2018–19 Departmental Plan

2018–19 Departmental Plan (PDF Version, 3,000 KB)

International Standard Serial Number: 2371-736X

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Privy Councillor, Member of Parliament,
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Minister's message

Honourable Lawrence MacAulay

I'm pleased to present to Parliament and Canadians the 2018−19 Departmental Plan for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. This report provides an overview of the department's key goals for the coming year, and the activities which will help to deliver results for the economic growth, sustainability and resiliency of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.

As a whole, the agriculture and agri-food system accounts for over $100 billion of our gross domestic product and over $60 billion of our exports, while employing more Canadians than any other manufacturing industry.

The Government of Canada has a strong agenda for agriculture and agri-food, identifying it as a core driver of jobs, growth and prosperity. Our investments in agricultural science support new discoveries that can grow our economy and feed the world. Budget 2018 will strengthen the Federal Government's commitment to innovation, with the single largest investment in fundamental research in Canadian history – almost $4 billion to support the next generation of researchers, and providing researchers with the cutting-edge equipment needed to make scientific breakthroughs and drive innovation.

This builds on strategic investments in innovation over the previous two federal budgets, including $100 million in agricultural research, $950 million in the SuperCluster Initiative and over $1.2 billion in the Strategic Innovation Fund, which will drive innovation in dynamic and emerging sectors including agri-food.

We also have a strong focus on trade, setting a target of $75 billion in agriculture and food exports by 2025. Our ongoing market development and promotion will help us reach this target, along with recent trade agreements, including the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Budget 2018 supports our trade agenda, with an investment of up to $75 million over five years, to strengthen Canada's trade support in China and throughout Asia, including some of the world's fastest-growing economies.

This is a milestone year, with the launch of the new five-year Canadian Agricultural Partnership, supported by a $3 billion federal-provincial-territorial investment that will help the sector innovate, grow, and prosper.

The Partnership will continue to advance trade opportunities, which hold tremendous potential to boost the agriculture sector and in turn, increase prosperity for communities across the country. A growing global middle class is increasing demand for top-quality agricultural products that our farmers and food processors can provide.

The Partnership will also continue to emphasize research and innovation, another area of crucial importance to this dynamic and fast-paced sector. Through collaboration with industry and academia, we will roll out new tools and technologies to help farmers increase yields and revenues, while protecting the environment and driving growth for the middle class. The agriculture and agri-food sector has already made great strides on sustainability, and programs under the Partnership will ensure that the sector remains a leader in clean economic growth.

In addition to continued support for industry efforts to grow markets and innovate, the Partnership also addresses emerging priorities that have been identified as areas of increasing importance to a dynamic and vibrant agriculture sector. It will be the first policy framework to recognize the importance of public trust to Canadian agriculture. As well, the Partnership puts a new emphasis on agricultural inclusiveness, helping diverse groups – such as women, youth and Indigenous communities – take on a greater role in the sector.

We will also continue to work with our federal colleagues, industry and Canadians to develop a shared vision for the future of food in A Food Policy for Canada.

The future is promising for Canada's agriculture and food industry. Working together with industry and Canadians, we will help the sector – and our economy – innovate, grow and prosper.

Honourable Lawrence MacAulay,
Privy Councillor, Member of Parliament,
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

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Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food - Around the World

How Canadian food is having a global impact

The agriculture and agrifood system accounts for over $60 million of our exports.

Canada is the world's fourth largest exporter of fresh mushrooms.

Canada ships approximately half of its sunflower seeds abroad.

Canada exports about half of its annual honey production to 27 countries.

Canada exports most of its organic production to India, the United States and the European Union.

As the world's third-largest pork exporter, Canada exports to more than 90 countries.

Canada exports over 2,500 tonnes of ginseng roots to Asian markets annually.

Find out more at: agr.gc.ca/discoveragriculture

Plans at a glance

The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is a complex and integrated supply chain that brings significant economic benefits at both the provincial and national level. Identified as a key sector to support Canada's future growth, agriculture drives over $60 billion of Canadian exports, generates over $100 billion of the country's gross domestic product, and employs more Canadians than any other manufacturing industry. Many factors contribute to the performance of the sector, and the agricultural operating environment is rapidly evolving as new opportunities and challenges arise. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada works in collaboration with portfolio partners, other government departments, provincial and territorial governments, industry, and other partners, to create conditions for the long-term profitability, sustainability and adaptability of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.

In line with the government-wide Policy on Results, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has developed a Departmental Results Framework that outlines three core responsibilities: Domestic and International Markets; Science and Innovation; and Sector Risk. Within these, the Department has identified priorities for 2018–19 that focus on providing results through initiatives, programs, and services that help create a modernized, sustainable and prosperous sector. These also support the delivery of the Minister's mandate letter commitments, and reflect broader Government of Canada priorities.

Deliver the Canadian Agricultural Partnership

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion policy framework that sets the strategic direction for federal-provincial-territorial programs and activities. Building on the lessons of past frameworks, the Partnership provides over $1 billion in federal programs and activities, and sets clear objectives with a focus on the following priorities, which cross each of the Department's core responsibilities: growing trade and expanding markets; the innovative and sustainable growth of the sector; and, supporting diversity and a dynamic, evolving sector. Under the Partnership, changes to the Business Risk Management programs agreed to by federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Agriculture in July 2017 will be in effect for the 2018 program year. In addition, the results of a review of Business Risk Management programming, to assess its effectiveness and impact on innovation and growth, will be released in 2018.

Enhance trade and support the sector to seize market opportunities

Improving domestic and international market conditions and advocating for a predictable and stable trade environment will help the sector strengthen its competitiveness and contribute to growing the Canadian economy. Activities supporting the achievement of results include: assisting the sector to take advantage of market opportunities; maintaining and improving access to international markets, including through the negotiation and implementation of trade agreements and by resolving or mitigating market barriers; advancing Canada's agricultural interests with trading partners and the World Trade Organization; and advocating for the adoption of science-based rules and regulations. This work will be undertaken in close collaboration with other federal departments such as Global Affairs Canada, and will align with broader trade priorities. Under Budget 2018, for example, the Government proposes to provide up to $75 million over five years to strengthen Canada's trade support in China and throughout Asia.

Advance agriculture science and research to generate knowledge and innovation

Supporting scientific research will increase the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector knowledge base, enable innovations in products, processes, and practices, strengthen the sector's competitive advantage, and enhance environmental sustainability. The Department will also strengthen scientific research in a way that reflects our diversity, including through support for the next generation of women, members of visible minority communities and Indigenous researchers. Activities supporting the achievement of results include: contributing to agriculture and agri-food science and innovation research; improving the coordination of research projects and activities with other government departments on environmental and clean technology projects; and enhancing science investments related to innovative technologies, products, practices, processes, or systems.

Lead the development and implementation of A Food Policy for Canada

As reflected in the Minister's mandate letter, the Department will continue to pursue the development of A Food Policy for Canada. The policy is being informed by the results of cross-country consultations with a wide range of Canadians and stakeholder organizations, including Indigenous representatives, organizations, civil society, academia and all orders of government.

For more information on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's plans, priorities and the planned results, see the "Planned results" section of this report.

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Canadian Agricultural Partnership

Innovate. Grow. Prosper.

Strengthening the agriculture and agri-food sector - a key area of economic growth and job creation - to deliver the greatest benefits for farmers, food processors and Canadian families.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a $3 billion investment including:

  • $1 billion in federal programs and activities, and
  • $2 billion in cost-shared programs and activities by federal, provincial and territorial governments.

Federal programs and activities focus on helping the sector:

  • Grow trade and Expand markets to seize key opportunities and address emerging needs.
  • Advance science and innovation, with an emphasis on innovation and sustainable growth.
  • Better reflect the diversity of our communities, enhance collaboration across different jurisdictions and secure and support public trust.

