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Ministerial Transition Books - Binder 2
Overview of the department and sector

November 20, 2019

Overview of the department and sector

Overview of the department - Tab 1

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Total employees: 4,865, 58% of whom are in in regions
Approximate annual budget: $2.5 billion

2019–2020 budget ($ millions)
Operating 571.6
Capital 40.5
Voted grants and contributions 419.0
Budget implementation 19.0
Statutory 1,449.8
Total 2,499.9

AAFC research and development centres and regional offices

British Columbia
  • Burnaby
  • Agassiz
  • Summerland
Alberta
  • Edmonton
  • Lacombe
  • Lethbridge
Saskatchewan
  • Saskatoon
  • Swift Current
  • Regina
Manitoba
  • Brandon
  • Winnipeg
  • Morden
Ontario
  • Harrow
  • London
  • Guelph
  • Ottawa
Quebec
  • Montréal
  • Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu
  • Sherbrooke
  • Saint-Hyacinthe
  • Québec
Atlantic regions
  • Fredericton
  • Truro
  • Kentville
  • Charlottetown
  • St. John's

Market growth

  • Support sector competitiveness at home and abroad
  • Expand markets and exports

Science and innovation

  • Conduct collaborative scientific research with other government departments, industry, academia, and international partners
  • Develop new knowledge/technologies and transfer them to the sector
Strategic objectives
  • Increase agricultural productivity
  • Enhance environmental performance
  • Improve attributes for food and non-food uses
  • Address threats to agriculture and the value chain
Support to producers and sector to manage risks
  • Work to mitigate production risks, environmental impacts and financial/market issues
  • Support the sector to develop systems, standards and tools to manage risks

Portfolio partners

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is responsible for all organizations in the Agriculture and Agri-Food Portfolio.

  • Canadian Dairy Commission
  • Canadian Grain Commission
  • Farm Credit Canada
  • Farm Products Council of Canada
  • Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal

While the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is not part of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Portfolio, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is responsible for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's non-food safety activities, including economic and trade issues, consumer protection, as well as important animal health and plant protection work.

Overview of the department and portfolio

November 2019

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: departmental focus

AAFC's vision is to drive innovation and ingenuity to build a world leading agricultural and food economy that results in benefits for all Canadians.

AAFC supports the sector's competitiveness by focusing on

  • market growth
  • science and technology advances
  • helping producers mitigate risks

Departmental programs and initiatives target

  • farmers
  • processors and agri-businesses
  • industry associations

Supporting sector competitiveness

AAFC's Key Areas of Focus
  • Market growth
    • Market access and trade negotiation activities enhance trade opportunities and help to reduce trade irritants.
    • The department works with provinces and territories to promote Canadian products.
    • Agriculture trade commissioners support access to foreign markets.
    • International trade shows and missions.
  • Science and innovation
    • 20 research/development centres across the country.
    • AAFC researchers focus on increasing productivity, tackling environmental challenges, improving food attributes as well as managing new pests and other threats.
    • Work with industry, academia, other departments/agencies domestically and internationally.
  • Risk mitigation
    • Programs and initiatives help producers manage the significant risks that threaten the viability of farms.
    • Over the last five years, business risk management programs have provided $1.56 billion annually on average, in federal/provincial support to producers.

Resources

AAFC has 4,865 employees who are responsible for

  • science, programming, and international and market services
  • policy/program development and advice
  • internal and external communications
  • financial, human resources management, information systems, audits and evaluations.

Approximately 2200 staff work in 20 research centres across Canada.
The remainder work in Ottawa and regional offices.

AAFC research and development centres and regional offices

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  • British Columbia
    • Burnaby
    • Agassiz
    • Summerland
  • Alberta
    • Edmonton
    • Lacombe
    • Lethbridge
  • Saskatchewan
    • Saskatoon
    • Swift Current
    • Regina
  • Manitoba
    • Brandon
    • Winnipeg
    • Morden
  • Ontario
    • Harrow
    • London
    • Guelph
    • Ottawa
  • Quebec
    • Montréal
    • Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu
    • Sherbrooke
    • Saint-Hyacinthe
    • Québec
  • Atlantic regions
    • Fredericton
    • Truro
    • Kentville
    • Charlottetown
    • St. John's

Departmental budget

  • AAFC's annual budget is $2.5 billion per year.
  • 58% of funding is statutory (and largely business risk management programming) and 17% is dedicated to grants and contribution programs.
2019–2020 budget ($ millions)
Operating
Includes salaries, professional services, materials, travel
571.6
Capital
Includes acquisition of real property, infrastructure, machinery and equipment
40.5
Voted grants and contributions
To further program objectives but for which no goods or services are received
419.0
Budget implementation
A Food Policy for Canada
19.0
Statutory
Mostly grant and contribution funding to producers under business risk management programs
1,449.8
Total 2,499.9

AAFC works with portfolio organizations and agencies to guide, regulate and develop the agriculture sector

The Minister is responsible for coordinating the portfolio's work to serve the interests of the sector and Canadians.

These organizations (see Annex for additional detail) include

  • Canadian Dairy Commission
  • Canadian Grain Commission
  • Farm Credit Canada
  • Farm Products Council of Canada
  • Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal

Although the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is not part of the Portfolio, AAFC and CFIA work closely together, and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is also responsible for the non-food safety activities of the CFIA.
The minister is responsible to report, to Parliament and Canadians, on the activities of the department and portfolio.

Legislative authorities

AAFC, along with its Portfolio partners, administers over 30 federal acts related to agriculture and agri-food (see Annex).
Some key acts:

  • Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Act
  • Farm Income Protection Act
  • Canadian Agricultural Loans Act
  • Agricultural Products Marketing Act
  • Safe Food for Canadians Act

These acts address the department's general mandate, agricultural financial programs, marketing statutes, standards, production legislation, and special powers that together represent the federal power in relation to agriculture and agri-food.

