CFFO Commentary

High Stakes Environmental Policy in Australia

Only a few weeks ago the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) in Australia had been looking to Prime Minister Turnbull’s proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) to provide farmers with a reliable, affordable, “towards lower-emissions” energy source. They supported the NEG because it addressed energy and emissions policy, dealing with repairing the broken national electricity market while…

Cannabis on the Scene

With the legalization of recreational marijuana set for October 17, 2018, have we fully considered the influence this new commodity will have on agriculture in Ontario? For instance, food production may be affected through competition for farmland and farming expertise. Also, international trade partners may take greater caution when importing Canadian food products. Under the…

Dead trees cause problems in Ontario

According to a CBC report in July, northeastern Ontario is experiencing a Spruce budworm infestation. The Spruce budworm is the biggest threat to North American spruce and fir forests, and, on top of that, the resulting dead trees are much more susceptible to forest fires. Threats to entire trees species is not new to Ontario.…

SynBio and Vanilla

Human understanding and our scientific ability to manipulate and control genetics and thus life is rapidly changing with new possibilities opening up all the time. While genetic modification techniques have been possible for a few decades now, the implications of these and newer techniques, and the uses to which they are being put are still…

Love Food Hate Waste

This summer, the federal government launched the Love Food Hate Waste (LFHW) campaign with the goal to inspire and empower people to make their food go further for them and ultimately to reduce household food waste. Canada’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign is modeled after the same campaign in the United Kingdom. In the UK,…

Technology over Time

Using technology successfully on the farm is about attitude, not age. That’s the message guests at the CFFO Farming under 40 BBQs heard this summer from tech expert Peter Gredig. Gredig, a cash cropper and partner at AgNition Inc., was our FCC-sponsored speaker. Gredig, who describes himself as “mobile-biased,” argues that every farmer can use…

Trade or Protectionism

It’s hard to believe that two neighbouring nations with the world’s longest unprotected border are in a trade war. When the US announced in March that it would impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, Canada had no choice but to retaliate. Who wins these standoffs? Somehow, it seems no one does other than perhaps…

A Whole Systems View of Supply Management – Part II

Recent media debate around supply management of dairy often takes a reductionist approach by comparing the shelf price of milk in other countries. But this is far too simplified a way of trying to compare complex differences between complete systems of producing and marketing milk. The CFFO prides itself on considering agricultural issues not only…

A Whole Systems View of Supply Management: Part I

The current press frenzy around Canada’s supply managed dairy system is mostly thanks to the rhetoric of politicians south of the border. However, debate about costs and benefits, pros and cons, of the system has gone on within our own Canadian media for a long time too. Media debate around supply management often focuses on…

Farmers Helping Others

No doubt by now everyone has formed for themselves some opinion about the NAFTA trade talks. Complex as the issues are, supply management for dairy and poultry is important in those negotiations. Dairy at times seems to get a lot of press, but the thinking in the articles, both pro and con, does not vary…