The Partnership also features:

  • Simplified and streamlined programs and services that are easier to access.
  • Key enhancements to programs that help farmers manage significant risks that threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond their capacity to manage.

New federal progarms under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership will include:

  • AgriMarketing
  • AgriCompetitiveness
  • AgriScience
  • AgriInnovate
  • AgriDiversity
  • AgriAssurance

Find out more at Canada.ca/Agri-partnership.

Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond

Core Responsibilities

Domestic and International Markets

Description: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides programs and services and works in collaboration with the sector to support its competitiveness at home and abroad. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada also works to increase opportunities for the sector to export its products by maintaining and expanding market access and advancing agricultural interests internationally.

Planning highlights - Domestic and International Markets

Seizing opportunities in both domestic and international markets is critical to the economic growth and profitability of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector. With increasing global integration, Canadian industry has an unprecedented opportunity to reach new markets, and a strong domestic sector is a significant contributor to international success. The Department's plans for 2018–19 will serve to enhance competitiveness in support of an ambitious target to increase agricultural exports to $75 billion by 2025. Increased investments in market access and market development activities, programs, and services under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, for example, will help Canada's diverse agriculture sector fully leverage domestic and international market opportunities. Activities will also align with the goals of the broader Government of Canada trade agenda, such as the $75 million over five years proposed under Budget 2018 to strengthen our trade support in China and throughout Asia, and the priority of advancing economic growth through international trade.

Achieving Results: Growing the economy through agriculture and agri-food

The agriculture and agri-food sector is already a significant contributor to the Canadian economy, and the global market offers tremendous growth potential. With increasing international competition, strong and concerted efforts are required for Canada to keep up. Continued success in this area will be measured against targets that assess export value, sales of agri-food products, and the economic performance of the sector.

Assisting the sector to pursue and realize the benefits of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement is a key area of focus for 2018–19. In close collaboration with Global Affairs Canada, provinces and territories, and industry stakeholders, the Department will promote the benefits of the Agreement, and assist industry in understanding the rules and technical aspects. The Department will also monitor implementation of the agreement as well as in-market trends and activities to help ensure the sector is equipped to take advantage of opportunities in this important market. In preparation for the implementation of the agreement, the Department will also continue to promote programs and services designed to encourage investment by the dairy sector to strengthen productivity and competitiveness.

Increasing agriculture exports

Budget 2017 outlined a target for Canada to increase its annual agricultural exports to $75 billion by 2025, taking advantage of the sector’s strengths and growing international demand for food. As more than half the value of Canada’s agricultural production is exported, the Department will pursue this target by building on previous export growth across a range of commodities and value-added products, and through enhanced trade with key partners. Measuring the value of agricultural exports provides an indication of the sector’s overall competitiveness and of its contributions to Canada’s economic growth.

The Department will continue supporting the market development efforts of industry through a suite of activities, in partnership with the provinces and territories. By providing resources that assist industry in getting products into markets, such as strategic intelligence, a trade commissioner service, Canada Brand promotional tools, and the coordination of in-market engagement activities, the Department will help enable the sector to compete in the global marketplace and build commercial success.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will also continue supporting long-term competitiveness by addressing challenges and issues that could impede sector growth. For example, value chain roundtables are a unique industry-government forum to discuss and develop solutions to challenges, and provide strategic direction for the sector, including on issues such as innovation and competitiveness. Going forward, additional efforts will be made to support greater inclusion of under-represented groups, such as young farmers, to participate in value chain roundtable meetings to advance their professional development, incorporate new viewpoints, and build the new generation of industry leaders.

As part of the Government of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan, the Department will help support the work of the Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table, which provides a forum for industry leaders to explore opportunities and challenges facing the sector. The Table is expected to focus on key issues, provide advice on key initiatives that could bolster growth, and develop recommendations for action that can be undertaken by both government and industry. This work will occur in concert with Tables for five other sectors – advanced manufacturing, digital industries, health and bio-sciences, clean technologies, and clean resources.

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Canada-European Union

Comprehensive economic and trade agreement

Canada's agri-food trade with the EU – By the numbers

$3.56 Billion (2016) in Canadian agri-food exports.

29.3% export growth since 2012.

Canada's 4th largest agri–food export market.

1 trade Agreement covering 28 markets and over 510 million consumers.

Achieving Results: Increasing market access and advancing agricultural trade interests

Recognizing the importance of global markets to the growth and profitability of Canada's agriculture sector, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supports and enhances Canada's market presence by working to re-open, maintain and expand access for Canadian products internationally, pursuing free trade agreements with key partners, and advocating for science-based trade rules. Activities related to achieving market access results will strengthen competitiveness and support sector growth beyond the domestic market. Success will be measured against targets that assess the Department's ability to advance trade policy positions in the negotiation of new trade agreements, and the ability to resolve or mitigate market access barriers and technical trade issues.

The Department undertakes a number of activities to contribute to a predictable and stable trade environment, including by negotiating and implementing trade agreements and advancing Canada's agricultural trade interests. Specific activities for the coming year will include those undertaken in the context of re-negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement, and ratifying the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Department will also continue to advance and defend Canada's trade policy interests at the World Trade Organization, through its dispute settlement and trade policy review mechanisms.

There are increasingly complex issues faced by Canadian companies exporting agriculture and food products, including a rise in non-tariff measures such as delays in approvals for products of biotechnology and inconsistent import regulations for pesticide residues. These issues create obstacles to trade but also impact the development and availability of new products and tools due to market uncertainty. As new challenges arise, the Department will continue to support the development and adoption of science-based international standards, guidance and recommendations, through active engagement with multilateral institutions, international standard setting bodies, like-minded countries and trading partners.

The Department's ongoing efforts towards a predictable, rules-based trade environment and improved and preferential access to markets, including engagement efforts and regulatory and scientific cooperation with trading partners, is undertaken in close collaboration with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada, Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Grain Commission, and other government departments. To this end, effective January 2018, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency created a new shared branch focused on international market access and regulatory trade issues to provide more coordinated support to industry in advancing our international trade agenda.

Gender-based analysis plus

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Department will deliver a new AgriDiversity Program. The objective of this program is to strengthen the sector by: building the entrepreneurial capacity of under-represented groups (such as Indigenous communities, youth, women, and persons with disabilities); helping these diverse groups take a greater leadership role; facilitating the sharing of industry experiences, best practices and knowledge; helping under-represented groups to manage transformation; and incorporating the views of a more diverse set of industry players.

Experimentation

As agriculture is a shared jurisdiction in Canada, the high level of collaboration between the Department and the provinces and territories offers a unique opportunity to experiment with new collaborative models that enable consistency while reducing the duplication of activities. The new Regional Collaborative Partnerships Program is one such model that is designed as a tool enabling jurisdictions to come together to address common issues, such as market research or market risk assessments, that are beyond the scope of their own province or territory (but are not national in scope).

Planned results - Domestic and International Markets
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2014–15
Actual results
2015–16
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector contributes to growing the economy Percentage change in the economic performance of the agriculture and agri-food sector

2.0%

Average annual growth rate between 2017 and 2025

December 31, 2019 Not available Not available Not available
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector contributes to growing the economy Percentage change in agri-food products sold

4.5%

Average annual growth rate between 2017 and 2025

December 31, 2019 Not available Not available Not available
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector contributes to growing the economy Value of agriculture and agri-food exports $75.0 billion December 31, 2025 $56.4 billion $61.6 billion $62.5 billion
Access to international markets is increased by resolving or mitigating market barriers and advancing trade positions Degree to which Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada advances the resolution or the mitigation of market access barriers, World Trade Organization disputes and technical trade issues

80%

Maintain score of 80% or above

March 31, 2019 Not available Not available Not available
Access to international markets is increased by resolving or mitigating market barriers and advancing trade positions Degree to which Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada advances trade policy through negotiations, agreements and discussions

80%

Maintain score of 80% or above

March 31, 2019 Not available Not available Not available
Note: Instances where actual results are “not available” are either because the methodology for the indicator has recently been revised and therefore the current calculations will not be directly comparable with past figures, or it is a new indicator for 2018–19 as part of the transition to the Departmental Results Framework and therefore results were not previously reported.
Budgetary financial resources (dollars) - Domestic and International Markets
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned spending
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
250,182,291 250,182,291 235,954,403 231,147,403
Note: The higher planned spending in 2018–19 reflects funding that was carried forward from 2017–18 to support investments in the dairy sector, in addition to funding for the two-year extension of the Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative under the Youth Employment Strategy.
Human resources (full-time equivalents)- Domestic and International Markets
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
493 481 481
Note: The decrease in full-time equivalents in 2019–20 is due to the Community Pasture Program expiring at the end of 2018–19.

