There is a federal election coming this October. Members of Parliament and candidates are canvassing their constituents at barbeques, golf tournaments and eventually all-candidate debates. Now is the time for farmers to push for policies that will allow agriculture to deliver economic growth.
The world has become protectionist. There is, justifiably, much focus on issues with China. But it is not just China. Canadian agriculture commodities are blocked in India, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam and face issues in key markets like Peru.
I was on a speaker’s panel a few weeks back with a farmer who said he never wanted to hear the word sustainability again. I understand the sentiment but we, as an industry, are going to be hearing that word more and more from customers and consumers around the world.
Canadians and Italians like each other. Italian culture has formed a deep part of the Canadian fabric and Canadians buy hundreds of millions of dollars of goods from Italy every year.
The Canadian Wheat New Crop Missions 2018 are well underway. These are missions organized and coordinated through three organizations: Cereals Canada, Canadian International Grains Institute and the Canadian Grain Commission.
South America is a long way from my farm near Reston, Manitoba. I left home on November 11 as the farmer representative on the South American leg of the 2018 Canadian wheat new crop missions.
Most farmers are reluctant to talk about modern agriculture. Our own industry advertisements promote the image of a farm with a faded red barn and a few chickens running about in a pastoral setting.
The world has entered a new age of nationalism, resulting in growing trade protectionism and increasing barriers for Canadian farmers and exporters who depend on international markets.
There is a common adage in agriculture “wheat is fourteen percent protein and eighty-six percent politics.” This was often applied in the era of debates over marketing, but it can still be fit today on many issues in agriculture.