminished capacity under the previous government, so we are encouraged to see the Minister’s renewed commitment to variety development in wheat and barley by AAFC plant breeders, as stated in today’s announcement.”
“Some of the issues we raised around the Minister’s table were the forthcoming release of the Canada Transportation Act Review – and the importance of keeping intact the Maximum Revenue Entitlement and the need for a full rail costing review; the need for a public audit of the transfer of CWB assets to G3, the Saudi-Bunge partnership; the need to address the loss of market-power, coordination and quality control, as well as direct losses to farmers totalling over $8 billion resulting from the destruction of the single-desk wheat board,” Tait continued. “We also asked the Minister to recognize the value of the prison farm program and the prairie shelterbelt tree farm, both eliminated by his predecessor.”
“The NFU looks forward to a continuing dialogue with Minister MacAulay where we will be able to delve more deeply into the issues that concern Canada’s farm families and their communities. There are many points of agreement between the Minister’s mandate and the NFU’s values regarding our democratic engagement in shaping farm policy to promote the family farm, strong rural communities, and safe, affordable nutritious food for Canadians,” concluded Tait.
For more information:
Glenn Tait, NFU 2nd Vice President (Operations): (306) 481-4449