Language selection

Search

2020-21 Departmental Plan

2020-21 Departmental Plan (PDF Version, 4,581 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

From the Minister

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau

I'm pleased to present to Parliament and Canadians the 2020–21 Departmental Plan for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, our action plan for continued support of one of the most dynamic sectors of our economy.

I'm very optimistic about the future of Canada's agri-food industry. All told, the sector encompasses almost 200,000 farms, thousands of small and middle-sized agri-businesses, and almost 2.3 million jobs right across the country. Family farms are at the heart of our rural communities and the growth of the agri-food sector will contribute greatly to rural vitality.

I know how hard our farmers work to take care of their animals, their crops and our environment. I also know how much our food processors are working to innovate and respond to consumer demands. Consumers want to see that Canadian food is produced in an innovative and responsible way and it's vital that we continue to deliver on their preferences. I'm excited about our promotional campaign for Canadian food, which will showcase their high-quality products and the amazing work that they do.

The Prime Minister has identified some key priorities for my mandate, following the ambitious action plan that our government has adopted to support and strengthen the sector at all levels. I will place high priority in key areas, including trade, extra capacity to respond to protectionism, protection of our supply-managed sectors, and the Food Policy. I will also continue to work tirelessly with provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture to ensure that our business risk management programs are well adapted to the new realities producers are facing, including weather and markets.

Global demand for food is increasing at a record rate, and that will create exciting opportunities for our industry over the coming years. One of our key priorities is to expand access to global markets for Canadian agriculture and agri-food products, with a goal of reaching $75 billion in agri-food and seafood exports by 2025. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union are giving us a competitive advantage in two-thirds of the global economy.

In addition, our agreement with the United States and Mexico will strengthen and stabilize our agricultural markets in North America. With agricultural trade between Canada and the U.S. exceeding $50 billion, and with more than 50 per cent of our agricultural exports destined for the U.S., the new North American Free Trade Agreement is great news for the hundreds of thousands of workers in the sector who depend on this market.

With the collaboration of all the Government services across Canada, I am determined to put everything in place to help us take the fullest possible advantage of each of these agreements.

I obviously can't recognize the opportunities that these agreements are opening up, without acknowledging that our milk, poultry and egg producers and processors have lost parts of their market under supply management. That's why they will be compensated fully and fairly. Milk producers have already begun to receive the first installment. I know how important the supply management system is to the viability of our family farms and the vitality of our rural communities across Canada, and we are all fully committed to protecting it. I'm eager to work together to develop a vision for an innovative and ambitious future for these industries.

We will also continue to advance the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal–provincial– territorial collaboration, which is investing $3 billion over five years to help the sector innovate, grow and prosper.

Another major priority for me will be to support science, innovation and climate action for the agriculture and agri-food sector. We will continue to help the sector adopt practices that are both economically and environmentally sustainable, through a range of investments, including the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Perhaps because I am the first woman to serve as Canadian agriculture minister, I place a particularly high priority on the role of women in the sector, and I am committed to helping young people to make their voices heard and to take on leadership roles. Youth and women need the proper tools and support to get started in their businesses, and to see the potential for a rewarding career in agriculture. To help the next generation take our industry into the future, we will make it easier for farm families to transfer the farm between the generations.

I understand the pressures faced by producers, along with higher levels of stress, and I am committed to doing everything in my power to ensure they have a future full of promise for them and for the generations to come.

Canadian farmers work hard to feed us. Canadians, farm families and the entire agricultural sector can count on our Government to drive greater growth for their business, making our agriculture industry even more innovative, responsive, resilient, and focused on the future.

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

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 provincial and national levels. Identified as a key sector to support Canada's future growth, agriculture drives over $66 billion of Canadian agriculture, agri-food, and seafood exports (2018); contributes over $143 billion annually to 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 continues to work in collaboration with partners such as portfolio organizations, other government departments, provincial and territorial governments, and industry stakeholders to create conditions for the long-term profitability, sustainability, and adaptability of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.

Throughout 2020–21, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue to support the provinces and territories in their delivery of cost-shared programming under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. A shared investment between the federal government and the provinces and territories, cost-shared programming is designed and delivered by provincial and territorial governments in order to address the needs in their jurisdiction, while advancing the priority areas under the Partnership. This complements over $1 billion in federal programs and activities under the Partnership that focus on the following priorities: growing trade and expanding markets; the innovative and sustainable growth of the sector; and supporting diversity and a dynamic, evolving sector.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada identified priorities for 2020–21 that focus on achieving results through initiatives, programs, and services to help create an efficient, sustainable and thriving sector. Efforts will support the delivery of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food's mandate letter commitments, and broader Government of Canada priorities.

Leverage opportunities from trade agreements and government investments to enhance trade diversification

Aligned with broader government objectives to increase and diversify Canadian exports, 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, promoting Canadian agri-food products, and by resolving or mitigating market barriers.

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, leading to the introduction of tariffs or non-tariff barriers, impacts 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.

Implement the Food Policy for Canada

The Food Policy for Canada was launched in June 2019, with the objective of creating a more coordinated food systems-based approach to food-related opportunities and challenges in Canada. Budget 2019 announced funding of over $134 million to launch and deliver initiatives under the Food Policy in collaboration with other government departments, and representatives from industry, academia, civil society, and the health profession.

In line with the Minister's mandate letter commitments, the Department will lead work across the government to move the Food Policy forward, with actions to:

Advance agriculture and agri-food science to modernize sector research and improve environmental resilience

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. Agriculture also 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, resilience, and performance. 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. 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.

Help the sector to manage environmental and business risks by providing faster and better adapted support to producers

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 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 collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and industry, and in alignment with the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food's mandate letter commitment, the Department will continue to address the recommendations from the review of Business Risk Management programs that was completed in 2018, including possible changes to the AgriStability Program for the 2020 program year. 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.

For more information on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's plans, priorities, and planned results, see the “Core responsibilities: planned results and resources, and key risks” section of this report.

