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Outcomes of the UN Food Systems Summit could significantly impact Canadian ag policy

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Opinion

The UN Food Systems Summit is ready to happen this fall, and what occurs at the summit could very effectively impact your farm operation.

Whether or not you’re in British Columbia, via to Prince Edward Island, this assembly could inform policy again right here in Canada, and alter what’s deemed acceptable practices in right here at dwelling. Earlier than you scoff and say, “How the heck can that be possible?” let’s take a better take a look at what’s regarding many in the agriculture business, together with me.

In line with the occasion web site the “Summit will awaken the world to the fact that we all must work together to transform the way the world produces, consumes and thinks about food. It is a summit for everyone everywhere – a people’s summit. It is also a solutions summit that will require everyone to take action to transform the world’s food systems.”

The summit has 17 sustainable improvement objectives (SDGs). It’s laborious to argue with these objectives, which embrace entry to wash water, zero starvation, and peace, however preliminary conferences main as much as the summit infer that some of the suggestions that come out of the summit usually are not going to be pleasant to the present Canadian means of operations.

The intent is noble, however I’m unsure, based mostly on the present tone round fashionable agriculture in Europe, that the outcomes might be to our liking in Canada.

The considerations I’ve, and that others share, are twofold.

  1. What agricultural and meals messaging will the Canadian authorities take to the summit?
  2. The load of affect that the motion gadgets from the summit could have on home policy going ahead in Canada

Earlier than you say, “Who cares? It’s the UN and they hold no jurisdiction over food production in Canada!” I say — not so quick.

The Trudeau authorities is closely influenced by how they’re seen at the United Nations and appear to worth the look that Canada is a pacesetter in world neighborhood with regards to many of the listed SDGs, reminiscent of local weather policy and sustainability.

I’ll boldly say that this authorities will take route from the outcomes at this summit equally to the function that the Paris Settlement has performed in local weather policy domestically in Canada.

As I journey throughout the nation to conferences, I by no means hear, “We need to do things more like Europe.” In truth, some of you or your dad and mom possible made the choice to maneuver to Canada as a result of of the burdensome laws and insurance policies pushed onto the business to fulfill the urge for food of meals system luddites.

If Canada actually values agriculture as an financial driver, it would keep away from European policy in any respect prices. Bear in mind too, that the system is extremely backed which is expensive to the tax payer, extremely protected even beneath free commerce offers, and suffering from regulation constructed on an anti-science mantra.

There may be a lot room for enchancment in all industries because it applies to the listed SDGs, however the Canadian authorities appears to have a tough time boasting about the successes of agriculture on this nation.  We ought to be shouting kind the worldwide rooftops how our grain farmers have decreased soil erosion  and captured soil carbon via zero-till, how grazing cattle performs an enormous function in sustaining grasslands and habitat, how dairy farmers have adopted biodigesters to seize methane, and the way our merchandise are demanded round the world for his or her high quality and consistency.

The U.S. can even be collaborating on this summit and their actions publish summit in distinction to Canada’s are value listening to. Whereas the U.S. is our largest agricultural buying and selling accomplice, the two international locations compete round the world in the export market. Canada is way more beneath the spell of European affect than the U.S. traditionally, which could result in Canada burdening itself with policy that makes it much less aggressive in the long term with much less keen nations like the U.S.

In my opinion, Canada must enter the assembly with a science-based method to agricultural manufacturing and defend why we do the issues the means we do as a substitute of the reverse of apologizing and saying, “you’re right, we need to do better.” There may be room for enchancment, but additionally Canada’s system is defendable, builds financial progress, and creates alternative.

It’s the tone and place that Canada takes to the summit and what it comes dwelling with that can possible drive the narrative of policy modifications and regulatory reform in the future — that is why the UN Food Systems Summit will impact your farm.

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