Science and Innovation

Description: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada conducts scientific research, develops new knowledge and new technologies, and transfers the results to the agriculture and agri-food sector. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada also works with industry and other partners to strengthen the sector’s capacity to develop and adopt innovative practices, products and processes.

Planning highlights - Science and Innovation

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada-led science and innovation are vital to the competitiveness, sustainability and profitability of the sector. Scientific research will enhance knowledge and support the development of innovative products, processes, or practices that can be commercialized and adopted by the agriculture and agri-food industry. This is essential for accelerating the pace of innovation, improving productivity, enhancing environmental sustainability, and capturing market opportunities. Through its science and innovation activities, and by means of continued work with industry, academia and other federal, provincial and territorial governments, the Department will help to ensure that science capacity is maximized to better position the agricultural sector for future success. The Department's work aligns with the Government of Canada's commitment to innovation and has been advanced through strategic investments from federal budgets in 2016 and 2017, including $100 million for agricultural research. Budget 2018 strengthens this commitment with a proposed investment of almost $4 billion in the Canadian research system, which will further support innovation in the agriculture and agri-food sector.

Achieving Results: Growing the sector knowledge base through innovative scientific research

Scientific research is a critical component for the generation of new ideas and is a key driver of product and process innovation. Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Department will continue to build on the successes of previous policy frameworks by renewing support for agricultural research in emerging and transformative areas such as animal genetics and crop traits, to help the sector adapt to climate change. This enables the sector to increase production and improve efficiency which leads to reduced costs and enhanced competitiveness.

Continuous support for scientific research will also help the sector identify and find solutions to production risks, and keep pace with the demand for sustainability attributes in new products. The Department's efforts will be assessed against targets that measure the level of collaboration with other research partners, and the impact or contribution of the Department's scientific research. As part of these activities, a continued focus on environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation will help to promote the advancement and adoption of agricultural clean technologies. Success in this regard will be measured by tracking the long-term impact that innovative improvements in on-farm management have on the overall quality of water, soil, air and biodiversity.

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Number of Farms Using Renewable Energy Systems 2016
Renewable Energy Systems Number of Farms
Solar Panels 8,658
Wind turbines 1,597
Other renewable energy producing systems 518
Anaerobic biodigester (biogas or methane) 63
Hydro electric power generator 60
Biodiesel production systems 16
Achieving Results: Transforming ideas into products, processes and practices

Building upon collaborative research proposals and supporting investments in the commercialization and adoption of new innovations will encourage the transformation of research-generated ideas into new business applications. These investments will assist industry in addressing the financing gap between research and commercialization, and mitigate the risk inherent in applying new technologies to commercial-level production.

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Department will continue to facilitate the demonstration, commercialization and adoption of innovative agri-based products, technologies, processes, and services. This will accelerate the availability of new technologies, and enhance sustainability and productivity, which will assist the sector in capturing opportunities in domestic and international markets. The Department will evaluate results in this area against targets that measure the number of new technologies, products, practices, processes or systems that are available for transfer to the sector; and will assess the rate of adoption of innovative practices over the longer term.

The Department will continue to provide expertise and funding under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to leverage capacity and mobilize science resources through partnerships among industry, government and academia, known as “clusters.” Building on the successful results of these clusters in previous policy frameworks, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will support industry-led knowledge transfer and adoption activities, which will strengthen research dissemination and provide new technologies to the sector at an accelerated pace.

The use of innovative new research partnership models focusing on the needs of producers will also help to achieve results. Producers and scientists will work together with local organizations to find farmer-centered solutions to build environmental and economic resilience within agricultural landscapes and build capacity to adapt to, and recover from, climate change impacts. Economic and environmental performance will be evaluated under real life conditions (for example, on active farms) and results will be communicated to stakeholders and used to refine the recommended suite of agricultural beneficial management practices.

Investing in innovation

As a measure of how well capital, labour and resources are converted into commodity products, an increase in productivity growth demonstrates enhanced sector competitiveness. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada programming will aim to help increase annual productivity growth in the agri-food processing sector from -0.1% to a target rate of 0.2%, which would translate to an estimated $3.2 billion worth of agri-food output over a five-year period. This supports increased profits, higher wages for employees and lower prices for consumers, making productivity growth vital to the Canadian economy.

Gender-based analysis plus

In support of the government-wide priority to promote gender equality, diversity and inclusiveness, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Women in Science Network launched an initiative to capture and explain the depth and diversity of the role of the Department's female scientists, past and present. By increasing the information available, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada aims to reach, educate, and influence youth about possible career paths and inspire the next generation of Canadian female agricultural scientists.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada also recognizes the importance of a diverse and representative workforce in providing the combination of skills and expertise that is required to address the complex challenges facing the agricultural sector. As such, the Department will leverage its existing diversity networks, such as the Indigenous Student Recruitment Initiative, to ensure strong recruitment efforts among under-represented groups.

Experimentation

The Department is committed to using experimentation approaches to drive innovation in policy and program design and delivery. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will implement the new research partnership model noted above, and will continue to experiment with the use of Transformative Workshops to generate new ideas that will address key agricultural challenges. These scientist-driven workshops bring together multi-disciplinary and multi-generational participants among a range of stakeholders to support transformative and integrative approaches to research and development. The goal of these workshops is to broaden collaboration and foster transformative discussions in the agricultural scientific community. It is anticipated that successful use of these workshops will lead to the introduction of new approaches and topics for agriculture and agri-food research.

One such workshop is called Observational Studies, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence: An opportunity to change the nature and impact of agricultural science. Its aim is to gather scientists together to explore new ways of addressing major agricultural research challenges with regards to improving the capacity of performing observational studies through the collection of big data sets and the use of artificial intelligence. These workshops will assist in converting emerging ideas and concepts into new management strategies that use transformative and integrative approaches to research, development and knowledge, as well as technology transfer, in the agriculture and agri-food sector.

Planned results - Science and Innovation
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2014–15
Actual results
2015–16
Actual results
2016–17
Actual
 results
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector knowledge base is increased through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supported scientific and innovative research Percentage of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientific publications produced through collaboration

75%

Collaboration with external collaborators rises to at least 75% of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientific publications

March 31, 2023 Not available Not available Not available
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector knowledge base is increased through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supported scientific and innovative research Number of citations as a proportion of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientific publications

15 citations per Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada publication

An average of at least 15 citations per Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientific publications is maintained

March 31, 2019 Not available Not available Not available
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is effective in transforming ideas into new products, processes or practices Number of new technologies, products, practices, processes or systems that are available for transfer to the sector Average development of 100 new innovations annually with the goal of achieving 500 over the Canadian Agricultural Partnership framework March 31, 2023 Not available Not available Not available
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is effective in transforming ideas into new products, processes or practices Percentage of farms adopting innovative practices

70%

Farms representing 70% of agricultural sales adopted innovations between 2021 and 2023

December 31, 2023[1] Not available Not available Not available
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is effective in transforming ideas into new products, processes or practices Percentage of processors developing and/or introducing innovations

To be determined

The target will be available December 2019[2]

To be determined Not available Not available Not available
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is effective in transforming ideas into new products, processes or practices Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability (water, soil, air quality, biodiversity) Index of 71[3] March 31, 2030[4] Not available Not available Not available
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is effective in transforming ideas into new products, processes or practices Percentage change in the productivity of the agriculture and agri-food sector

1.4%

Primary: Maintain annual productivity growth rate at 1.4% between 2016-2026

December 31, 2026[5] Not available Not available Not available
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is effective in transforming ideas into new products, processes or practices Percentage change in the productivity of the agriculture and agri-food sector

0.2%

Processing: Annual productivity growth rate increases to at least 0.2% between
2016-2026

December 31, 2026[6] Not available Not available Not available

Note: Instances where actual results are “not available” are either because the methodology for the indicator has recently been revised and therefore the current calculations will not be directly comparable with past figures, or it is a new indicator for 2018–19 as part of the transition to the Departmental Results Framework and therefore results were not previously reported.