Core responsibilities: planned results and resources, and key risks

This section contains detailed information on the Department's planned results and resources for each of its core responsibilities. It also contains information on key risks related to achieving those results.

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.

The Domestic and International Markets core responsibility is focused on advancing the following departmental results:

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, the Canadian industry has an unprecedented opportunity to reach new markets, and a strong domestic sector is the foundation for international success. In 2020–21, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue working to enhance competitiveness and improve domestic and international market access conditions. Departmental efforts under this core responsibility support the Government of Canada's commitment to increase and diversify agriculture, agri-food, and seafood exports in order to reach the target of $75 billion by 2025.

Result: The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector contributes to growing the economy

Improving the performance of the agriculture and agri-food sector, which is already a significant contributor to the Canadian economy, will increase exports and further contribute to economic growth. In 2020–21, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue supporting the Canadian agricultural sector in taking advantage of market and trade opportunities, including those in Europe and Asia resulting from the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. In addition, the Department will work with government partners on the implementation of the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement and to promote its benefits for the Canadian agricultural sector.

The Department will also continue to support Canada's supply-managed sectors through programming intended to help the sector adapt to market changes resulting from the implementation of these agreements. In August 2019, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced that the federal government would make available $1.75 billion over eight years for Canada's dairy farmers, as part of Budget 2019 commitments. This is in addition to the five-year, $250-million Dairy Farm Investment Program, introduced in 2017 to help milk producers improve productivity through equipment upgrades, which already benefits dairy producers across the country. Consultations continue with stakeholders on funding allocated in Budget 2019 in support of Canada's supply-managed sectors.

Efforts to diversify Canadian agricultural trade also support the commitments made in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement, which launched an Export Diversification Strategy to help Canadian businesses access new markets. Investments in the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, as well as ongoing delivery of departmental programs such as AgriMarketing, continue to support the growth of Canadian exports, including for the agricultural sector.

The Department will work in partnership with other federal departments, provinces and territories, industry associations, and other partners to deliver market development services that enable the Canadian agricultural sector to compete in the global marketplace and build commercial success. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides a suite of tools and services including strategic intelligence, dedicated agricultural trade specialists as part of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Canada Brand promotional tools, and the coordination of in-market engagement activities and trade shows. These resources help connect Canadian exporters with targeted business opportunities, promote the advantages of Canadian agriculture and food products to both buyers and consumers, and provide industry with information and learning opportunities to understand the requirements of getting their products to market.

In addition, the Department will continue working with government and industry partners to enhance the sector's competitive position both domestically and internationally, with a focus on increasing value-added production and attracting increased investment to the sector. Along with the Government's commitments in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement that focused on boosting Canadian competitiveness, this work continues to be informed by the 2018 recommendations of the Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will also continue supporting the sector's long-term competitiveness by addressing challenges that could impede growth. The Value Chain Roundtables remain an important forum through which the Department facilitates strategic industry–government collaboration on key issues facing the sector. In 2020–21, as part of a broader revitalization of the Value Chain Roundtable model, intended to advance engagement on strategic and long-term priorities for the sector, the Department will establish and update sector-specific and thematic tables to address issues in the sector and will formalize opportunities for engagement through a modernized model.

Result: Access to international markets is increased by resolving or mitigating market barriers and advancing trade positions

Canada is among the world's largest exporters of agri-food and seafood products, with exports valued at $66 billion in 2018, representing almost half of Canada's total agricultural production. The profitability and potential for growth in the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector lies in its ability to maintain and expand markets abroad. In 2020–21, departmental efforts will focus on enhancing Canada's market presence, including by working to maintain, re-open, and expand market access for Canadian products; negotiating and implementing trade agreements with key international partners; and advocating for science-based trade rules.

Addressing market access issues is often a lengthy and comprehensive process that requires collaboration between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Global Affairs Canada, as well as provinces, territories, and industry. Resolutions require sustained technical and diplomatic efforts, as well as the ability to swiftly react to emerging issues and work collaboratively to achieve results.

Since March 2019, when China suspended the exports of canola seed from two Canadian companies and increased inspection on all Canadian canola seed shipments, the Department has focused efforts on restoring full market access for canola seed to China. The Department will continue working with industry to resolve the issue, including through the government- industry Canola Working Group. In addition to ongoing international engagement on the issue, to assist canola producers, the Department will deliver the permanent increases in loan limits from $400,000 to $1 million for all producers under the Advance Payments Program, and will implement the extension to the AgriStability enrollment deadline for the 2019 program year. Technical engagement continues bilaterally with Chinese officials, and Canada has initiated a dispute settlement procedure at the World Trade Organization on this issue.

Beyond specific market access issues, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue advancing agricultural interests in trade negotiations in 2020–21, such as those currently taking place with MERCOSUR countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) and the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru), and through other trade initiatives with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Working with government partners, the Department will also advocate for an open and rules-based international trading system and will support ongoing Government of Canada efforts to modernize the rules of the World Trade Organization.

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 promote agricultural interests and 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.

In pursuing results within the Domestic and International Markets core responsibility, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will also undertake efforts that align with Government of Canada commitments, such as inclusive outcomes for Canadians, sustainable development, and experimentation. The following outlines the Department's plans in these areas for 2020–21.

Gender-based analysis plus - Domestic and International Markets

The Department is committed to the development of a strategy to address gender gaps across the entire agriculture and agri-food value chain. The strategy will be developed over the next five years in collaboration with industry and other stakeholders. Gender-based analysis plus will be used extensively during the development of the strategy to ensure that it is inclusive, and that analysis is as intersectional as possible, recognizing socio-demographic and identity differences.

