Farmers need to know how their national canola organizations –
Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA) and the Canola Council of Canada (CCC) – work to represent them in Ottawa, so Canola Digest created this new fea ture. We put together the following four highlights on behalf of staff from both organizations who work to make sure canola voices are heard when the Government of Canada develops policy that will impact canola.
Review of Pest Control Products Act
On June 30, the Government of Canada closed its consultation on a targeted review of the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA). Concern was raised about the impact that consultation outcomes could have on farmers’ future access to pest control products in Canada. CCGA and CCC participated in various stakeholder meetings and submitted comments to ensure that farmers and the industry’s voices were heard.
CCGA and CCC’s written responses focused on three important themes: 1) the need for continued access to safe products to enhance canola’s sustainability; 2) the importance of science and risk-based decision making and real-world data to farmers’ ability to access innovative products; and 3) the need for more transparent communication on the regulatory framework to improve public trust in the food farmers produce.
As part of the response to the PCPA review, Advancing Agriculture, with the help of partners like CCGA and CCC, ran a digital sign-and-submit campaign for farmers and individuals within the agriculture industry. The campaign provided an easy way for individuals to express their views on the PCPA targeted review. Through the campaign, more than 4,000 submissions (2,516 ag supporters and 1,501 farmers) asked the federal government to maintain a commitment to science-based regulation when it comes to agricultural innovations recognizing that pest control products are a critical tool for farmers to grow safe, sustainable and abundant food for Canada and the world.
As part of its platform for the 2021 federal election, the Liberal government promised to develop an Indo-Pacific Strategy given the growing significance of the region to Canada’s economic, security, and development interests.
The Indo-Pacific Strategy is a unique opportunity to advance the canola industry’s interests in the region and encourage the Government of Canada to increase investments that support market access and development. The idea of a new Indo-Pacific Diversification Office staffed with multidisciplinary experts (for example, plant scientists, veterinarians, regulatory experts, trade and agriculture policy officers, etc.) originally stems from efforts of the Canola Working Group, a joint industry-government body struck in response to the suspension of licenses of canola exporters by China. Such an office would ensure that Canada has an increased on the ground presence to proactively address potential market access issues and are able to mobilize quickly to respond to in-market non-tariff barriers.
To learn more about this initiative or to read a copy of the executive summary of the report, you can visit growindopacific.ca
Clean Fuel Regulations
The Government of Canada recently released its new Clean Fuel Regulations (CFR) – a series of regulations that regulate the biofuel market in Canada and create compliance credits for renewable fuel producers. As the federal government looks to achieve its climate goals, the CFR is an important tool in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including up to 26 million tonnes in 2030.
The CFR recognizes Canadian canola as a low carbon feedstock for biofuels and will enable renewable fuel producers to generate compliance credits. The CFR provides options that would allow Canadian-grown crops to be fully accepted as sustainable and compliant with land use and biodiversity criteria. It also recognizes regenerative farm practices such as no-till and minimal till, contributing to canola’s low carbon intensity and feedstock of choice in biofuel production. As demand for biofuels continues to increase, supported by new investments in canola crushing capacity in Saskatchewan, canola farmers will benefit from a new domestic market for their product.
Over the past several years, the CCC and CCGA have been working closely with the government to advocate on behalf of the industry. This included sustained advocacy with both political and civil service officials to facilitate reasonable requirements for farmer compliance with the land-use and biodiversity provisions in the CFR and ensuring that canola’s low-carbon properties were properly reflected in the Life Cycle Assessment model, which determines how efficiently feedstocks generate compliance credits for renewable fuel producers. Both of these issues were resolved in the final version of the regulations published on July 6, 2022 and will come into effect in July 2023. There are still several details to confirm in fall 2022.
For more about the CFR, visit canolacouncil.org/biofuels and ccga.ca/policy/pages/biofuels.aspx.
Fertilizer Emissions Reduction Target
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) sought input to guide its approach in achieving Canada’s fertilizer emissions reduction target. The aspirational target strives to reduce emissions from fertilizer application by 30 per cent from 2020 levels by 2030. The CCGA and CCC’s joint response to the consultation is multi-layered and focuses on several key areas:
- This target should remain voluntary.
- Fertilizers are essential tools farmers use to increase yields and profitability while producing high-quality crops.
- Canola farmers continue to be strong adopters of new management practices and technology to improve environmental outcomes.
- Farmers need flexibility and to be able to do what is best for their farm as there is no one-size-fits-all approach that will work when it comes to improving emissions from fertilizers.
- Farmers will make investments when they are confident in the economic stability and sustainability of their operations. The government needs to work with farmers to complete economic studies on the impact of new emission-reducing practices on their return on investment.
- Improved modelling and data will be necessary to correctly measure what farmers are asked to manage.
- Government should not target indirect fertilizer emissions at this time.
- Emissions reductions from fertilizer should be measured on an intensity basis as opposed to absolute amounts.
- Incentivizing the adoption of practices, such as 4R and enhanced efficiency fertilizers, that can increase yield and quality while reducing the intensity of nitrous oxide emissions should be the focus of this voluntary target.
To read the submission, search “submissions” at ccga.ca or reach out to us for a copy.