2019-20 Departmental Plan

2019–20 Departmental Plan (PDF Version, 4,000 KB)

International Standard Serial Number: 2371-736X

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, P.C., M.P.,
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Minister's Message

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau

I am pleased to present to Parliament and Canadians the 2019–20 Departmental Plan for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Having been recently named Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, I am thrilled to work with a Department that supports one of Canada’s most diverse, innovative, and vibrant sectors. Our farmers and agri-food businesses drive Canada's economy, providing jobs across the nation and growth to our rural communities, and putting safe, high-quality food on our tables.

The Government of Canada recognizes agriculture as one of our core economic sectors. That is why we launched the industry-led Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table, which set out ambitious growth targets. Over the coming year, we’ll be working hard to reach them, through $3 billion in federal-provincial-territorial investments under the new Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which targets key priorities for the growth of the sector, including innovation, competitiveness, trade, and environmental sustainability. The Partnership supports 19 sectoral AgriScience Clusters, bringing together industry, government and academia to drive science that delivers on the needs of the industry and the sector.

Importantly, the Partnership will strengthen diversity by helping those who have been under-represented in agriculture historically – women, youth, and Indigenous communities. It also brings a new focus on building public trust in our food systems. As well, producers will continue to have access to robust business risk management programs that are comprehensive, responsive and accessible.

Sustainability will be another top priority for the Government, with targeted investments to support clean agricultural technology, strengthen soil and water conservation, and enable the hiring of new world-class Canadian scientists. The Department is pioneering a new, collaborative “living labs” approach, bringing scientists and farmers together in the field to develop practical technologies and sustainable farming practices.

The Government will also be helping the industry maximize opportunities through major trade agreements with the United States, Mexico, Europe, and our Pacific trading partners. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, for example, will reduce tariffs on Canadian meats, grains, horticulture, and processed foods in some of the world’s leading markets for food. And the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement will secure and stabilize our sector’s $30 billion exports to our largest trading partner to the south. Combined with benefits under our existing trade agreements, Canadian farmers and food processors will have a competitive edge in about two-thirds of the global economy.

At the same time, our trade experts will continue to advance Canada’s interests abroad, promoting free trade based on rules and science, while also firmly defending our supply-managed sectors. By opening up and expanding markets for our agriculture and food products, Canada is making good progress towards our target of $75 billion in agri-food exports by 2025.

The Government is also driving innovation in the sector through support for automation and digital technologies under the Strategic Innovation Fund; and the Protein Industries Canada SuperCluster, aiming to make Canada a global leader in plant protein.

The future is full of promise. Demand for Canadian food and agri-based products continues to rise, and Canada has the competitive advantages to meet that demand, sustainably. I look forward to working with all stakeholders to help our agriculture and food sector grow, innovate, and prosper.

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau
Privy Councillor, Member of Parliament
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Plans at a glance and operating context

The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector 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 $64 billion of Canadian exports. In addition, the agriculture and agri-food system, which includes all stages of the value chain from farm input suppliers to food retail and service providers, generates over $116 billion of the country's gross domestic product, and accounts for one in eight jobs, employing approximately 2.3 million Canadians.

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 2018, federal, provincial and territorial governments launched the Canadian Agricultural Partnership - a five year, $3 billion policy framework that guides investments in the sector. The Partnership aims to help the sector grow trade, advance innovation while maintaining and strengthening public confidence in the food system, and increase diversity and inclusiveness in the sector. In 2019–20, the Department will collect and analyze performance data from the first year of the Partnership to guide program delivery and inform future policy development.

In addition to delivering the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has identified priorities for 2019–20 that are in line with the Department’s three core responsibilities under the Departmental Results Framework: Domestic and International Markets; Science and Innovation; and Sector Risk. Within these, the Department will focus on achieving results through initiatives, programs, and services that help create an efficient, sustainable and thriving sector. These results also support the delivery of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food's mandate letter commitments, and reflect broader Government of Canada priorities.

Enhance export growth and market diversification, and support the sector to seize market opportunities

With over half of the value of Canadian agricultural production being exported, the growth of the sector is significantly influenced by increasing global demand for agricultural products, shifting consumer preferences, access to new and emerging markets, and continued access to existing markets. Nearly three quarters of Canada's agriculture and agri-food exports are destined for countries where Canada has a trade agreement that is signed or in force. However, the threat of increasing protectionism in other countries could lead to the introduction of tariffs or non-tariff barriers that could impact the economic outlook for producers who depend on export markets.

Advocating for a predictable and stable trade environment can help to mitigate these risks. As well, improving domestic and international market conditions helps the sector strengthen its competitiveness and contribute to growing the Canadian economy. The Department will continue to assist the sector to take advantage of market opportunities and maintain or improve access to international markets, including through the negotiation and implementation of trade agreements, and by resolving or mitigating market barriers. Other activities will focus on 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 is undertaken in close collaboration with other federal government departments such as Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and aligns with broader trade priorities, such as the Government’s objectives to increase and diversify Canadian exports.