In addition, revitalization of the Value Chain Roundtable model will include opportunities for engaging women, Indigenous peoples, and youth through a modernized roundtable structure. This will allow for industry–government collaboration on objectives relevant to gender-based analysis pertaining to the sector. The Department is also committed to engaging in thorough gender-based analysis of all trade agreements, including the Canada–United States– Mexico Agreement, and is exploring the use of targeted calls for program applications to encourage proposals related to underrepresented groups working the sector.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by Canada and all 193 United Nations member states in 2015, is a global framework centred around an ambitious set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), covering the interconnected economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. Employment and Social Development Canada is coordinating the development of a 2030 Agenda National Strategy, which aims to accelerate progress on the SDGs through engagement with Canadians.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's efforts under the Domestic and International Markets core responsibility support Canada's efforts to address the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. Canada's agricultural trade policy encourages open trade and science-based approaches to governing food systems. This helps farmers around the world to reach customers, earn better incomes, and escape poverty and hunger, and contributes to:

Actions towards achieving the long-term outcomes of the Food Policy for Canada will also contribute towards the Government's commitments for sustainable development, for example, through the following SDGs:

Experimentation - Domestic and International Markets

In 2020–21, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will explore experimental approaches to program delivery that could provide data and knowledge leading to the growth of domestic markets and the diversification of export markets. In collaboration with Impact Canada, the Department is also working to develop a challenge to fund the most innovative food-waste reduction proposals in food processing, grocery retail, and food service. Challenges offer funding and other resources to help global innovators put their ideas into action and deliver meaningful results to Canadians. Lessons learned through this experiment will better position the Department to use challenges in other areas of programming. In addition, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will also explore opportunities to participate in Experimentation Works, a Government of Canada-wide initiative to train public servants in experimentation.

Key risks - Domestic and International Markets

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. This could potentially limit Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's ability to achieve the target of $75 billion in agriculture, agri-food, and seafood exports by 2025. To mitigate this risk, the Department will continue 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.

Over the coming decades, Canadian producers will also face new risks resulting from climate change, such as varying growing seasons, drier or wetter conditions, and extreme weather events, that could impact agricultural production capacity. The Department will continue to design and support scientific research and provide programming that contributes to the agri-environmental resilience of the sector.

The Department is also actively engaging industry stakeholders, provincial and territorial governments, and other federal departments to enhance awareness of the benefits of emergency preparedness and planning, to share information related to key risks, and to develop best practices to mitigate the impacts of reportable diseases, such as African swine fever. The Department will continue working to enhance its capacity to respond to emergency events, including through the use of an Incident Management System. This system will better ensure efficient communication of critical information with internal and external stakeholders during an emergency event, which contributes to minimizing the impacts of such events.

The Food Policy for Canada

The Government of Canada launched the Food Policy for Canada in June 2019, with the following vision:

All people in Canada are able to access a sufficient amount of safe, nutritious, and culturally diverse food. Canada's food system is resilient and innovative, sustains our environment and supports our economy.

Globally, there is a challenge to produce and distribute healthy and nutritious food in an environmentally sustainable manner. In Canada, despite efforts being undertaken by multiple stakeholders and levels of government, around one million households are not able to access healthy food, almost two in three adults are overweight or obese, and about one-third of food produced in Canada is wasted. While the Government has policies, regulations, and investments across a number of departments and agencies that directly or indirectly address food-related issues, the Food Policy aims to create a more coordinated and food systems-based approach to taking action on food-related opportunities and challenges.

Budget 2019 announced the Food Policy for Canada along with $134.4 million in new funding, led by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and delivered by multiple departments and agencies, including: the Canadian Food Inspection Agency; the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency; and Employment and Social Development Canada. As outlined in the Minister's mandate letter commitments, the Food Policy will focus on actions in the near-term to: help Canadian communities access healthy food; make Canadian food the top choice at home and abroad; support food security in northern and Indigenous communities; and reduce food waste.

The Department will continue to implement the Food Policy throughout 2020–21. This will include:

Planned results for Domestic and International Markets
Departmental result Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2016–17
actual result
2017–18
actual result
2018–19
actual result
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 At least 2.5%[1] March 2025 2.1%[2] 2.1%[2] 2.5%[2]
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector contributes to growing the economy Percentage change in agri-food products sold At least 4.5%[1] March 2025 3.5%[3] 3.6%[3] 2.8%[4]
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector contributes to growing the economy Value of agriculture and agri-food exports At least $75 billion March 2025 $62.7 billion $64.8 billion $66.2 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 At least 80%[5] March 2021 Not available Not available 85%
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 At least 80%[6] March 2021 Not available Not available 87%

Note: For indicators introduced in 2018–19 as part of the transition to the Departmental Results Framework, past results have been sourced from publicly available data, where applicable. Actual results that are “not available” were not previously measured or reported prior to 2018–19.

  1. Target was amended for 2020–21 to calculate compound annual growth rate between 2017 and 2025 (previously reported as annual growth rate).
  2. Result is based on calendar year and uses the compound annual growth rate between 2007 and the year of reporting.
  3. Result is based on calendar year and uses the compound annual growth rate between 2012 and the year of reporting.
  4. Despite the decline in the compound annual growth rate of annual sales over the last two years, this indicator is still anticipated to reach the results target of 4.5% by 2025.
  5. Performance against this indicator and target is self-assessed based on a scale of 0% to 100%, whereby a score of 80% to 99% indicates the following: (1) that activities required to advance the resolution and mitigation of market access barriers are undertaken effectively; (2) that, with respect to World Trade Organization disputes and technical trade issues, all Canadian partners and stakeholders are engaged to understand issues; (3) that policy advice is provided in response to most requests; and (4) that frequent problem-solving discussions are held. Additional information on the scale and methodology used is available on GC InfoBase.
  6. Performance against this indicator and target is self-assessed based on a scale of 0% to 100%, whereby a score of 80% to 99% indicates strong engagement to bring Canada's position forward; and evidence that key issues have been advanced in promoting or advancing Canadian policy positions. Additional information on the scale and methodology used is available on GC InfoBase.
Planned budgetary financial resources for Domestic and International Markets
2020–21 budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main Estimates)
2020–21
planned spending
2021–22
planned spending
2022–23
planned spending
252,308,691 252,308,691 228,157,124 182,403,460

Note: The decreases in planned spending in 2021–22 and 2022–23 are due to the expiry of the Dairy Processing Investment Fund and the Dairy Farm Investment Program at the end of 2020–21 and 2021–22, respectively. These decreases are offset by an increase to support the Food Policy for Canada, as announced in Budget 2019.