[1] Indicator has a two-year lag time; 2023 result will be available in March 2025.

[2] Given that the new survey will not ask the same questions as the 2004 survey, the target will be established following the first iteration of the “Survey on Innovation in the Food Processing Industry.”

[3] The Index ranges from 0-100, whereby 0-19 represents an "undesirable" status, 20-39 represents "poor", 40-59 represents "moderate", 60-79 represents "good" and 80-100 represents "desired". An index of 71 would indicate that overall water, soil, air and biodiversity quality related to agricultural lands is rated as "good" or, in other words, that agri-environmental health is at low risk of being significantly degraded.

[4] Indicator has a one-year lag time; 2030 result will be available in 2031.

[5] Indicator has a three-year lag time; 2026 result will be available in December 2029.

[6] Indicator has a four-year lag time; 2026 result will be available in March 2030.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars) - Science and Innovation
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned spending
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
590,110,466 590,110,466 569,317,279 569,062,560
Note: The higher planned spending in 2018–19 is mainly due to funding related to finalizing projects under the Federal Infrastructure Initiative and funding for retroactive collective bargaining obligations.
Human resources (full-time equivalents)- Science and Innovation
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20 
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
2,600 2,600 2,600

Sector Risk

Description: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides tools to mitigate the financial impact of risks beyond producers’ control that threaten the viability of their operations. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada also works with the sector to ensure that systems, standards and tools are developed to support its ability to prevent and control risks and address market demands.

Planning highlights - Sector Risk

An effective suite of agricultural risk management tools helps to ensure the continued growth and resiliency of the agriculture and agri-food sector. This includes programming and services to help farmers when they face risks beyond their capacity to manage, as well as assurance systems that help the sector respond to consumer and market demands while protecting it against threats to plant and animal health. Activities related to sector risk are critical to ensure a reliable supply of Canadian food products, and to maintain confidence in the agricultural supply chain.

Achieving Results: A financially resilient agriculture

Agricultural producers face a multitude of risks that can threaten the viability of their operations, such as drought, flood, hail, declining international or regional commodity prices, increasing cost of inputs, pests and diseases, and border closures. Business Risk Management programs help producers to effectively manage the impact of these risks and support the ultimate result of a financially resilient agriculture sector by ensuring that producers can remain productive and withstand impacts from a severe event. This result will be measured by targets that assess the percentage of financially healthy farms in Canada, and sector income levels as compared to historical averages.

Financially healthy farms

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada programming aims to help maintain a target of at least 90% of Canadian farms being financially healthy. The financial health of Canadian farms is an important aspect to ensuring a reliable supply of Canadian food, and serves as an indication of the agriculture and agri-food sector's overall resilience to ever-evolving market and environmental conditions. Farm financial health will be measured by two components: cash flow generating revenue, which reflects the financial health of the sector in the short term; and a solid balance sheet, which tends to reflect longer-term financial conditions.

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Department, in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, will continue delivering a comprehensive suite of Business Risk Management programs. Adjustments have been made to program parameters to ensure continued access during an industry downturn, and to address feedback received from producers, which will also assist in improving the overall effectiveness of the suite. Governments will also continue enabling proactive approaches to risk management by supporting the development of new tools to help the sector understand, anticipate, and address their unique business risks. This will include activities that consider the complexities of risk beyond agricultural production losses.

In addition to program delivery, federal, provincial and territorial governments have initiated a review of all Business Risk Management programs to assess their effectiveness and impact on growth and innovation. A panel of external experts, including producers, academia and global specialists, have been engaged to provide input throughout the review, and broader industry engagement will also ensure an understanding of the risks faced by the sector. A component of the review is to consider the balance between Business Risk Management and other strategic investments in the sector, in order to best achieve growth objectives while effectively covering risks that threaten farm viability.

Achieving Results: Equipping the sector with assurance systems and tools

In addition to effective risk management, trust in Canada's food and agriculture sector is critical to ensure the competitiveness of individual businesses and the sector as a whole. Increasingly, buyers are demanding industry demonstrate that their agriculture products have certain characteristics, or are produced using specific methods. For example, that the food is safe, and meets requirements related to quality, traceability, sustainability, or animal welfare. The term “assurance systems” is used to describe all processes and procedures that provide confidence in the food supply chain.

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Department will continue to help industry develop and adopt systems, standards and tools that allow them to make meaningful and verifiable claims about agriculture and agri-food products. By addressing risks along the food supply chain, these projects are intended to build trust in Canadian products. Funding will continue to be provided to national industry associations, and a new small and medium-sized enterprise component will provide targeted support to help companies implement third-party assurance certifications required to access foreign markets. This will equip the sector for greater success by supporting the creation of systems that underpin industry's ability to meet consumer and buyer demands, and gain access to markets, while protecting plant and animal health.

The Department will also continue to invest in evidence and science-based activities related to pest management. The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Pest Management Centre conducts scientific analysis to support the registration of new and effective treatments to manage pest problems such as weeds, insects, and diseases, while protecting Canada's biodiversity. The Centre also works with Health Canada to move modern pest management products through the regulatory system. Through these activities, the Department will continue to enhance grower access to innovative pest control tools, while helping Canadian producers' ability to compete in global markets.

Gender-based analysis plus

The Department is committed to ensuring a more inclusive agriculture and agri-food sector. Access to programs and participation by under-represented communities, including Indigenous communities, will be examined as part of the review of Business Risk Management programs being undertaken. As well, the terms and conditions of the AgriRisk program have been revised to more explicitly emphasize the availability of support for under-represented groups, and departmental outreach approaches will be adjusted to ensure their particular risk management perspectives and concerns are considered.

Experimentation

The Department is also committed to using experimentation approaches to drive innovation in policy and program design and delivery. For example, innovative approaches will be undertaken to increase the capacity, participation and access of Indigenous communities and other under-represented groups in the agricultural sector, including in programs and services related to risk management. There will also be a focus on different processes and tools to improve service delivery.

Planned results - Sector Risk
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2014–15
Actual results
2015–16 Actual
 results
2016–17
Actual 
results
The agricultural sector is financially resilient Sector's income as a proportion of historical income

85%

Sector income is maintained above the 85% threshold of five year average income

March 31, 2019[1] Not available Not available Not available
The agricultural sector is financially resilient Percentage of financially healthy farms

90%

Percentage of financially healthy farms is maintained at least 90%

December 31, 2019[2] Not available Not available Not available
The agriculture and agri-food sector is equipped with assurance systems and supporting tools Percentage of implementation plans for assurance projects reported to be functioning Range between 65% and 85% March 31, 2023[3] Not available Not available Not available

Note: Instances where actual results are “not available” are either because the methodology for the indicator has recently been revised and therefore the current calculations will not be directly comparable with past figures, or it is a new indicator for 2018–19 as part of the transition to the Departmental Results Framework and therefore results were not previously reported.