Advance agriculture science and research to generate knowledge and innovation

Science and innovation are critical to maintaining the profitability, competitiveness, and sustainability of Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector, and are fundamental to Canada’s growth agenda. Increasingly, a collaborative approach is being used across government, industry, and academia to build the sector’s scientific capacity. These efforts position the sector to capture key opportunities, and accelerate the flow of science and technology in support of future success. In addition, agriculture plays a key role in meeting the Government’s commitments related to clean growth and the climate change agenda.

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 Canada's diversity, including through support for the next generation of women, members of visible minority communities, and Indigenous researchers. In 2019–20, the Department will continue contributing to agriculture and agri-food science and innovation research, and improving the coordination of research projects and activities with other government departments on environmental and clean technology projects. Activities will also focus on accelerating the staffing of departmental scientists and science professionals in new and emerging areas, and enhancing science investments related to innovation.

Support the financial resilience of the agriculture and agri-food sector

In addition 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. Sustainable growth rests on the effective implementation of a suite of business risk management tools for producers when they face significant risks. Furthermore, consumer demands are increasingly focused on the production methods and characteristics of Canadian products. The creation and improvement of assurance systems, such as those related to traceability for livestock or food safety, help position the sector to meet the demands of domestic and international markets, while protecting against threats to animal, plant, and human health.

In 2019–20, the Department will focus on addressing the findings from the review of Business Risk Management programs that was completed in 2018. The Department will address the recommendations of the review’s expert panel in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and industry, including by supporting the development of industry-led producer-paid tools, examining options to strengthen the core suite of Business Risk Management programs, and assessing the state of risk management education in the sector. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will also continue providing programs and enabling services that help position the sector to meet consumer expectations regarding production and product assurances. Supporting industry efforts to develop and adopt standards, systems, and tools will allow them to make verifiable claims about agriculture and agri-food products, and build public trust in Canada’s food supply chain.

Additional departmental priorities for 2019–20

Develop a Food Policy for Canada

As reflected in the Minister’s mandate letter, the Department will continue to develop A Food Policy for Canada. The policy will be informed by the results of extensive consultations with almost 45,000 Canadians, including civil society organizations, industry stakeholders, Indigenous communities, and the public. In September 2018, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada issued a What We Heard report that presented the findings of the food policy consultations.

Support for underrepresented groups

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada aims to contribute to the Government of Canada's commitment to reduce barriers for underrepresented groups, including through a focus on building their capacity to succeed in agriculture. Ensuring alignment with the external environment and facilitating the Department's responsiveness to opportunities, challenges and risks is key to sector performance. Through ongoing engagement with industry and Canada's diverse communities, including youth, women, and Indigenous groups, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada strives to ensure that its programs and services reflect the needs and expectations of the sector.

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

Supporting Diversity in the Agricultural Sector

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Department advanced diversity and inclusiveness objectives through the development of AgriDiversity, a five-year, $5 million program that seeks to directly support the participation of underrepresented groups in the sector, including women, youth, Indigenous Peoples, and persons with disabilities. The program helps develop skills, leadership, and entrepreneurial capacities. It facilitates knowledge sharing and best management practices, and strengthens the sector with more diverse views and industry players. To date, three projects have been approved and others are being assessed.

A micro-grant funding experiment was initiated under the AgriDiversity Program in 2018, that covers half of a participant’s cost to attend a conference or learning event. The Department is exploring if this type of funding model is a practical and useful way to increase participation of underrepresented groups and, if so, whether it will increase the presence of these groups in the sector over time.

In addition, through the federal Strategic Partnerships Initiative, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada launched the Indigenous Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative in 2018: a five-year, $8.5 million initiative designed to increase economic development opportunities for Indigenous Peoples. Through this initiative, the Department will help support the capacity of Indigenous Peoples to succeed in agriculture, and support the development of partnerships between federal and non-federal partners, including Indigenous communities, provincial/territorial governments, and the private sector.

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

In 2019–20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue to support the Canadian agricultural sector in taking advantage of market and trade opportunities, as well as enhancing the sector's domestic and international competitiveness. Increasing and diversifying Canada's agriculture and agri-food exports contributes to the Government of Canada's trade agenda and its overall priority for economic growth.

In 2018, the Economic Strategy Tables released their final reports, outlining concrete ways that governments and industry could work together to achieve ambitious growth targets for key sectors, including agri-food. For example, the Agri-Food Table released a number of recommendations for the sector that focused on: an agile regulatory system; transportation and infrastructure improvements; diversified markets; innovation; and a diverse labour force. Informed by these recommendations, the Department will continue working with government and industry partners to enhance the sector’s competitive position, with a focus on increasing value-added production and attracting increased investment to the sector.

For example, the Department is undertaking actions on a number of fronts to boost the competitiveness of the sector, including addressing pressing short-term labour issues. This will be done by working with federal government counterparts while also focusing on the long-term labour and skills needs of the sector which is increasingly requiring digital competencies.

