The association is 'encouraged' by some aspects of the new federal budget, 'disappointed' by others.
March 31, 2023 By Greenhouse Canada
The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) has found both positives and negatives in the new Federal Budget 2023.
In a March 31 news release, CPMA said it was “encouraged” to see that addressing the impacts of inflation and supporting a National Supply Chain Strategy are continued areas of focus in the federal budget, and that the budget includes a number of commitments that were recommended by the association in its advocacy efforts and pre-budget submissions to the government, such as:
- A National Supply Chain Strategy, informed by the recommendations of the National Supply Chain Task Force report, including the establishment of a Supply Chain Office;
- Measures to improve government oversight of Canadian ports and marine shipping to reduce congestion and increase supply chain efficiency;
- Federal investments in rural infrastructure, including through funding for a housing strategy and a top-up to the Local Food Infrastructure Fund;
- Funding to establish the Canada Water Agency as a standalone entity to support the development of a long-term sustainable water strategy for Canada.
“With the rising cost of food top of mind for Canadians, we hope the federal government will leverage Budget 2023 to make food production and access to food a whole-of-government priority and support the continued resiliency and future growth of the sector,” said CPMA president Ron Lemaire.
However, CPMA said it was “disappointed” that the implementation of a financial protection mechanism for produce sellers was again not included in the budget. “CPMA has consistently reiterated the importance of this tool as an opportunity to address gaps in market stability, financial protection, trade, and food security, with no cost to the government,” the release said. “The establishment of a financial protection tool was also among the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance recommendations for Federal Budget 2023.”
“The impacts of the pandemic, supply chain disruptions and geopolitical and economic volatility have put the produce sector in a more vulnerable position without a financial protection mechanism in place,” Lemaire said. “We are hopeful that all parties will support Bill C-280, the Financial Protection for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Act, when it comes before the House of Commons in the coming weeks.”
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