[1] Indicator has a two-year lag time; 2018–19 results will be available in fall 2021.

[2] Indicator has a two-year lag time; 2018–19 results will be available in October 2021.

[3] Indicator has a lag time; actual result will be available every year in October.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)- Sector Risk
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned spending
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
1,524,183,899 1,524,183,899 1,506,781,291 1,506,781,291

Note: The higher planned spending in 2018–19 is primarily due to the forecast spending in the AgriInvest program. 2018–19 is the first year of the five-year Canadian Agricultural Partnership and starting with the 2018–19 fiscal period, program changes to the AgriInvest program begin to be introduced. The changes are fully implemented by fiscal year 2019–20.

Human resources (full-time equivalents) - Sector Risk
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
456 456 456

Financial, human resources and performance information for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Internal Services

Description: Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; and Acquisition Services.

Planning highlights - Internal Services

In 2018–19, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will undertake specific initiatives that support the Department’s mandate and strengthen our capacity to deliver results to Canadians.

Enabling and strengthening program and service delivery

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will update systems that process program applications and develop tools that support federal initiatives under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. This work will result in simplified access to programs and services, faster processing times and improved client service, as well as contribute to increased digital service delivery, greater client participation, and improved reporting and performance measurement on programs.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will also continue supporting client-centered, digitally enabled and integrated services that meet the expectations of clients and stakeholders and achieve quality by:

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue to advance the Government of Canada Open Data and Open Information initiatives by releasing 10 percent of the Department’s data and information resources and inventories to the public through the Open Government Portal. The Department will continue to provide scientific knowledge to the public by releasing peer-reviewed publications, and will aim to provide access to departmental publications within 12 months of publication. By ensuring that timely, usable, and relevant data and information resources are released to the public, the Department contributes to Government of Canada commitments to increase transparency, as well as citizen engagement and innovation.

We all have a role to play in creating a respectful workplace and culture where everyone’s contribution is valued. All employees should be able to work and express their ideas, concerns and values in a climate of mutual respect.” - Chris Forbes, Deputy Minister

A diverse and inclusive workforce

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has been recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for two years running (2017 and 2018). Among its many projects and resources, in 2018 the Department was selected based on three specific initiatives: an Indigenous Student Recruitment Initiative; a collaborative project with Indigenous communities to increase awareness and preserve ancestral varieties of corn, beans and squash (“Three Sisters: Back to our Roots” project); and an accessibility and inclusiveness task force.

Promoting a healthy, inclusive, and respectful work environment with a focus on wellness and mental health

Recognizing the value and importance of a healthy, inclusive and respectful workplace, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will entrench workplace wellness in its organizational culture, practices and processes. The Department will launch a People Strategy to guide the focus on preparing our workforce for the future, building a more effective place to work, and delivering better services to Canadians. Key actions will also incorporate the Department's responses to the results of the 2017 Public Service Employees Surveys. In the current environment, supporting its employees dealing with pay issues is a top priority, with emphasis on proactively mitigating risk by ensuring mandatory training and roles and responsibilities are well understood, and by actively supporting departmental employees with escalation and pay advisory services.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars) - Internal Services
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned spending
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
151,526,770 151,526,770 149,108,945 149,180,631
Note: The higher planned spending in 2018–19 is mainly due to funding for retroactive collective bargaining obligations.
Human resources (full-time equivalents)- Internal Services
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
1,140 1,140 1,140
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Where AG's at: Top commodities by province and territory
Province / Territory Commodities
British Columbia horticulture, dairy
Alberta cattle, grains and oilseeds
Saskatchewan grains and oilseeds, cattle
Manitoba grains and oilseeds, hogs
Ontario grains and oilseeds, dairy
Quebec dairy, hogs
New Brunswick horticulture, dairy
Nova Scotia horticulture, dairy
Prince Edward Island horticulture, dairy
Newfoundland and Labrador dairy, poultry
Nunavut caribou, musk ox, wild berries
Northwest Territories eggs, horticulture
Yukon forage, greenhouse crops

Spending and human resources

Planned spending

Departmental spending trend graph
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Departmental spending trend graph
2015–16[1] 2016–17[1] 2017–18[2] 2018–19[3] 2019–20[3] 2020–21[3]
Statutory 950 1,298 1,136 1,467 1,448 1,448
Voted 978 1,317 1,026 1,049 1,014 1,008
Total 1,928 2,615 2,162 2,516 2,461 2,456

[1] Spending for 2015–16 and 2016–17 represents the actual expenditures incurred during the respective fiscal year, as reported in Public Accounts.

[2] Spending for 2017–18 reflects the forecast spending to the end of the fiscal year.

[3] Spending for 2018–19, 2019–20 and 2020–21 reflects funds already brought into the Department's reference levels as well as amounts to be authorized through the Estimates process as presented in the Department's Annual Reference Level Update. It has not been adjusted to include new information contained in Budget 2018. More information will be provided in the 2018–19 Supplementary Estimates, as applicable.

Over the period of 2015–16 to 2020–21, spending varies from a low of $1.9 billion spent in 2015–16 to a high of $2.6 billion spent in 2016–17. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's programs and initiatives vary from year to year in response to changes affecting the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector as outlined below.

Actual spending in 2015–16 was low primarily due to strong market conditions which reduced the need for statutory grants and contributions under Business Risk Management programs, mainly in the AgriStability program. In addition, actual spending was reduced by $53.8 million of returned funding from the expired statutory contribution program: the Hog Industry Loan Loss Reserve Program.

Actual spending in 2016–17 was higher as it reflected $350 million one-time funding for the transfer of federal water infrastructure to the Government of Saskatchewan, an increase in demand, compared to 2015–16, for statutory grants and contributions for Business Risk Management programs, as well as an increase to the Federal Infrastructure Initiative.

Forecast spending in 2017–18 is lower as it reflects the reduced need for statutory grants and contributions under Business Risk Management, mainly in the AgriStability program, lower spending under the Federal Infrastructure Initiative, and less funding carried forward from 2016–17 compared to prior years for Growing Forward 2 cost-shared programs. These decreases were partially offset by the new investment in the dairy sector, retroactive collective bargaining obligations and other compensation adjustments, and increased demand for the AgriRisk program.

The increase in planned spending in 2018–19, 2019–20 and 2020–21 reflects increasing support for Business Risk Management programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, primarily related to an increase in AgriStability planned spending, as well as support for the implementation of the Dairy Farm Investment Program and the Dairy Processing Investment Fund.

The decrease in planned spending in 2019–20 is primarily attributable to program changes for the AgriInvest program, the retroactive collective bargaining obligations that will have been completed, the sunsetting of the Federal Infrastructure Initiative, and a decrease in funding related to the dairy sector investment programs.

Budgetary planning summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2015–16
Expenditures[1]
2016–17
Expenditures[1]
2017–18
Forecast spending[2]
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned spending[3]
2019–20
Planned spending[3]
2020–21
Planned spending[3]
Domestic and International Markets 182,844,608 495,273,150 174,148,323 250,182,291 250,182,291 235,954,403 231,147,403
Science and Innovation 604,445,577 625,575,604 607,002,344 590,110,466 590,110,466 569,317,279 569,062,560
Sector Risk 987,917,667 1,343,028,316 1,206,500,759 1,524,183,899 1,524,183,899 1,506,781,291 1,506,781,291
Subtotal 1,775,207,852 2,463,877,070 1,987,651,426 2,364,476,656 2,364,476,656 2,312,052,973 2,306,991,254
Internal Services 153,201,740 151,033,280 174,335,805 151,526,770 151,526,770 149,108,945 149,180,631
Total 1,928,409,592 2,614,910,350 2,161,987,231 2,516,003,426 2,516,003,426 2,461,161,918 2,456,171,885

[1] Expenditures represents the actual expenditures incurred during the respective fiscal year. Because of changes in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's reporting framework in fiscal year 2018–19, the 2015–16 expenditures and the 2016–17 expenditures have been crosswalked from the previous years' Programs to the 2018–19 Core Responsibilities.