Planned human resources for Domestic and International Markets
2020–21
planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
planned full-time equivalents
2022–23
planned full-time equivalents
534 521 481

Note: The decreases in full-time equivalents in 2021–22 and 2022–23 are due to the expiry of the Dairy Processing Investment Fund and the Dairy Farm Investment Program at the end of 2020–21 and 2021–22, respectively.

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.

The Science and Innovation core responsibility is focused on advancing the following departmental results:

Planning highlights - Science and Innovation

Science and innovation drive productivity, sustainability, and competitiveness in the agriculture and agri-food sector. Efforts at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, including collaborations with industry, academia, and other federal, provincial, and territorial partners, are essential to better position the sector for future success and foster growth. Budget 2017 allocated $70 million over six years to advance agricultural discovery science and innovation, with a focus on emerging priorities such as climate change and soil and water conservation. In 2020–21, through research and innovation in key areas, the Department will continue working to deliver on this Government commitment by ensuring that science capacity is maximized and that industry is supported to adopt practices that improve resiliency, with an emphasis on the environment and clean growth.

In addition, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue working in collaboration with other science-based departments to modernize agriculture science and technology infrastructure as part of a whole-of-government plan to rebuild federal laboratories and establish a stronger, more collaborative federal science and technology ecosystem.

Result: The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector knowledge base is increased through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supported scientific and innovative research

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 sector's science needs 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. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's scientific research will help the sector identify and find solutions to production risks, and keep pace with the demand for sustainable production.

A continued focus on environmental sustainability, resilience, and performance, with a specific emphasis on climate change mitigation and adaptation, will be a priority for the Department in 2020–21. The Government of Canada has adopted ambitious greenhouse gas mitigation targets, and all sectors, including agriculture, are expected to contribute to these emission reductions. Climate change, unpredictable weather patterns, and extreme weather events significantly impact Canadian agriculture with varying effects across regions: drought and excessive heat can stress crops and livestock, and lower yields; excessive moisture can result in flooding that can negatively impact production and lead to soil erosion and the loss of arable land; and climate change can create more favourable conditions for pest survival and migration.

In this context, in 2020–21, the Department will work to advance its scientific research to focus on climate change, particularly risk reduction and strengthened economic opportunities. For example, through activities exploring ways to improve agriculture's use of natural resources to respond to climate change, or by minimizing waste and maximizing the use and value of resources. Helping the sector adapt to climate change is vital to support its long-term resilience and economic stability.

In addition, the Department will continue to support discovery science and innovation by hiring the next generation of federal research scientists and science professionals. Of the $70-million Budget 2017 investment, $44 million was dedicated to recruiting scientists with cutting-edge skills and equipping them with state-of-the-art tools to advance agricultural research, such as environmental sampling equipment and analytical instruments. This will bolster the efforts of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector to respond to the challenges of climate change and to better conserve soil and water. The Department will seek opportunities, where possible, to ensure diverse and underrepresented groups are considered in these hiring efforts.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will also continue working to modernize its nine sector science strategies to maintain their relevance within the evolving context of the sector's science and technology requirements. These strategies set priorities for departmental science activities over a three- to five-year period. Focusing on a specific commodity or cross-cutting agricultural challenges they outline 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 stakeholders. Continuing into 2020–21, the Department will review and implement revised strategies to consider market issues and how to better incentivize private-sector investment while also clarifying public and private roles. This will strengthen the ability of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to deliver science results for the sector and Canadians.

Result: The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is effective in transforming ideas into new products, processes, or practices

The Department's focus on collaborative science and technology efforts enhances the impact of government, industry, and academic expertise by reducing duplication of work and leveraging private-sector research capacities. Research partnerships make government investments more valuable and ensure that the research is relevant to Canadian industry. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada also builds collaborative research by supporting investments in the commercialization and adoption of new innovations, which will then encourage the transformation of research-generated ideas into new business practices. These investments will assist industry in addressing the gap between research and commercialization, and will mitigate the risk inherent in applying new technologies to commercial-level production.

The sustainable management of agricultural resources is vital to the continued growth and competitiveness of Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector. In support of this, the Department's Living Laboratories Initiative is shifting the way agri-environmental science research is conducted. With $10 million in funding from the $70-million Budget 2017 investment to advance agricultural discovery science and innovation, the Initiative funds collaborative federal research projects that bring farmers, scientists, and other partners together to co-develop, test, and monitor new practices and technologies in a real-life context. The result will be more practical technologies and sustainable farming practices that can be adopted more quickly by Canadian farmers.

The Department is establishing a coordinated, long-term, nation-wide network of five Living Laboratories sites, with the first two sites launched in April 2019. In the Prairie region (Manitoba), projects are being led by departmental scientists collaborating with researchers from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment and Climate Change Canada. Activities are focused on climate change, soil health, water quality, and biodiversity. In the Atlantic region (Prince Edward Island), more than a dozen organizations and 20 science teams are partnering throughout Canada to collectively identify environmental issues they want to tackle and then develop, test, monitor, and implement beneficial management practices focusing on water management, fertilizer use, conservation of soil organic matter, and nutrient losses due to soil erosion. While much of the research will be conducted on farms in Prince Edward Island, the best practices will have applicable benefits to producers across Canada with similar soil and climate conditions. Three more Living Laboratories sites will be developed in Quebec (2020), Ontario (2020), and British Columbia (2021). Establishing the network in phases allows this new initiative to adapt as it grows to ensure that the projects achieve the objectives and desired outcomes.

