Saturday, November 28, 2020

No consensus reached on boosting BRM

The federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture failed to reach a consensus on improving AgriStability, even though they acknowledge that famers need improvements.

In a news release from the federal government, it said changes made in 2013 prompted many farmers to drop out because financial protection was reduced and it was difficult for farmers to know whether they would receive payouts.

The federal government apparently offered to boost funding by 50 per cent, to change the reference margin and to boost the payouts from 70 to 80 per cent and to make the program and its changes retroactive to 2020.

But the federal government said it still needs consensus from the others because they share in the costs for Business Risk Management programs.

Another topic up for discussion was concerns about the fees supermarkets charge suppliers. They agreed to establish a working group to delve further into the issue and what governments can do to protect suppliers.

The working group is going to consult suppliers and is to issue a report by July.

“We all recognize that these fees recently imposed by some retailers are really worrying,” federal Agriculture and Agri-food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said during a press conference after a meeting with provincial and territorial agriculture ministers on Friday. Ms. Bibeau will co-chair the working group with Quebec’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, AndrĂ© Lamontagne.

Ms. Bibeau signalled that the group is open to creating some kind of code for the industry, which would require co-operation among jurisdictions.