[2] Forecast spending reflects the forecast expenditures to the end of the fiscal year. Because of changes in Agriculture and Agri-Food  Canada's reporting framework in fiscal year 2018–19, the 2017–18 forecast spending has been crosswalked from the 2017–18 Programs to the 2018–19 Core Responsibilities.

[3] Planned spending reflects funds already brought into the Department's reference levels as well as amounts to be authorized through the Estimates process as presented in the Department's Annual Reference Level Update. Planned spending has not been adjusted to include new information contained in Budget 2018. More information will be provided in the 2018–19 Supplementary Estimates, as applicable.

Planned human resources

Human resources planning summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (full-time equivalents[1])
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2015–16
Actual [2]
2016–17
Actual [2]
2017–18
Forecast [3]
2018–19
Planned
2019–20
Planned
2020–21
Planned
Domestic and International Markets 548 512 513 493 481 481
Science and Innovation 2,453 2,531 2,600 2,600 2,600 2,600
Sector Risk 456 462 456 456 456 456
Subtotal 3,457 3,505 3,569 3,549 3,537 3,537
Internal Services 1,056 1,089 1,140 1,140 1,140 1,140
Total 4,513 4,594 4,709 4,689 4,677 4,677

[1] Full-Time Equivalents - reflect only those full-time equivalents funded through the Department's appropriated resources. For example, in 2017–18, there were 34 full-time equivalents employed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for research funded through collaborative agreements with industry partners. Also, an additional 511 full-time equivalents were employed as students.

[2] Because of changes in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's reporting framework in fiscal year 2018–19, the 2015–16 actual full-time equivalents and the 2016–17 actual full-time equivalents have been crosswalked from the previous years' Programs to the 2018–19 Core Responsibilities.

[3] Because of changes in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's reporting framework in fiscal year 2018–19, the 2017–18 forecast full-time equivalents have been crosswalked from the previous year's Programs to the 2018–19 Core Responsibilities.

The increase in full-time equivalents from 2015–16 to 2016–17 was due to the staffing of vacant positions. This increase is partially offset by a decrease due to the winding down of the Community Pasture Program.

The forecast increase in full-time equivalents in 2017–18 is mainly due to staff required to support the dairy sector investment programs, as well as the genomics, digitization and data mobilization of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's biological collections as announced in Budget 2016, in addition to succession planning staffing.

The planned decrease of full-time equivalents in 2018–19 is mainly due to the winding down of the Community Pasture Program at the end of 2018–19. This decrease is partially offset by a planned increase of staff required to support the implementation of programs and services under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and the dairy sector investment programs.

Estimates by vote

For information on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's organizational appropriations, consult the 2018–19 Main Estimates.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations

The Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations provides a general overview of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's operations. The forecast of financial information on expenses and revenues is prepared on an accrual accounting basis to strengthen accountability and to improve transparency and financial management.

Because the Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations is prepared on an accrual accounting basis, and the forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan are prepared on an expenditure basis, amounts may differ.

A more detailed Consolidated Future-Oriented Statement of Operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's website.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations for the year ended March 31, 2019 (dollars)
Financial information 2017–18
Forecast results
2018–19
Planned results
Difference
(2018–19 Planned results minus
2017–18 Forecast results)
Total expenses 2,253,728,00 2,620,377,000 366,649,000
Total revenues 65,932,000 67,981,000 2,049,000
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 2,187,796,000 2,552,396,000 364,600,000

The net cost of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's operations is projected to be $2.6 billion in 2018–19, an expected increase of $364.6 million compared to 2017–18 forecast results. The increase is mainly for Business Risk Management programs, such as AgriStability, Agricultural Disaster Relief, and statutory programs under the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act, for which full authorities are reflected in 2018–19, while 2017–18 reflects forecast spending under these demand-driven programs.

Total expenses are projected to be $2.6 billion in 2018–19. The majority of these expenses is in the form of transfer payments in Sector Risk (58.7% or $1.5 billion). Other expenses include $557.6 million (21.3% of total expenses) in Science and Innovation, $261.9 million (10.0%) in Domestic and International Markets, and $262.3 million (10.0%) in Internal Services.

Total revenues are projected to be $68.0 million for 2018–19. The majority of these revenues is in the sale of goods and services (69.8% or $67.4 million). Other revenues include $16.8 million in interest (17.4%) and $8.0 million in joint project and cost sharing agreements (8.3%). These revenues are presented net of revenues earned on behalf of government ($28.6 million) in the departmental Consolidated Future-Oriented Statement of Operations.

Supplementary information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister: The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay

Institutional head: Chris Forbes, Deputy Minister

Ministerial portfolio: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Enabling instrument: Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Act, (R.S.C. 1985, c. A-9)

Year of incorporation / commencement: 1994

Raison d'être, mandate and role

“Raison d'être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do” is available on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's website.

Raison d'être

The Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food was created in 1868 – one year after Confederation – because of the importance of agriculture to the economic, social and cultural development of Canada. Today, the Department helps create the conditions for the long-term profitability, sustainability and adaptability of the Canadian agricultural sector. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supports the sector through initiatives that promote innovation and competitiveness, and that proactively manage risk. The Department's goal is to position agriculture, agri-food and agri-based product industries to realize their full potential by seizing new opportunities in the growing domestic and global marketplace.

Our Vision

Driving innovation and ingenuity to build a world leading agricultural and food economy for the benefit of all Canadians.

Our Mission

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides leadership in the growth and development of a competitive, innovative and sustainable Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.

Mandate and role

The Department supports the sector from the farmer to the consumer, from the farm to global markets, through all phases of producing, processing and marketing of farm, food and agri-based products. Agriculture is a shared jurisdiction in Canada, and the Department works closely with provincial and territorial governments in the development and delivery of policies, programs and services.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's mandate is based upon the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Act. The Minister is also responsible for the administration of several other Acts such as the Canadian Agricultural Loans Act.

The Department is responsible for ensuring collaboration with its portfolio partners and agencies which are also involved in regulating and supporting Canadian agriculture, including the Farm Products Council of Canada. The Department also includes the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency, a special operating agency that regulates and supervises pari-mutuel betting on horse racing at racetracks across Canada.

While the Canadian Food Inspection Agency reports to the Minister of Health, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is responsible for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's non-food safety activities, including economic and trade issues, consumer protection, as well as animal health and plant protection work.

For more information on the Department's mandate letter commitments, see the Minister's mandate letter on the Prime Minister of Canada's website.

Operating context and key risks

Information on operating context and key risks is available on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's website.

Operating Context

Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector is a driver of economic growth, innovation, trade, and investment. The sector generated $111.9 billion of gross domestic product in 2016, accounting for 6.7 per cent of Canada's total gross domestic product. Additionally, it employs approximately 2.3 million Canadians, representing 12.5 per cent of Canadian employment in 2016.

Over half of the value of Canada's agricultural production is exported, thus the growth of the sector is significantly influenced by global demand for agricultural products, shifting consumer preferences, and access to new and emerging markets as well as continued access to existing markets. Moreover, Canada's agricultural operating environment is rapidly evolving, and faces a complex and diverse array of factors that can impact the sector, including those related to agricultural commodity prices, farm input prices, exchange rates, energy costs, and technological changes and advancements. To address these challenges and support the sector in seizing new opportunities, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada must fully utilise its collaborative relationships with trading partners and engage with multilateral institutions and partners across the domestic value chain to ensure the continued growth of the sector.

Future growth also depends on advancements in science and innovation. The development of scientific and technological knowledge is the foundation of a knowledge-based sector, an important element within innovation that addresses fundamental challenges such as market competitiveness and environmental pressures. The translation of ideas into new products and practices and transferring those to farmers and food processors also contributes to the economic and environmental performance of the sector and to keeping pace with competitors in the global marketplace. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue to work towards ensuring a collaborative approach to science and innovation across government, industry and academia. This will further build the knowledge capacity to capture key opportunities, strengthen the sector's competitive advantage, and reduce the environmental impact of food production.