The Government’s 2018 Fall Economic Statement took significant steps towards boosting the country's competitiveness, informed by the Economic Strategy Table recommendations. As such, the Fall Economic Statement made significant tax changes to spur investment, undertook to make fundamental changes to the regulatory system, and made key investments in innovation such as the Strategic Innovation Fund. An Export Diversification Strategy was also launched to increase Canadian exports by 50% by 2025. The Strategy will help Canadian businesses access new markets with a focus on: investing in infrastructure to support trade, particularly with Asia and Europe; helping companies to explore new markets; and providing more trade services for exporters. Investments in the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, for example, will support the growth of Canadian exports, including for the agricultural sector. 

Canada is among the world’s largest exporters of agri-food and seafood products and the agriculture and agri-food sector is a key driver of economic growth. Supporting the sector to take advantage of international opportunities, and maintaining or expanding market access, including through the negotiation and implementation of trade agreements, are key activities towards achieving the Government’s growth target of $75 billion in agri-food exports by 2025. In turn, increasing exports and improving the performance of the sector will contribute to growing the Canadian economy.

Implementation of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement

On November 30, 2018, Canada, the United States, and Mexico signed the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement. The agreement preserves the existing commitments for agriculture under the former North American Free Trade Agreement while securing additional market access for agricultural exports of sugar and sugar-containing products, margarine, peanuts and peanut butter. The agreement advanced other agricultural trade interests relating to biotechnology, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and rules of origin; and modernizes the Committee on Agricultural Trade to allow all parties to better address trade issues.

The Department is working with government partners to prepare for the implementation of the agreement and to promote its benefits for the Canadian agricultural sector.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue to work with other partners to deliver on the Government’s commitments to market diversification and to increase exports of agriculture and agri-food products. The Department will promote new trade opportunities in Europe and Asia, particularly those resulting from the implementation of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement in September 2017, and the entry into force of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in December 2018. The Department also supports Government of Canada efforts to modernize the World Trade Organization and will continue to advance agricultural interests in current and future trade negotiations, such as with MERCOSUR countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The Value Chain Roundtables remain an important forum for the Department to facilitate industry-government strategic collaboration on key issues facing the sector. In 2019–20, as part of a broader revitalization of the Value Chain Roundtable model, the Department will explore opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of the Roundtables and to increase the representation of women, Indigenous Peoples, and youth in the agri-food sector.

Working with government partners, the Department will maintain efforts to advocate for an open and rules-based international trading system. However, the global political environment and the threat of rising protectionism among trading partners increases the risk that tariff or non-tariff barriers could have a negative impact on Canada's exports. To mitigate this risk, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continues to support the development and adoption of science-based international standards, guidance and recommendations, and will actively engage on these issues with international standard setting bodies and other multinational partners.

The Department’s efforts to pursue free trade agreements with key partners, and to advocate for science-based trade rules, supports and enhances Canada’s international market presence. Canada’s ability to advance positions in trade negotiations, or to resolve or mitigate market access barriers, are measures of success towards the Department’s expected result of increased access for Canadian products internationally, and support the Minister’s mandate letter commitment to promote Canadian agricultural interests during trade negotiations.

Planned results - Domestic and International Markets
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2015–16
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results
2017–18
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 3.61 % 5,52 % 2,55 %
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector contributes to growing the economy Percentage change in agri-food products sold[1] 4.5%
Average annual growth rate between 2017 and 2025
December 31, 2019 2.41 % 5.91 % 3.81 %
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 $61.3 billion $62.7 billion $64.8 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, 2020 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, 2020 Not available Not available Not available
Note: Instances where actual results are “not available” are because it is a new indicator introduced in 2018–19 as part of the transition to the Departmental Results Framework and therefore results were not previously reported.

[1] Although new indicators under the Departmental Results Framework, past results are sourced from publically available data.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars) - Domestic and International Markets
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
236,376,062 236,376,062 231,493,163 203,184,728
Note: The decrease in planned spending in 2020–21 and 2021–22 is mainly due to planned reductions of investments in the dairy sector.
Human resources (full-time equivalents) - Domestic and International Markets
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
Planned full-time equivalents
514 514 501
Note: The decrease in full-time equivalents in 2021–22 is due to the planned reduction of investments in the dairy sector.

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

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's science and innovation activities, and continued work with industry, academia and other federal, provincial and territorial government partners, ensures that science capacity is maximized to better position the agricultural sector for future success. Accelerating the pace of innovation is essential for improving productivity, enhancing environmental sustainability, and fostering growth.

The Department supports scientific research to enhance knowledge and encourage the development of innovative products, processes, or practices that can be commercialized and adopted by the agriculture and agri-food industry. The Department will continue work towards the Minister's mandate letter commitment, and the Budget 2017 announcement, to invest in agricultural research to support discovery science and innovation. This includes hiring the next generation of federal research scientists and science professionals and equipping them with state-of-the-art tools, such as environmental sampling equipment and analytical instruments. The Department will seek opportunities, where possible, to ensure diverse and underrepresented groups are considered in these hiring efforts.

The role of science and technology continues to be critical in maintaining the profitability and competitiveness of Canada's agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector. At the same time, the sector’s science requirements are growing in complexity, new technologies are emerging, the government policy and program landscape is changing, and the science capacity of other players in Canada's agri-innovation system – such as provincial and territorial governments, universities and the private sector – continues to evolve. In this context, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue to modernize its delivery of science and technology, particularly through its sector science strategies.