Science and Innovation at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

For over 130 years, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's research has helped build a globally competitive agriculture industry in Canada. Departmental research results in crops and livestock that give higher yields, resist disease, and deliver more nutrition, as well as technologies and agricultural practices that are sustainable and beneficial to Canadian producers.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is currently the largest contributor to Canadian agricultural research, with 20 research and development centres across Canada working to support science initiatives.

The innovative and sustainable growth of the sector is a priority area under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which includes the following programs:

Outside the Partnership, the Department also delivers complementary programs that target specific objectives or recipients. For example, the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program and the Agricultural Clean Technology Program both support research on, and enhance awareness and accessibility of, agricultural technologies, beneficial management practices, and other processes that can be adopted by farmers to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. The Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program funds national or sector-wide, industry-led projects that help the sector develop a new idea or market opportunity and respond to new or emerging issues.

In pursuing results within the Science and Innovation core responsibility, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will also undertake efforts that align with Government of Canada commitments, such as inclusive outcomes for Canadians, sustainable development, and experimentation. The following outlines the Department's plans in these areas for 2020–21.

Gender-based analysis plus - Science and Innovation

Gender-based analysis plus highlights 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 continue to offer initiatives such as the Indigenous Student Recruitment Initiative to ensure strong recruitment efforts among underrepresented groups in many roles within the Department, including science. In addition, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has newly established a Special Advisor for Indigenous Relations to lead the development of tools and approaches for federal intramural science. This will better support Indigenous innovation and strengthen Indigenous science, technology, engineering, and mathematics capacity across government.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's planned activities under the Science and Innovation core responsibility support Canada's efforts to address the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Department continues to modernize its delivery of science and technology to provide leadership in the growth and development of a competitive, innovative, and sustainable Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector. For example, the Living Laboratories Initiative, the Agricultural Clean Technology Program, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, and various research areas guided by the Department's sector science strategies contribute toward:

Experimentation - Science and Innovation

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is committed to using experimentation to drive innovation in policy and program design and delivery. In 2020–21, efforts will continue within the Department to increase capacity to analyze the results of past research initiatives and to link this data with results from provincial, territorial, and industry-led initiatives. The Department will experiment with using this information in different ways in the assessment of applications, as well as in informing future program design.

Key risks - Science and Innovation

Agriculture and agri-food science and innovation programming is intended to facilitate the Department's long-term outcomes, such as increasing productivity and improving the environmental performance of the agriculture sector. Ultimately, successfully achieving these outcomes depends on factors that are beyond the Department's control, such as market conditions, level of research capacity, and availability of skilled workers. To mitigate this risk, the Department will continue to support knowledge-transfer activities to accelerate the adoption and prioritizing of investments in science and innovation to strengthen competitiveness and resilience.

Agriculture and Agri-Food is focused on recruiting scientific professionals and scientific researchers with the skill sets required to perform work in priority areas. However, other institutions' funding models often provide more flexibility to attract top talent in their areas of focus than the federal government. To address this risk, the Department continues to build and enhance existing recruitment mechanisms to support the long-term staffing plan for scientific researchers and science professionals. For example, through an accelerated staffing initiative and on-site engagement with Canadian universities and colleges, the Department supports the development of a highly qualified workforce in agricultural science that meets the needs of the sector.

Departmental result Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2016–17
actual result
2017–18
actual result
2018–19
actual result
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

At least 75%

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

March 2023 72% 76% 73%
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 At least 15 citations per Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada peer-reviewed publication March 2021[1]

14

(baseline of 14 citations from 2012 to 2017 for peer- reviewed publications published in 2012)

15

(based on citations from 2013 to 2018 for peer- reviewed publications published in 2013)

15

(based on citations from 2014 to 2019 for peer-reviewed publications published in 2014)

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 (2018-2023) March 2023 74 104 106
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is effective in transforming ideas into new products, processes, or practices Percentage of revenues generated on farms adopting innovative practices At least 55% of total Canadian agricultural gross revenues are generated by farms that adopt innovative products, processes, or practices between 2023 and 2025 December 2025[2] Not available

53%

(based on results from the 2017 Farm Financial Financial Survey for the period from 2015 to 2017)

Not available

(results available in 2021)

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 The target will be available in 2020[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) At least an Index of 71[4] March 2030[5]

Index of 65 “good”

(based on the 2011 Census of Agriculture) Index of 65

Not available

Not available

(results available in 2021 based on the 2016 Census of Agriculture)

The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is effective in transforming ideas into new products, processes, or processes Percentage change in the productivity of the agriculture and agri-food sector

At least 1.4%

Agriculture sector: Maintain annual productivity growth rate at 1.4% between 2016 and 2026

December 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

At least 0.2%

Agri-food sector: Compound annual growth rate increases to at least 0.2% between 2016 and 2026

December 2026[7]

Not available Not available Not available

Note: For indicators introduced in 2018–19 as part of the transition to the Departmental Results Framework, past results have been sourced from publicly available data, where applicable. Actual results that are “not available” were not previously measured or reported prior to 2018–19 or are due to lag times in data availability as noted below.

  1. Indicator has a five-year lag time between time of publication and citations.
  2. Indicator has a two-year lag time; 2023 result will be available in March 2025. Although the Farm Financial Survey takes place every two years, questions relevant to the adoption of innovation are asked every four years.
  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 is dependant on Census of Agriculture data, which is collected every five years, and then has a five-year lag time for the data to be processed, analyzed, and reported.
  6. Indicator is dependant on Census of Agriculture data, which is collected every five years, and then has a three-year lag time for results calculation; 2026 result will be available in December 2029.
  7. Indicator has a four-year lag time; 2026 result will be available in March 2030.
Planned budgetary financial resources for Science and Innovation
2020–21 budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main Estimates)
2020–21
planned spending
2021–22
planned spending
2022–23
planned spending
601,832,955 601,832,955 588,984,307 562,743,663

Note: The decrease in planned spending in 2021–22 is mainly due to the expiry of the Agricultural Clean Technology Program at the end of 2020–21. In 2022–23, there is a planned decrease in funding for the Advance Agricultural Discovery Science and Innovation Initiative.