In addition to facing a variety of obstacles and being subject to the economic forces within a competitive global marketplace, farmers also face increased threats to food production and income posed by extreme weather events and animal or plant disease outbreaks. Furthermore, consumers are increasingly demanding the sector produce products using specific processes and that have certain characteristics. Looking forward, sustainable growth rests on the effective implementation of a suite of business risk management tools for producers when they face significant risks, and the creation and improvement of assurance systems to meet the demand of domestic and international markets while protecting the sector against threats to animal, plant and human health.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue to work with stakeholders in government, industry, academia, and underrepresented groups, including youth, women and Indigenous Canadians to draw on their experiences and perspectives, which will enable appropriate and effective responses to the diverse range of challenges and opportunities within the sector. The Department strives to ensure that its policies, programs and services reflect the needs and expectations of the sector within the context of its current risks and opportunities.

Key Risks

Canadian agriculture is exposed to risks that can impact the sector and affect Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s ability to deliver on its mandate and achieve the results related to its core responsibilities and priorities. As the Department works to support the resiliency and sustainability of the sector; advance agricultural science and research; deliver on the Canadian Agricultural Partnership; and enhance trade and support the sector in seizing market opportunities, it manages risks related to: Catastrophic Crisis; Information Management and Information Technology; and Market Disruption and Trade Uncertainty.

Catastrophic Crisis

Canada's agricultural operating environment is evolving rapidly. Emergencies, such as unexpected and severe events like weather disasters and animal or plant disease outbreaks, are occurring with increasing frequency and scale. The costs to respond to and recover from these emergency events also continue to rise. The Department's ability to respond to these emergency events may have implications to the Canadian economy, environmental and human health, and even loss of public trust if not managed effectively.

The Department continues to strengthen its preparedness for this risk through multiple mechanisms in collaboration with federal, provincial and territorial governments and industry. In support of producer preparedness, the Department currently offers business risk management programs and assurance systems to assist producers in managing risks that threaten the viability of their farms operations and protecting the sector against threats to plant and animal health in order to respond to consumer, buyer and market demands.

For departmental preparedness, the Department has made progress in developing and implementing a series of initiatives, in collaboration with other stakeholders, which help to define the Department's roles and responsibilities in emergency management. The Department continues to work with provincial and territorial governments, under the federal, provincial and territorial Emergency Management Framework for Agriculture in Canada to focus on improving federal, provincial and territorial governments' ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies – thereby promoting the resilience, sustainability and competitiveness of the agriculture sector. Additionally, collaboration continues with federal, provincial and territorial governments and industry through the Livestock Market Interruption Strategy to enhance preparedness in managing any large scale livestock market interruption focused on the impact to healthy animals. Current activities of the strategy focus on enhancing awareness and the benefits of emergency preparedness and planning. Work will also continue within the Department to enhance the suite of departmental emergency management documentation, specifically finalizing a Departmental Emergency Response Plan.

Information Management and Information Technology

Information management and information technology are invaluable processes and tools in the planning and delivery of many of the Department's programs and services, including science and research. A responsive and capable IM/IT environment is essential in supporting the work across the Department, and any compromise (e.g., due to security vulnerability, system outage, etc.) could negatively impact the timely reaction to emerging issues and reduce efficiencies in operations.   

The Department has made progress in updating aging equipment and technology capacity. It will continue to implement measures to improve performance and capabilities of its essential information technology and services and prioritize investments to address emerging business requirements and trends in technologies. This supports proper information management and supporting technology that allows for an effective and responsive organization, meeting client needs and expectations across government, industry and academia.

Market Disruption and Trade Uncertainty

The agriculture and agri-food sector exports over half of its production. Many of the Department's results rely on progress being achieved in trade negotiations and agreements, as well as on market access being maintained and expanded for agriculture and agri-food products. Technical barriers to trade and border sanctions reduce opportunities abroad which in turn could impede the sector's competitiveness and potential growth. As trade policy and market access activities are important in supporting the ability to capitalize on market opportunities, the Department is committed to ensure the sector's access to domestic and international markets.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has made progress in strengthening and enhancing trade relationships while working with partners, including other federal departments, provinces and territories, to assist industry in capitalizing on the gains negotiated under recent trade agreements. In addition, it will continue to ensure that Canada's agricultural policies, and those of its trading partners, comply with international obligations. The Department will carry out activities to mitigate the risk of market disruption and trade uncertainty, including implement the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, exploring new potential free trade agreements with key partners, increasing stakeholder awareness of international market opportunities, and developing international standards based on scientific evidence to facilitate trade for Canadian exporters.

The following risk table describes the risks the Department manages including the associated response strategies, link to the core responsibilities, mandate and other priorities.

Risks Response Strategy Link to the department's Core Responsibilities Link to mandate letter commitments and any government wide or departmental priorities

Catastrophic Crisis

The Department may not be prepared, including having the right people, systems and processes, to respond to catastrophic crises (natural, accidental, or intentional) in an effective manner which may have consequences for the agricultural sector, employees, and/or Canadians.

Continue engagement activities with federal, provincial and territorial partners for the Emergency Management Framework for Agriculture.

Enhance tools to support a comprehensive emergency management approach in collaboration with provinces, territories and industry, including a second phase of activities under the Livestock Market Interruption Strategy focused on exercises, building awareness of the benefits of emergency preparedness and planning, and developing national best practices.

Enhance the Department's emergency management documentation suite, including finalization of the Departmental Emergency Response Plan and supporting guidelines outlining key roles and responsibilities and accountabilities in responding to an emergency.

Exercise and training for emergencies affecting the Department or the sector are conducted.

  • Domestic and International Markets
  • Sector Risk
  • Deliver the Canadian Agricultural Partnership

Information Management and Information Technology

The Department's ability to adopt new services and technologies, including updating aging systems, may hinder our ability to effectively and efficiently deliver programs and services to Canadians.

Implement measures to enhance and modernize the information management and technology environment to improve performance and capabilities in essential services. This includes upgrading workstations with more recent software; replacing aging equipment (e.g., desktops, laptops, tablets, etc.) with more modern devices; and augmenting science storage and network capacity.

Improve the identification and prioritization of investments to address the emerging business requirements and trends in technologies.

  • Domestic and International Markets
  • Science and Innovation
  • Sector Risk
  • Deliver the Canadian Agricultural Partnership
  • Enhance trade and support the sector to seize market opportunities
  • Advance agriculture science and research to generate knowledge and innovation

Market Disruption and Trade Uncertainty

The Department's ability to contribute to the opening, maintaining, and expanding of markets for Canada's agriculture and agri-food sectors may be limited due to uncertainty, changes in the current trade environment, and potential market interruptions (e.g., protectionism, unfavorable changes to existing agreements, non-science-based trade barriers, etc.) therefore limiting sector growth and expansion.

Implement the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, including delivering the In Market Partnership Fund to support market development activities in key markets.

Explore new potential free trade agreements with key partners.

Increased stakeholder (i.e., agricultural producers, companies, industry organizations, provincial and territorial governments, and indigenous communities) awareness of international market opportunities.

Develop international standards based on scientific evidence to facilitate trade for Canadian exporters.

  • Domestic and International Markets
  • Deliver the Canadian Agricultural Partnership
  • Enhance trade and support the sector to seize market opportunities

Reporting Framework

The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2018–19 are shown below:

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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Departmental Results Framework
Domestic and International Markets Science and Innovation Sector Risk
Core Responsibilities AAFC provides programs and services and works in collaboration with the sector to support its competitiveness at home and abroad. AAFC also works to increase opportunities for the sector to export its products by maintaining and expanding market access and advancing agricultural interests internationally.