Nine sector science strategies have been developed to set priorities for the Department's science activities over the medium term. The strategies outline the Department's objectives and focus areas for research, development, and knowledge transfer; provide a framework for scientists to propose areas of work; and describe the role that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will play in relation to, and in collaboration with, other organizations. In 2019–20, the Department will review and revise the strategies to consider market issues and how to better incentivize private sector investment while also clarifying public and private roles. This will allow Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to continue delivering science results for the sector and Canadians.

Supporting scientific research will help the sector identify and find solutions to production risks, and keep pace with the demand for sustainability attributes in new products. 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 practices. These investments will assist industry in addressing the financial gap between research and commercialization, and mitigate the risk inherent in applying new technologies to commercial-level production.

The sustainable management of agriculture resources is vital to the continued growth and competitiveness of Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector. In support of this, the Department has committed funding for collaborative research projects with external partners through the Living Laboratories Initiative. Living Laboratories are an integrated approach to agricultural research that bring farmers, scientists, and other stakeholders together to co-develop, test, and monitor new practices and technologies on farms. This work results in more practical technologies and sustainable farming practices that are adopted more quickly by Canadian farmers.

A continued focus on environmental sustainability, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation, will help to promote the advancement and adoption of agricultural clean technologies. Climate change, unpredictable weather patterns, and extreme weather events significantly impact Canadian agriculture with varying effect across regions. Drought, along with excessive heat, can stress crops and livestock. This can result in lower yields and lead to soil erosion and the loss of arable land. As well, excessive moisture can result in flooding that lowers production or results in complete production losses. Climate change can also increase pest incidence by creating more favourable conditions for pest survival and migration. Innovative technologies, such as precision agriculture, can help mitigate these impacts and also have the potential to increase yields, thereby expanding sector competitiveness.

The Department is committed to using experimentation approaches to drive innovation in policy and program design and delivery. For example, the Agricultural Clean Technology Program is exploring opportunities to use experimental approaches, including for program delivery. The program increases investments made by provincial and territorial governments and industry in experimental clean technologies for the agriculture and agri-food sector. Over the longer term, this will be achieved through researching, testing, developing and adoption of new and/or innovative technologies intended to address environmental impacts and greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production.

Using Precision Agriculture to Increase Potato Production

While Canada's overall potato production has increased, this is not the case in Atlantic Canada where potato farmers are looking for tools to improve their yields. To help in achieving this, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists are using an innovative tool as their eye in the sky: unmanned aerial vehicles, or drone technology.

Working in collaboration with universities, producers, and industry, scientific researchers are using drones with a specialized camera and advanced software to map potato fields and identify zones that are not performing well. The scientists examine all factors, such as soil health, plant stress, and nutrient management that can limit a healthy potato crop, then apply precision agriculture solutions, such as altering the nutrients and adding soil amendments in parts of the field that need it, to improve overall potato productivity.

This research has expanded across the country with collaborators in Quebec, Alberta, and Manitoba, and is providing an alternative way to identify issues accurately and quickly for Canada’s largest vegetable crop. This technology has the potential to positively impact the sector overall, where use of this specialized camera can help producers discover production problems, find solutions, and grow a consistent crop from year to year to remain competitive.

Planned results - Domestic and International Markets
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2015–16
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results
2017–18
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 72% 72% 76%
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, 2020[1] Not available Not available 15
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[2]

64%

Source: 2015 Farm Financial Survey

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[3]

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[4] March 31, 2030[5] Index of 65 “good” 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[6] 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[7] Not available Not available Not available

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

  • [1] Indicator has a five-year lag time between time of publication and citations. Results in 2020 will be based on publications as of 2015.
  • [2] Indicator has a two-year lag time; 2023 result will be available in March 2025.
  • [3] The target will be established following the first iteration of the “Survey on Innovation in the Food Processing Industry” in 2019.
  • [4] 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.
  • [5] Indicator has a five-year lag time as data is collected every five years in the Census of Agriculture.
  • [6] Indicator has a three-year lag time; 2026 result will be available in December 2029.
  • [7] Indicator has a four-year lag time; 2026 result will be available in March 2030.
Budgetary financial resources (dollars) - Domestic and International Markets
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
587,129,203 587,129,203 588,833,839 575,731,445
Note: The decrease in planned spending in 2021–22 is mainly due to the expiry of the Agricultural Clean Technology Program and a planned reduction in funding for the Advance Agricultural Discovery Science and Innovation Initiative.
Human resources (full-time equivalents) - Domestic and International Markets
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
Planned full-time equivalents
2,711 2,712 2,687
Note: The decrease in full-time equivalents in 2021–22 is due to a planned reduction in the Advance Agricultural Discovery Science and Innovation Initiative, in addition to the expiry of the Agricultural Clean Technology Program.

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

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

In 2019–20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue working with provincial and territorial governments to deliver an effective suite of risk management tools that help ensure the sector's sustainable growth and resiliency, and that assist farmers when they face risks beyond their capacity to manage. The Department will also continue supporting industry-led efforts to develop and implement assurance systems that respond to consumer demands for specific product attributes, while protecting the sector from threats to plant and animal health. Together, activities related to sector risk help ensure a reliable supply of Canadian food products, and maintain public confidence in the agricultural supply chain.