Planned human resources for Science and Innovation
2020–21
planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
planned full-time equivalents
2022–23
planned full-time equivalents
2,641 2,637 2,637

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.

The Sector Risk core responsibility is focused on advancing the following departmental results:

Planning highlights - Sector risk

An effective suite of agricultural risk management tools helps ensure the continued growth and resiliency of the agriculture and agri-food sector. In 2020–21, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue working with provincial and territorial governments to deliver programming and services that help 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 against threats to plant and animal health. Efforts related to Sector Risk are critical to ensuring a reliable supply of Canadian food products and to maintaining public confidence in the agricultural supply chain.

Result: The agricultural sector is financially resilient

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. Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, producers have access to a suite of Business Risk Management programs to help manage the impacts of various risks that could threaten their livelihoods. Under the Partnership, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and provincial and territorial governments provide approximately $1.5 billion in annual support to producers through the following programs, to help ensure they can withstand impacts from a severe event and remain productive:

The Department will continue working in 2020–21 to address the recommendations resulting from the review of Business Risk Management programs initiated in 2017. At that time, 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. An external expert panel consisting of producers, academia, and other global experts was created to provide input throughout the review, which then presented recommendations to federal, provincial, and territorial ministers in July 2018. A progress update to ministers in July 2019 focused on the collaborative efforts being taken to address the recommendations, such as improving education on risk management and options for potential changes to simplify the AgriStability program, ease administration, and ensure equitable treatment of producers.

Efforts will continue through 2020–21 to address these findings and ensure that Business Risk Management programs work as intended. The Department, in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, will pursue enhancements to Business Risk Management programming through ongoing engagement with industry 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 program suite can best contribute to sector growth objectives, while addressing the ever-evolving risks that threaten farm viability.

Result: The agriculture and agri-food sector is equipped with assurance systems and supporting tools

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 products have certain characteristics, or are produced using specific methods, and are requiring industry to prove any such claims. These demands can range from basic expectations of food safety to meeting requirements related to quality, market attributes, traceability, sustainability, or animal welfare.

In 2020–21, the Department will continue supporting national industry associations, as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises, through the AgriAssurance program, to develop systems, standards, and tools that allow them to make credible, meaningful, and verifiable claims about their products. Supporting industry-led efforts to develop assurance systems that validate product claims, above and beyond regulatory requirements, provides greater consumer choice and strengthens confidence in the Canadian agriculture and agri-food supply chain.

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. The Agency's specialized expertise in food safety, as well as plant and animal health, contributes to the sector's ability to build robust assurance systems that are cornerstones of the agriculture and agri-food sector. Ongoing collaborative efforts in these areas 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.

Together, efforts related to Sector Risk 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.

African Swine Fever

African swine fever is a viral disease that only impacts pigs. It is highly contagious for pigs and can spread rapidly though both direct and indirect contact with infected pigs or pig products, as well as contaminated farm equipment, feed, and clothing. For this reason, African swine fever poses a significant risk to the health of Canada's swine herd, its pork industry, and the Canadian economy.

African swine fever is not a food safety concern; it cannot be transmitted to humans. However, it can survive for prolonged periods of time in animal products and the environment. Canada has an advanced biosecurity system compared to some countries where outbreaks have occurred, and African swine fever has never been detected in Canada. As the disease spreads globally, however, the risk of introduction increases.

Joint government–industry efforts are underway to enhance both prevention and preparation for a potential incursion of the disease into North America. Representatives from the whole supply chain (producers, processors, transporters) are working closely with the Government of Canada and the provinces on emergency planning and preparedness activities.

This collaborative approach will help to reduce the possibility of African swine fever entering into Canada, through mechanisms such as the enforcement of border regulations on imports of pork products and feed ingredients. It will also allow for a strong and coordinated response, in the event that the disease is introduced to North America.

In pursuing results within the Sector Risk core responsibility, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will also undertake efforts that align with Government of Canada commitments, such as inclusive outcomes for Canadians, sustainable development, and experimentation. The following outlines the Department's plans in these areas for 2020–21.

Gender-based analysis plus - Sector risk

The Department remains committed to ensuring a more inclusive agriculture and agri-food sector. Revisions to the terms and conditions of the AgriRisk program were implemented to more explicitly emphasize the availability of support for underrepresented groups. Moving forward, departmental outreach on risk management will include approaches to ensure the perspectives and concerns of underrepresented groups are considered.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's planned activities under the Sector Risk core responsibility support Canada's efforts to address the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For instance, AgriStability and AgriInsurance initiatives, part of the Business Risk Management programming suite under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, contribute towards:

Experimentation - Sector risk

In 2020–21, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will explore experimental approaches that enhance the delivery of risk management programs or lead to the building of new risk management tools. For example, starting in 2021, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will undertake a two-year pilot in jurisdictions where the Department delivers the AgriStability program (Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Yukon) to gauge whether allowing producers to file their applications using cash accounting, in keeping with their tax filing method, will help address issues of program complexity and participation.

Key risks - Sector risk

As mentioned, 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, the Department, along with provincial and territorial governments, will continue to provide a robust suite of Business Risk Management programs to help producers manage the impacts of these types of risks, protect their livelihood, and ultimately grow their businesses.

Planned results for Sector Risk
Departmental result Departmental result
indicator
Target Date to
achieve target
2016–17
actual result
2017–18
actual result
2018–19
actual result
The agricultural sector is financially resilient Sector's income as a proportion of historical income

At least 85%

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

March 2021[1] 113% Not available Not available
The agricultural sector is financially resilient Percentage of financially healthy farms At least 90% March 2020[2] Not available

90.7%

(based on data in the 2017 Farm Financial Survey)

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 2023[3] Not available Not available Not available

Note: For indicators introduced in 2018–19 as part of the transition to the Departmental Results Framework, past results have been sourced from publicly available data, where applicable. Actual results that are “not available” were not previously measured or reported prior to 2018–19 or are due to lag times in data availability, as noted below.