AAFC conducts scientific research, develops new knowledge and new technologies, and transfers the results to the agriculture and agri-food sector. AAFC also works with industry and other partners to strengthen the sector’s capacity to develop and adopt innovative practices, products and processes.

AAFC provides tools to mitigate the financial impact of risks beyond producers’ control that threaten the viability of their operation. AAFC also works with the sector to ensure that systems, standards and tools are developed to support its ability to prevent and control risks and address market demands. Internal Services
Results The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector contributes to growing the economy Access to international markets is increased by resolving or mitigating market barriers and advancing trade positions The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector knowledge base is increased through AAFC supported scientific and innovative research The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is effective in transforming ideas into new products, processes or practices The agricultural sector is financially resilient The agriculture and agri-food sector is equipped with assurance systems and supporting tools Internal Services
Indicators
  • Percentage change in the economic performance of the agriculture and agri-food sector
  • Percentage change in agri-food products sold
  • Value of agriculture and agri-food exports
  • Degree to which AAFC advances the resolution or the mitigation of market access barriers, WTO disputes and technical trade issues
  • Degree to which AAFC advances trade policy through negotiations, agreements and discussions
  • Percentage of AAFC scientific publications produced through collaboration
  • Number of citations as a proportion of AAFC scientific publications
  • Number of new technologies, products, practices, processes or systems that are available for transfer to the sector
  • Percentage of farms adopting innovative practices
  • Percentage of processors developing and/or introducing innovations
  • Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability (water, soil, air quality, biodiversity)
  • Percentage change in the productivity of the agriculture and agri-food sector
  • Sector’s income as a proportion of historical income
  • Percentage of financially healthy farms
  • Percentage of implementation plans for assurance projects reported to be functioning
Internal Services
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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Program Inventory
Domestic and International Markets Science and Innovation Sector Risk Internal Services
Programs
  • Trade and Market Expansion
  • Sector Engagement and Development
  • Farm Products Council of Canada
  • Dairy Programs
  • Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency
  • Water Infrastructure
  • Community Pastures
  • Federal, Provincial and Territorial Cost-shared Markets and Trade
  • Foundational Science and Research
  • AgriScience
  • AgriInnovate
  • Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program
  • Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program
  • Federal, Provincial and Territorial Cost-shared Science, Research, Innovation and Environment
  • AgriStability
  • AgriInsurance
  • AgriRisk
  • AgriInvest
  • AgriRecovery
  • Loan Guarantee Programs
  • Farm Debt Mediation Service
  • Pest Management
  • Assurance Program
  • Federal, Provincial and Territorial Cost-shared Assurance
  • Return of Payments
  • Management and Oversight Services
  • Communication Services
  • Legal Services
  • Human Resources Management Services
  • Financial Management Services
  • Information Management Services
  • Information Technology Services
  • Real Property Services
  • Material Services
  • Acquisition Services

Concordance between the Departmental Results Framework and the Program Inventory, 2018–19, and the Program Alignment Architecture, 2017–18

Core Responsibility 1: Domestic and International Markets
2018–19 Core Responsibilities and Program Inventory 2017–18 Lowest-level program of the Program Alignment Architecture Percentage of lowest-level Program Alignment Architecture program (dollars) corresponding to the program in the Program Inventory
Trade and Market Expansion 1.2.1 Trade and Market Expansion 100%
Trade and Market Expansion 1.2.3 Market Development 100%
Sector Engagement and Development 1.2.2 Sector Engagement and Development 100%
Sector Engagement and Development 2.2.2 Fostering Business Development 100%
Farm Products Council of Canada 1.3 Farm Products Council of Canada 100%
Dairy Programs N/A  
Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency 2.3 Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency 100%
Water Infrastructure 2.2.5 Water Infrastructure 100%
Community Pastures 2.2.4 Community Pastures 100%
FPT Cost-shared Markets and Trade 1.2.5 FPT Cost-shared Market Development and Competitiveness
(only the market development component)
30%
FPT Cost-shared Markets and Trade 2.2.3 FPT Cost-shared Adaptability and Industry Capacity 100%
Core Responsibility 2: Science and Innovation
2018–19 Core Responsibilities and Program Inventory 2017–18 Lowest-level program of the Program Alignment Architecture Percentage of lowest-level Program Alignment Architecture program (dollars) corresponding to the program in the Program Inventory
Foundation Science and Research 2.1.1 Science Supporting an Innovative and Sustainable Sector 100%
Foundation Science and Research 2.1.2 Research Accelerating Innovation 100%
AgriScience 2.1.3 Research, Development and Knowledge Transfer 100%
AgriInnovate 2.1.4 Enabling Commercialization and Adoption 100%
Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program 2.1.7 Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program 100%
Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program 2.2.6 Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program 100%
FPT Cost-shared Science, Research, Innovation and Environment 2.1.5 FPT Cost-shared Research, Adoption and Commercialization 100%
FPT Cost-shared Science, Research, Innovation and Environment 2.1.6 FPT Cost-shared Environment 100%
Core Responsibility 3: Sector Risk
2018–19 Core Responsibilities and Program Inventory 2017–18 Lowest-level program of the Program Alignment Architecture Percentage of lowest-level Program Alignment Architecture program (dollars) corresponding to the program in the Program Inventory
AgriStability 1.1.1 AgriStability 100%
AgriInsurance 1.1.4 AgriInsurance 100%
AgriRisk 1.1.5 AgriRisk Initiatives 100%
AgriInvest 1.1.2 AgriInvest 100%
AgriRecovery 1.1.3 AgriRecovery 100%
Assurance Program 1.2.4 Assurance Systems 100%
FPT Cost-shared Assurance 1.2.5 FPT Cost-shared Market Development and Competitiveness
(only the assurance component)
70%
Loan Guarantee Programs 1.1.6 Agricultural Marketing Programs Act 100%
Loan Guarantee Programs 1.1.7 Canadian Agricultural Loans Act 100%
Farm Debt Mediation Service 2.2.1 Farm Debt Mediation Service 100%
Pest Management 1.2.6 Pest Management: Pesticides Minor Use Program 100%
Pest Management 1.2.7 Pest Management: Pesticides Risk Reduction Program 100%
Return of Payments N/A  

Supporting information on the Program Inventory

Supporting information on planned expenditures, human resources, and results related to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's website:

Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Public Information Requests Services
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
1341 Baseline Road
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C5

Telephone: 613-773-1000
Toll-free: 1-855-773-0241
Fax: 613-773-1081
Telecommunications Device for the Deaf/Teletype: 613-773-2600
Email: aafc.info.aac@canada.ca
Website: www.agr.gc.ca

Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Core Responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of appropriated departments over a three year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
Any change or changes that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by Program-level outcomes.
Departmental Result Indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.
Departmental Results Framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
The department's Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.
Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
experimentation (expérimentation)
Activities that seek to explore, test and compare the effects and impacts of policies, interventions and approaches, to inform evidence-based decision-making, by learning what works and what does not.
full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person year charge against a departmental budget. Full time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
An analytical process used to help identify the potential impacts of policies, Programs and services on diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people. The “plus” acknowledges that GBA goes beyond sex and gender differences to consider multiple identity factors that intersect to make people who they are (such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability).
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2018–19 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada's Strength; and Security and Opportunity.
horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative in which two or more federal organizations, through an approved funding agreement, work toward achieving clearly defined shared outcomes, and which has been designated (by Cabinet, a central agency, etc.) as a horizontal initiative for managing and reporting purposes.
non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)

For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.

plan (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
priority (priorité)
A plan or project that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Departmental Results.
Program (programme)
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
Program Alignment Architecture (architecture d'alignement des programmes)Footnote1
A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.
results (résultat)
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
Strategic Outcome (résultat stratégique)
A long term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.
sunset program (programme temporisé)
A time limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.
target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, Program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.
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