The financial health of Canadian farms serves as an indication of the agriculture and agri-food sector's overall resilience to ever-evolving market and environmental conditions. Agricultural producers face a number of risks that can threaten the viability of their operations, such as drought, flood, hail, declining international or regional commodity prices, increasing input costs, pests and diseases, and border closures. Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, producers continue to have access to a robust suite of Business Risk Management programs to help manage the impacts of these kinds of risks, protect their livelihood, and ultimately grow their business.

In July 2017, federal, provincial, and territorial governments agreed to undertake a review of Business Risk Management programs to assess their effectiveness and impact on growth and innovation. Access to programs and participation by all producers, including underrepresented groups, was examined as part of the review. An expert panel including producers, academics, and others, was established to provide feedback and guidance on the review, and brought recommendations to Ministers of Agriculture in July 2018. The panel identified the need for additional work in addressing the complexity, timeliness, and predictability of AgriStability in disaster situations; modernizing premium setting methodologies under the AgriInsurance Program; examining approaches to improve program equity; developing management tools to cover risks not currently targeted by the suite; and improving risk management communication and education.

Emergency management in agriculture

A key element in effective risk management is planning for emergency events before they occur. The Department is actively engaging industry stakeholders, provincial and territorial governments, and other federal departments, to enhance awareness of the benefits of emergency preparedness and planning, share information related to key risks, and develop best practices to mitigate the impacts of reportable diseases, such as African Swine Fever.

The Department will also continue working to enhance its capacity to respond to emergency events, including through the implementation of an Incident Management System. This system will better ensure efficient communication of critical information with internal and external stakeholders in an emergency event, which contributes to minimizing the impacts of such events.

In collaboration with federal, provincial and territorial governments, the Department will continue its efforts to address the panel's recommendations and develop a path forward to ensure Business Risk Management programs work as intended. The Department will continue engaging with industry on addressing the review's recommendations, and will take steps to ensure that diverse and underrepresented perspectives are included as part of these consultations. This work will help to ensure that the suite can best contribute to sector growth objectives, while addressing the ever-evolving risks that threaten farm viability.

In light of the expert panel's recommendations, the Department has been working with provincial and territorial partners, as well as related organizations, to seek ways to improve education on risk management. The first step in this process was a workshop held in March 2019 which brought together producers, academics, service providers and industry representatives to discuss the current landscape of risk management education, identify potential gaps in the tools and information available, and seek ways to better promote their use. Outcomes from the workshop will be used to inform a path forward on improving education on risk management that will be presented to federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture at their annual conference in July 2019.

In addition to effective risk management, trust in Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector is critical to ensuring the competitiveness of individual businesses and the sector as a whole. Buyers are increasingly demanding that industry demonstrate and provide proof that its products have certain characteristics, or are produced using specific methods. For example, these demands can range from basic expectations of food safety, to meeting requirements related to quality, market attributes, traceability, sustainability, or animal welfare. The term “assurance systems” is used to describe all industry-led processes and procedures, above regulatory requirements, that provide greater consumer choice and confidence in the agriculture and agri-food supply chain.

Investing in improvements to practices and standards for dairy farmers

Canada’s dairy sector has a longstanding reputation for sustainable and responsible production of safe and high-quality milk and dairy products for Canadians. The dairy industry contributes $20.9 billion to the Canadian economy.

Through the AgriAssurance Program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is supporting efforts by the Dairy Farmers of Canada to enhance public trust in dairy production, through its quality assurance program, proAction.

Through proAction, Canadian dairy farmers collectively demonstrate responsible stewardship of their animals and the environment, sustainably producing high-quality, safe, and nutritious food for consumers. Building on progress achieved to date, recent investments from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will help Dairy Farmers of Canada further develop and implement proAction, pursue stakeholder engagement, initiate an industry environmental sustainability strategy, and implement a plan to communicate the organization's quality assurance and sustainability activities with stakeholders and consumers.

With investments such as this, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is helping to build consumer confidence and trust in the dairy industry, which will contribute to the growth and sustainability of the sector for decades to come.

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Department will continue to help industry develop systems, standards, and tools to make credible, meaningful, and verifiable claims about Canadian agriculture and agri-food products. By supporting industry-led efforts to develop assurance systems that support their product claims, these projects will help build trust in Canadian products and the overall agriculture and agri-food system. Under the Partnership, funding is provided to national industry associations to develop national assurance systems, and a small- and medium-sized enterprise component provides targeted support to help companies implement third-party assurance certifications required to take advantage of export opportunities.

Protecting Canada's agricultural resources from animal disease

Canada is the seventh largest pork producer in the world, representing approximately 2% of global production. With over 8,000 hog farms, this sector is a key driver for the economy. Canadian pork is known around the world for its premium quality, taste, safety, and commitment to the highest standards in production.