  1. The indicator demonstrates whether there have been significant financial downswings in primary agriculture incomes, after accounting for Business Risk Management programs. A percentage less than 100% indicates that the sector's income is worse than the five-year average. Indicator has a two-year lag time; 2018–19 results will be available in fall 2021.
  2. Indicator has a two-year lag time. Data is only available every two years, based on the Farm Financial Survey.
  3. Indicator has a lag time; actual result will be available every year in October, starting in 2021–22.
Planned budgetary financial resources for Sector Risk
2020–21 budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main Estimates)
2020–21
planned spending
2021–22
planned spending
2022–23
planned spending
1,531,629,689 1,531,629,689 1,546,245,688 1,550,494,361
Planned human resources for Sector Risk
2020–21
planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
planned full-time equivalents
2022–23
planned full-time equivalents
445 445 445

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

Internal Services: planned results

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

In 2020–21, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will undertake 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

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue supporting client-centred, 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. In addition, the Department will be modernizing its Contact Centre operations through, for example, software upgrades that will allow staff to address needs and engage clients more quickly and efficiently.

Other activities in 2020–21 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 into its organizational culture, practices, and processes.

In response to the Government of Canada Deputy Ministers' Task Team on Harassment report, Safe Workspaces: Starting a Dialogue and Taking Action on Harassment in the Public Service, the Department established a Workplace Well-Being Ombudsperson office to build trust and capacity. The ombudsperson office provides an internal 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 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.

Increasing diversity in our workforce

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada aims to be an employer that is diverse in representation, and respectful and inclusive in its employment policies and practices.

The release of the new workforce availability estimates from the 2016 Census and 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability identified a significant increase in the gaps for representation, specifically for persons with disabilities. In addition, the Accessibility Strategy for the Public Service of Canada outlines actions for all departments to strengthen the recruitment, promotion, and retention of persons with disabilities. The Department will work to ensure managers have the tools and resources they need to identify opportunities that address representation and remove barriers to accessibility in employment.

The Department will also work to improve the organizational culture by increasing awareness of the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will focus on policies and practices that address underrepresentation, and meet the Department's requirements to remove barriers to accessibility as outlined in the Accessible Canada Act, while ensuring the Department respects and values diversity.

Planned budgetary financial resources for Internal Services
2020–21 budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main Estimates)
2020–21
planned spending
2021–22
planned spending
2022–23
planned spending
153,640,094 153,640,094 153,261,673 151,978,770
Planned human resources for Internal Services
2020–21
planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
planned full-time equivalents
2022–23
planned full-time equivalents
1,217 1,217 1,217

Spending and human resources

This section provides an overview of the Department's planned spending and human resources for the next three consecutive fiscal years, and compares planned spending for the upcoming year with the current and previous years' actual spending.

Planned spending

Departmental spending 2017–18 to 2022–23

The following graph presents planned (voted and statutory) spending over time

Description of this image follows.

  1. Spending for 2017–18 and 2018–19 represents the actual expenditures incurred during the respective fiscal year, as reported in Public Accounts.
  2. Spending for 2019–20 reflects the authorized funding levels to the end of the fiscal year.
  3. Spending for 2020–21, 2021–22, and 2022–23 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 2020. More information will be provided in the 2020–21 Supplementary Estimates, as applicable.
Description of the above image
2017–18[1] 2018–19[1] 2019–20[2] 2020–21[3] 2021–22[3] 2022–23[3]
Statutory 974 1,134 1,816 1,474 1,489 1,492
Voted 1,011 1,024 1,168 1,065 1,028 956
Total 1,985 2,158 2,985 2,539 2,517 2,448

Over the period of 2017–18 to 2022–23, spending varies from a low of $2.0 billion in 2017–18 to a high of $3.0 billion forecast for 2019–20. 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.

Forecast spending in 2019–20 is higher than 2018–19 since it reflects support for the new Dairy Direct Payment Program; increased support forecast for Business Risk Management programs, mainly the AgriStability program; an increase for the Advance Payments Program under the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act as a result of regulation changes, including for canola producers; and support for the Food Policy for Canada, as announced in Budget 2019.

The decreases in planned spending in 2021–22 to 2022–23 are mainly due to the expiry of the Dairy Processing Investment Fund and the Agricultural Clean Technology Program at the end of 2020–21; the expiry of the Dairy Farm Investment Program at the end of 2021–22; and a decrease in funding for the Advance Agricultural Discovery Science and Innovation Initiative. These decreases are partially offset by an increase for the Advance Payments Program under the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act.

The following table shows actual, forecast, and planned spending for each of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's core responsibilities and Internal Services for the years relevant to the current planning year.

Budgetary planning summary for core responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)
Core responsibilities and Internal Services 2017–18
expenditures[1]
2018–19
expenditures[1]
2019–20
forecast spending[2]
2020–21
budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main Estimates)
2020–21
planned spending[3]
2021–22
planned spending[3]
2022–23
planned spending[3]
Domestic and International Markets 187,502,391 280,684,647 625,754,472 252,308,691 252,308,691 228,157,124 182,403,460
Science and Innovation 605,900,795 560,826,128 636,533,290 601,832,955 601,832,955 588,984,307 562,743,663
Sector Risk 1,020,593,334 1,145,612,636 1,542,814,446 1,531,629,689 1,531,629,689 1,546,245,688 1,550,494,361
Subtotal 1,813,996,520 1,987,123,411 2,805,102,208 2,385,771,335 2,385,771,335 2,363,387,119 2,295,641,484
Internal Services 170,901,257 170,822,226 179,657,820 153,640,094 153,640,094 153,261,673 151,978,770
Total 1,984,897,777 2,157,945,637 2,984,760,028 2,539,411,429 2,539,411,429 2,516,648,792 2,447,620,254
  • [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 2017–18 expenditures have been crosswalked from the previous programs to the 2020–21 core responsibilities.
  • [2] Forecast spending reflects the authorized funding levels to the end of the fiscal year (not necessarily forecast expenditures).
  • [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 2020. More information will be provided in the 2020–21 Supplementary Estimates, as applicable.

