Ontario Agriculture

The network for agriculture in Ontario, Canada

The CFFO Commentary: A Time for Agriculture Policy Change? – Part 3

By Nathan Stevens
August 17, 2012
The agricultural sector is one that is poised for change.  This is the third in a series of commentaries raising questions about the direction of agriculture policy in Ontario and Canada. The first two parts of this series focused on the fundamentals that are pointing towards change and the need to focus on productivity. In the other parts of the commentary series, I will focus on the critical need for sustainability. Today I will focus on thriving in a global marketplace, whether selling at home or abroad.
There are many forces at work that will deeply impact the future of Ontario farmers. Resource scarcity and technology will be essential to future success. Innovation and change in other parts of the world are challenges that Ontario farmers will face regardless of whether they are establishing markets at home or for export.
Resource scarcity will present challenges and opportunities. There are some experts that argue that the era of globalization will slow and perhaps even reverse as transportation costs mount. However, need drives innovation, and the global need for food will continue to rise. Ontario can position itself strongly if the sector is willing to focus on future opportunities.
Resource scarcity is an opportunity as well. In the years ahead, water will be a greater factor than land or energy costs, if it is not already. Ontario has a major strategic advantage in water availability for food production, but we need to ensure that total water usage throughout the economy and all of society is balanced to be sustainable. Ontario requires an integrated water plan that improves irrigation and drainage on the farm and prioritizes overall water use for food production where it is essential to maintain the entire value chain.
Technology and innovation will be essential regardless of whether a farm is import or export oriented, large or small. Farmers need infrastructure efficiency, regardless of whether they are exporting high quality pork cuts to Japan, or trying to fill a local market, as their competitors will be looking to take that opportunity for themselves if they can. Another great technology example is how social media has opened new ways to connect with consumers.
For Ontario farmers to thrive in the global marketplace in the years ahead requires serious consideration of our assets as an industry. Our policy needs to be geared to overcome the challenges and maximize our ability to seize opportunities. Ontario has skilled farmers, plentiful water, and a robust processing sector and with the right policy direction the sector can grow and prosper in a competitive global marketplace.

Nathan Stevens is the Interim Manager and Director of Policy Development for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. The CFFO Commentary is heard weekly on CFCO Chatham, CKNX Wingham, and UCB Canada radio stations in Chatham, Belleville, Bancroft, Brockville and Kingston and in Brantford and Woodstock. It is also found on the CFFO website:www.christianfarmers.org. CFFO is supported by 4,200 family farmers across Ontario.

Views: 52


You need to be a member of Ontario Agriculture to add comments!

Join Ontario Agriculture

Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

Connect and celebrate with us!

We are excited to invite you to attend a joint celebration of Soy Canada’s 10th anniversary and the 40th anniversary of the founding of Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers on June 19th in Dauphin, Manitoba.

Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada Welcome Senate Report Findings on Temporary Foreign Workers

The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) welcomes the balanced findings of the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology’s recent report on temporary and migrant labour solutions.

Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada Applaud AGRI Committee’s Recommendations on Food Price Stabilization

The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) have welcomed the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food’s (AGRI) recent report, which provides key recommendations aimed at stabilizing rising food prices. FVGC appreciates the Committee’s efforts and is particularly encouraged by the consistency between the AGRI report and FVGC’s own advocacy and 2024 budget recommendations.

CULT Food Science Subsidiary Further Foods Launches Strategic Partnership with Valet Seller

a disruptive food technology platform pioneering the commercialization of lab grown meat and cellular agriculture to reshape the global food industry, is excited to announce its subsidiary, Further Foods Inc., has partnered with Valet Seller (https://valetseller.com/) to launch its Noochies! products on major online marketplaces such as Amazon, Target, Kroger, and Walmart.

US Winter Wheat Rating Dips Slightly; Development Ahead of Normal

The condition of the US winter wheat crop took an unexpected step backward this past week. Development remains well ahead of normal.

© 2024   Created by Darren Marsland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service