Through the AgriAssurance Program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is investing in the efforts of the Canadian Pork Council to adopt a virus detection system. This system will enable the Council to provide consistent information on the health status of the hog population across the country, track early disease warning signs, and rapidly identify new and emerging diseases in the sector before they spread. This data can be used to inform disease surveillance and help the industry prepare for disease mitigation activities.

This work complements a previous investment made to the University of Montreal to develop an advanced disease surveillance tool to enable faster threat detection across Canada. Using funding from the previous agricultural policy framework, Growing Forward 2, the surveillance model will enable the hog sector to better understand the frequency of diseases, emerging strains, and the movement of endemic diseases in Canada.

Projects such as these serve to strengthen and grow the Canadian pork sector, and help bring stability while enhancing opportunities for producers to export their products abroad.

The Department will also continue to collaborate with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to recognize industry-led food safety standards, and develop biosecurity and traceability tools. This work will help prevent and mitigate the occurrence of food and disease related incidents and build public trust in Canada's agriculture and agri-food system.

These efforts will help equip the sector for greater success by supporting the creation of assurance systems that underpin industry's ability to meet consumer and buyer demands, and gain access to markets, while helping industry develop systems to safeguard plant and animal health.

Planned results - Sector Risk
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2015–16
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results
2017–18
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, 2020[1] 132%
(for the 2013 program year)
118%
(for the 2014 program year)
121%
(for the 2015 program year)
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 because it is a new indicator introduced in 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; 2019–20 results will be available in fall 2022.
  • [2] Indicator has a two-year lag time; 2019–20 results will be available in October 2022.
  • [3] Indicator has a lag time; actual result will be available every year in October, starting in 2021–22.
Budgetary financial resources (dollars) - Sector Risk
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
1,506,697,119 1,506,697,119 1,506,832,217 1,506,832,217
Human resources (full-time equivalents) - Sector Risk
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
Planned full-time equivalents
448 448 448

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 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 services that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. These services are:

Planning highlights - Internal Services

The Government of Canada is committed to building a stronger, more collaborative federal science and technology ecosystem, which includes an ambitious whole-of-government plan to rebuild federal laboratories by investing in science infrastructure. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in collaboration with other science departments, is working with the Federal Science and Technology Infrastructure Initiative to modernize agriculture science and technology infrastructure.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will undertake other internal service initiatives, including those described below, that support the Department’s mandate and strengthen its capacity to deliver results to Canadians. 

Strengthening service delivery and transparency

The Department will continue supporting client-centered, digitally enabled, and integrated services that meet stakeholder expectations and achieve quality results. Investments in digital technology will help to modernize how programs and services are provided to Canadians, including by enhancing accessibility through both phone and web-based channels, and improving ease-of-use. For example, efforts to increase the automation and artificial intelligence capabilities of the AgPal Program and Service Finder will further improve the client experience.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will also explore digital mechanisms that secure two-way communication between clients and the Department. Employing a greater variety of tools to support collaboration with external clients will allow the Department to provide directed assistance to users, and solicit feedback on programming and service improvements. Leveraging digital technology also supports the Department's own data management and results analysis.

Other activities in 2019–20 will include:

Cultivating wellness in the workplace

Fostering a healthy workplace that is inclusive, respectful, and harassment-free is a priority for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. In support of broader government initiatives, the Department will continue its efforts to entrench workplace wellness in its organizational culture, practices and processes.

In August 2018, the Government of Canada Deputy Ministers’ Task Team on Harassment released the report, Safe Workspaces: Starting a Dialogue and Taking Action on Harassment in the Public Service. The report identifies actions to strengthen the approach of departments in preventing harassment. In response to the report’s recommendations, the Department will implement a number of concrete actions in 2019–20, such as establishing an Ombudsperson office to build trust and capacity, and to provide an informal mechanism for employees to express concerns and seek assistance without fear of reprisal.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will also continue its efforts to ensure a workplace where mental health is addressed constructively and openly. The Department will work to address challenges, grow awareness, and enable positive behaviours to reduce stigma, build up support capacities, and foster cultural change.

Supporting employees dealing with pay issues also remains a top priority. The Department's ongoing efforts are focused on ensuring pay continuity and creating the necessary infrastructure to strengthen employee and manager support.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars) - Internal Services
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
150,662,962 150,662,962 150,524,496 149,420,705
Human resources (full-time equivalents) - Internal Services
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
Planned full-time equivalents
1,192 1,192 1,192

Spending and human resources

Planned spending

Departmental spending trend graph

Description of this image follows.

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Departmental spending trend graph
2016–171 2017–181 2018–192 2019–203 2020–213 2021–223
Statutory 1,298 974 1,144 1,450 1,450 1,449
Voted 1,317 1,011 1,075 1,031 1,028 986
Total 2,615 1,985 2,219 2,481 2,478 2,435

Over the period 2016–17 to 2021–22, spending varies from a low of $2.0 billion spent in 2017–18 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 2016–17 was higher as it reflected $350 million for the transfer of federal water infrastructure to the Government of Saskatchewan, an increase in demand for statutory grants and contributions for Business Risk Management programs, as well as spending under the Federal Infrastructure Initiative.

Actual spending in 2017–18 was lower resulting from a decrease in Business Risk Management programs due to less demand than was forecasted for previous years for the AgriStability program. This resulted in an adjustment that impacted the 2017–18 year, as well as a reduction in participation and slight decrease in commodity prices which influences premiums under the AgriInsurance Program. These decreases were partially offset by the investment in the dairy sector, retroactive collective bargaining obligations, and other compensation adjustments.

Forecast spending in 2018–19 is higher as it reflects increased support for statutory grants and contributions for Business Risk Management programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, mainly due to a forecast increase in AgriStability spending, as well as increased support for the Dairy Farm Investment Program and the Dairy Processing Investment Fund, the transfer of federal canal infrastructure to the Government of Saskatchewan, and spending for the Advance Agricultural Discovery Science and Innovation Initiative resulting from the Budget 2017 commitment. These increases were partially offset due to lower retroactive collective bargaining obligations and other compensation adjustments compared to 2017–18.

Planned spending in 2019–20, 2020–21, and 2021–22 reflects a forecasted increase in Business Risk Management programs spending based on market conditions, primarily related to the AgriStability program, in addition to increased funding for the Advance Agricultural Discovery Science and Innovation Initiative.

The decrease in planned spending in 2021–22 is mainly due to the expiry of the Dairy Processing Investment Fund and the Agricultural Clean Technology Program at the end of 2020–21. In addition, there is a decrease in funding for the Advance Agricultural Discovery Science and Innovation Initiative.

Budgetary planning summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)
Core responsibilities and internal services 2016–17 Expenditures[1] 2017–18
Expenditures[1]
2018–19
Forecast spending[2]
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending[3]
2020–21
Planned spending[3]
2021–22
Planned spending[3]
Domestic and international markets 495,273,150 187,502,391 293,797,745 236,376,062 236,376,062 231,493,163 203,184,728
Science and innovation 625,575,604 605,900,795 576,890,743 587,129,203 587,129,203 588,833,839 575,731,445
Sector risk 1,343,028,316 1,020,593,334 1,175,508,303 1,506,697,119 1,506,697,119 1,506,832,217 1,506,832,217
Subtotal 2,463,877,070 1,813,996,520 2,046,196,791 2,330,202,384 2,330,202,384 2,327,159,219 2,285,748,390
Internal services 151,033,280 170,901,257 172,670,004 150,662,962 150,662,962 150,524,496 149,420,705
Total 2,614,910,350 1,984,897,777 2,218,866,795 2,480,865,346 2,480,865,346 2,477,683,715 2,435,169,095
  • [1] Expenditures represent 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 2016–17 expenditures and the 2017–18 expenditures have been crosswalked from the previous Programs to the 2019–20 Core Responsibilities.
  • [2] Forecast spending reflects the forecast expenditures to the end of the fiscal year.
  • [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 2019. More information will be provided in the 2019–20 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 2016–17
Actual full-time equivalents [2]
2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents [2]
2018–19
Forecast full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
Planned full-time equivalents
Domestic and international markets 512 512 518 514 514 501
Science and innovation 2,531 2,599 2,631 2,711 2,712 2,687
Sector risk 462 450 449 448 448 448
Subtotal 3,505 3,561 3,598 3,673 3,674 3,636
Internal services 1,089 1,112 1,144 1,192 1,192 1,192
Total 4,594 4,673 4,742 4,865 4,866 4,828
  • [1] Full-Time Equivalents - reflect only those full-time equivalents funded through the Department's appropriated resources. In 2018–19, there were 52 full-time equivalents employed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for research funded through collaborative agreements with industry partners. Also, an additional 444 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 2016–17 actual full-time equivalents and the 2017–18 actual full-time equivalents have been crosswalked from the previous Programs to the 2019–20 Core Responsibilities.

The increase in full-time equivalents from 2016–17 to 2017–18 was due to staffing of vacant positions partially offset by a decrease due to the winding down of the Community Pastures Program.

The increase in full-time equivalents in 2018–19 and beyond is due to staffing required to support research priorities, including the Advancing Agricultural Discovery Science and Innovation Initiative as announced in Budget 2017, as well as to support service delivery improvements and modernize agriculture science and technology infrastructure. The increase is partially offset by the winding down of the Community Pastures Program at the end of 2018–19.

The decrease in planned full-time equivalents in 2021–22 is mainly due to planned reductions in investments in the dairy sector as well as the Advancing Agricultural Discovery Science and Innovation Initiative.

Estimates by vote

Information on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's organizational appropriations is available in the 2019–20 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. The forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan are prepared on an expenditure basis; as a result, amounts may differ.

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

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations
for the year ending March 31, 2020 (dollars)
Financial information 2018–19
Forecast results
2019–20
Planned results
Difference
(2019–20 Planned results minus
2018–19 Forecast results)
Total expenses 2,296,452,000 2,590,749,000 294,297,000
Total revenues 67,741,000 68,113,000 372,000
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 2,228,711,000 2,522,636,000 293,925,000

The net cost of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's operations is projected to be $2.5 billion in 2019‒20, an expected increase of $293.9 million compared to 2018‒19 forecast results. The increase is mainly for Sector Risk programs, such as AgriStability and AgriRecovery, for which full authorities are reflected in 2019–20, while 2018–19 figures reflect forecast spending under these demand-driven programs.

Total expenses are projected to be $2.6 billion in 2019–20. The majority of these expenses is in the form of transfer payments in Sector Risk (58.5% or $1.5 billion). Other expenses include $566.1 million (21.9% of total expenses) in Science and Innovation, $271.2 million (10.5%) in Internal Services and $241.8 million (9.3%) in Domestic and International Markets.

Total revenues are projected to remain relatively stable at $68.1 million for 2019–20 versus $67.7 million forecasted for 2018–19.

Mitigating on-farm greenhouse gas emissions

In 2019–20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will provide support through the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program for cutting edge research projects that consider methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farms.

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan and the Global Institute for Water Security will test different mixtures of forage plants to determine whether their digestibility and nutritional balance affect the output of greenhouse gases from grazing cattle. This research project will take a unique approach by examining the whole-system production and sequestration of greenhouse gases, from cattle ingestion to the effect on microorganisms in the soil, with the goal of designing best management practices for cattle production that yield environmental benefits.

The Global Institute for Water Security will also focus on developing a management support toolbox to encourage farmers to plant shelterbelts—trees and shrubs that provide wind and snow protection and sequester large amounts of carbon. The toolbox will be an innovative, on-farm resource to help farmers design shelterbelts that contain trees best suited for the location to maximize carbon sequestration, while also providing maintenance suggestions and a carbon sequestration report card. The toolbox is intended to encourage the long-term preservation of shelterbelts as a method to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

These innovative research projects will help the agriculture industry meet the challenges of climate change by facilitating adoption of sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices on farms.

Additional information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister: The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau

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: who we are and what we do

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.

Reporting framework

The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019–20 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
  • Federal, Provincial and Territorial Cost-shared Markets and Trade
  • Foundational Science and Research
  • AgriScience
  • AgriInnovate
  • Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program
  • Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities 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 tables

Core Responsibility: Domestic and International Markets
Programs
2019-20 2018-19 Change Rationale for change
Trade and Market Expansion Trade and Market Expansion No change Not applicable
Sector Engagement and Development Sector Engagement and Development No change Not applicable
Farm Products Council of Canada Farm Products Council of Canada No change Not applicable
Dairy Programs Dairy Programs No change Not applicable
Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency No change Not applicable
Water Infrastructure Water Infrastructure No change Not applicable
Not applicable Community Pastures Program ended Note 1
Federal, Provincial and Territorial Cost-shared Markets and Trade Federal, Provincial and Territorial Cost-shared Markets and Trade No change Not applicable
Core Responsibility: Science and Innovation
Programs
2019-20 2018-19 Change Rationale for change
Foundational Science and Research Foundational Science and Research No change Not applicable
AgriScience AgriScience No change Not applicable
AgriInnovate AgriInnovate No change Not applicable
Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program No change Not applicable
Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program Title change Note 2
Federal, Provincial and Territorial Cost-shared Science, Research, Innovation and Environment Federal, Provincial and Territorial Cost-shared Science, Research, Innovation and Environment No change Not applicable
Core Responsibility: Sector Risk
Programs
2019–20 2018–19 Change Rationale for change
AgriStability AgriStability No change Not applicable
AgriInsurance AgriInsurance No change Not applicable
AgriRisk AgriRisk No change Not applicable
AgriInvest AgriInvest No change Not applicable
AgriRecovery AgriRecovery No change Not applicable
Loan Guarantee Programs Loan Guarantee Programs No change Not applicable
Farm Debt Mediation Service Farm Debt Mediation Service No change Not applicable
Pest Management Pest Management No change Not applicable
Assurance Program Assurance Program No change Not applicable
Federal, Provincial and Territorial Cost-shared Assurance Federal, Provincial and Territorial Cost-shared Assurance No change Not applicable
Return of Payments Return of Payments No change Not applicable

Note 1: the Community Pastures Program ended in 2018–19, with its transfer to Environment and Climate Change Canada. The program has been removed from the Department's Program Inventory for 2019–20.

Note 2: the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program was renamed the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program in the 2019–20 Main Estimates, following an amendment to the program terms and conditions.

Supporting information on the Program Inventory

Supporting information on planned expenditures, human resources, and results related to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 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 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, as well as evaluations, research papers and gender-based analysis. 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: info@agr.gc.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 an appropriated department over a three-year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
Any change 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.
evaluation (évaluation)
In the Government of Canada, the systematic and neutral collection and analysis of evidence to judge merit, worth or value. Evaluation informs decision making, improvements, innovation and accountability. Evaluations typically focus on programs, policies and priorities and examine questions related to relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. Depending on user needs, however, evaluations can also examine other units, themes and issues, including alternatives to existing interventions. Evaluations generally employ social science research methods.
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. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ considers many other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2019–20 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 where two or more departments are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
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 Information Profile (profil de l'information sur le rendement)
The document that identifies the performance information for each Program from the Program Inventory.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
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.
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.
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 Inventory (répertoire des programmes)
Identifies all of the department's programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department's Core Responsibilities and Results.
result (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.
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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