Note: Please refer to the explanatory note under Departmental spending 2017–18 to 2022–23 for further details of financial trends.

Planned human resources

The following table shows actual, forecast, and planned full-time equivalents for each core responsibility in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's departmental results framework and Internal Services for the years relevant to the current planning year.

Human resources planning summary for core responsibilities and Internal Services (full-time equivalents[1])
Core responsibilities and Internal Services 2017–18
actual full-time
equivalents[2]
2018–19
actual full-time
equivalents[2]
2019–20
forecast full-time
equivalents
2020–21
planned full-time
equivalents
2021–22
planned full-time
equivalents
2022–23
planned full-time
equivalents
Domestic and International Markets 512 517 525 534 521 481
Science and Innovation 2,599 2,633 2,641 2,641 2,637 2,637
Sector Risk 450 442 445 445 445 445
Subtotal 3,561 3,592 3,611 3,620 3,603 3,563
Internal Services 1,112 1,124 1,217 1,217 1,217 1,217
Total 4,673 4,716 4,828 4,837 4,820 4,780
  • [1] Full-time equivalents reflect only those funded through the Department's appropriated resources. For example, 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 2017–18 actual full-time equivalents have been crosswalked from the previous programs to the 2020–21 core responsibilities.

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, to support service delivery improvements and modernization of agriculture science and technology initiatives, and the Food Policy for Canada, as announced in Budget 2019.

The decreases in planned full-time equivalents starting in 2021–22 is due to the expiry of the Dairy Processing Investment Fund and the Agricultural Clean Technology program at the end of 2020–21, and the Dairy Farm Investment Program at the end of 2021–22.

Estimates by vote

Information on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's organizational appropriations is available in the 2020–21 Main Estimates.

Condensed future-oriented statement of operations

The condensed future-oriented statement of operations provides an overview of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's operations for 2019–20 and 2020–21. The amounts for forecast and planned results in this statement of operations were prepared on an accrual basis. The amounts for forecast and planned spending presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan were prepared on an expenditure basis. Amounts may therefore 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.

Condensed future-oriented statement of operations for the year ending March 31, 2021 (dollars)
Financial information 2019–20
forecast results
2020–21
planned results
Difference (2020–21 planned
results minus 2019–20 forecast results)
Total expenses 2,719,902,186 2,641,023,145 (78,879,041)
Total revenues 64,602,899 64,509,541 (93,358)
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 2,655,299,287 2,576,513,604 (78,785,683)

The net cost of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's operations is projected to be $2.5 billion in 2020–21, an expected decrease of $78.8 million from 2019–20 forecast results. The decrease is mainly due to the one-year Dairy Direct Payment Program in 2019–20 that provided payments of $345.0 million to compensate cows' milk producers. This decrease is partly offset by an increase in spending of $278.1 million in Sector Risk, mainly due to Business Risk Management programs based on full authorized funding levels for demand-driven statutory programs which may or may not materialize, depending on market conditions.

Total expenses are projected to be $2.6 billion in 2020‒21. The majority of these expenses is in the form of transfer payments in Sector Risk (57.7% or $1.5 billion). Other expenses include $593.5 million (22.5% of total expenses) in Science and Innovation, $263.4 million (10.0% of total expenses) in Internal Services, and $259.1 million (9.8% of total expenses) in Domestic and International Markets.

Total revenues are projected to remain relatively stable at $64.5 million for 2020–21 versus $64.6 million forecast for 2019–20.

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, mandate and role: who we are and what we do” is available on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada website.

For more information on the Department's organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister's mandate letter.

Operating context

Information on the operating context is available on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada website.

Reporting framework

The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada approved departmental results framework and program inventory for 2020–21 are as follows.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Departmental Results Framework
Domestic and International Markets Science and Innovation Sector Risk Internal Services
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.
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  
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, World Trade Organization 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 revenues generated on 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
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Program Inventory (2020–21)
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
  • Food Policy Initiatives
  • 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

Changes to the approved reporting framework since 2019–20

Core Responsibility: Domestic and International Markets - Programs
2020–21 2019–20 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
Food Policy Initiatives Not applicable New Program Note 1
Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Cost-shared Markets and Trade Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Cost-shared Markets and Trade No change Not applicable

Note 1: Food Policy Initiatives was added to the Department's program inventory for 2020–21.

Core responsibility: Science and Innovation - Programs
2020–21 2019–20 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 Strategic Priorities Program No change Not applicable
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
2020–21 2019–20 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

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

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Departmental Plan does not include information on tax expenditures that related to its planned results for 2020–21.

Tax expenditures are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance, and the Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for government-wide tax expenditures each year in the Report on Tax Expenditures. This report provides detailed information on tax expenditures, including objectives, historical background, 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 solely the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Mailing address:

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 a department over a 3‑year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
departmental priority (priorité ministérielle)
A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Departmental priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired departmental results.
departmental result (résultat ministériel)
A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. 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)
A framework that consists of the department’s core responsibilities, departmental results and departmental result indicators.
Departmental Results Report (Rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on a department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
experimentation (expérimentation)
The conducting of activities that seek to first explore, then test and compare, the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making, and improve outcomes for Canadians, by learning what works and what doesn’t. Experimentation is related to, but distinct form innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement, is experimentation.
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 assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people experience policies, programs and services based on multiple factors including race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2020–21 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 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 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.

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.
strategic outcome (résultat stratégique)
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.
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.
Report a problem on this page
Please select all that apply:
Date modified: