Mobile Abattoirs, Regional Ag Research, and Control of Phragmites
Guelph, ON – Oct. 12, 2016.
Red Tape Challenge
This summer the government opened their Red Tape Challenge to regulations governing the Food Processing Industry. The CFFO’s comments focused on the importance of our current marketing regulations for both supply management and marketing boards in Ontario. The CFFO supports the marketing board model of negotiating prices between producers and processors, which ensures fair consideration of the needs of both parties, and creates a stable business environment for farm and processing businesses to invest based on predictable pricing. Supply management ensures farmers are receiving a fair price for the product they produce, and that there is a stable supply for processors and consumers.
The CFFO saw room for some improvement in land use protections on farmland, and in meat processing regulations. CFFO argued for greater protections on farmland, which is a limited resource, through land use planning policy. These protections are vital to ensuring the long-term prosperity of farming in Ontario.
While CFFO recognizes that the meat regulations have been effective in ensuring food safety and proper treatment of animals, there needs to be flexibility to allow for different sized abattoirs. The CFFO encourages the government to consider what would be required to allow mobile abattoir units to serve remote areas, or other regions where a mobile abattoir would best serve the needs of the locale.
Northern Ontario Agriculture, Aquaculture and Food Processing Sector Strategy
In response to the government discussion paper on expanding agriculture in northern Ontario, the CFFO emphasized four key areas where government should invest. All four are aimed at ensuring the foundations are in place for prosperous communities and thus successful businesses, and include transportation, key infrastructure, support for community organizations, and for agricultural research. Government should limit the amount it invests into businesses themselves, because relying too heavily on financial support is not best for long-term industry sustainability. The CFFO is confident that once the market is established, businesses will expand on their own.
The CFFO recognizes the importance of protecting our ecosystems from the negative impacts or potential negative impacts of problematic invasive species. We hope that inclusion under the Invasive Species Act will be the first step in working to control those species which are already establishing themselves in the province. In particular, CFFO encourages the Minister to implement a “Prevention and Response Plan” with respect to the spread of phragmites australis subsp. australis, which is now established in many areas and causing damage to wetlands and beaches. Wetlands are integral to maintaining water quality and quantity which is a key benefit for farmers.