Annex

Who we are: the department — branches

Deputy Minister's Office

Chris Forbes
Deputy Minister
Annette Gibbons
Associate Deputy Minister

The Deputy Minister is the principal advisor to the Minister and ensures that policy development and advice reflect the needs of the Government and the Portfolio. The Associate Deputy Minister assumes certain responsibilities on behalf of the Deputy Minister and supports him on important files. Within the DeputyMinister's Office is the Corporate Secretariat, which includes Ministerial Correspondence and Records Unit, Parliamentary Relations, and the Portfolio Coordination Secretariat.

Tom Rosser
Assistant Deputy Minister Strategic Policy

Strategic Policy Branch
Supports integrated policy development and provides advice to the Minister on policy and programming decisions.

Christine Walker
Assistant Deputy Minister Corporate Management

Corporate Management Branch
Supports departmental achievement of strategic priorities. Provides advice, information and services. This includes asset management and capital planning, financial and human resources management, and corporate planning and reporting.

The Canadian Pari-Mutual Agency
A special operating agency within the department reporting to the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management Branch. The Agency supervises pari-mutual betting on horse racing at racetracks across Canada and ensures it is conducted in a fair way. The agency is funded through the collection of a 0.8% levy on each wager placed in Canada.

Paul Samson
Assistant Deputy
Minister
Programs

Programs Branch
Accountable for the design, delivery and effective implementation of all AAFC grants (unconditional payments) and contributions (conditional payments) voted by Parliament as well as statutory (ongoing) programs whose funding authorities are in legislation.

Fred Gorrell
Assistant Deputy Minister
International Affairs
Frédéric Seppey
Assistant Deputy Minister
Market and Industry Services Branch

International Affairs Branch/Market and Industry Services Branch
Supports a competitive agriculture, agri-food and agri-based sector by providing analysis and advice for a strong domestic industry while advancing Canada's interests abroad by expanding access and helping industry seize opportunities in key markets.

Mary Dila
Assistant Deputy Minister
Public Affairs

Public Affairs Branch
Provides the department with a full range of strategic and operational communications support for internal and external communications projects.

Brian Gray
Assistant Deputy Minister
Science and Technology
Gilles Saindon
Associate Assistant Deputy Minister
Science and Technology

Science and Technology Branch
Plays a key national role in research, development, and knowledge transfer to support producers, processors and industry. Science and Technology Branch has a large presence with 20 research centres across Canada and nearly half of the Department's workforce (2,200 people) supporting research activities.

Michel Lessard
Chief Information Officer (AAFC)
/Management and Information Technology (CFIA)

Information Systems Branch
Designs, develops and maintains information and knowledge-based systems that serve the department, agri-food producers and the public.

Kimberly Saunders
Director General Office of Audit and Evaluation

Office of Audit and Evaluation
Provides a full range of internal audit and evaluation services to provide advice to the Department on controls, risks, processes, and program delivery; manages the Departmental Audit Committee; and serves as the departmental liaison with external assurance providers such as the Office of the Auditor General.

Who we are: the Portfolio

Serge Riendeau
Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Dairy Commission

The Canadian Dairy Commission oversees pricing, policy coordination and marketing for the Canadian dairy sector.

Luc Bélanger
Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal

The Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal is a quasi-judicial tribunal that reviews notices of violation under certain agriculture and agrifood acts. The Tribunal's resources were formally transferred from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to Administrative Tribunals Support Services of Canada in 2014.

Patti Miller
Chief Commissioner
Canadian Grain Commission

The Canadian Grain Commission regulates Canada's grain handling industry and is also a leader in grain quality research.

Siddika Mithani
President of the Canadian
Food Inspection Agency

While the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is not part of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Portfolio, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is responsible for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's nonfood safety activities, including economic and trade issues, consumer protection, as well as important animal health and plant protection work.

Brian Douglas
Chairman and Deputy Head
Farm Products Council of Canada

The Farm Products Council of Canada supervises the operations of national marketing and promotion-research agencies for chicken, turkey and eggs.

Michael Hoffort
President and Chief Executive Officer
Farm Credit Canada

Farm Credit Canada delivers financial services to all sectors of agriculture – primary producers, value-added businesses and suppliers.

Legislative authorities

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and its Portfolio partners, are responsible for the administration of several acts:

  • Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Act and Experimental Farm Stations Act
  • Farm Income Protection Act, Agricultural Marketing Programs Act, Canadian Agricultural Loans Act, Farm Debt Mediation Act, Agricultural Products Marketing Act, Livestock Feed Assistance Act and Animal Pedigree Act
  • Spirit Drinks Trade Act
  • Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act
  • Canada Grain Act, Farm Products Agencies Act, Canadian Dairy Commission Act and Farm Credit Canada Act
  • Canada Agricultural Products Act, Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act, Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, Feeds Act, Fertilizers Act, Food and Drugs Act, Health of Animals Act, Plant Protection Act, Safe Food for Canadians Act, Seeds Act and Plant Breeders' Rights Act
  • Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act
  • Criminal Code of Canada (Section 204)

Overview of the Sector - Tab 2

Overview of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector 2018

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Agriculture and agri-food is a major contributor to the Canadian economy

Primary agriculture

An economic driver highly diversified across the country

  • 193,492 farms
  • farms cover 64.2 million hectares or 7% of Canada's land area
  • concentrated across the Prairies and Southern Ontario
  • average farm size doubled over the last 50 years due to increased consolidation and technological advances
Farm market receipts ($ billions)

A record high $60 billion

  • 4.2% average annual growth – grain and oilseed receipts leading the way
  • largest 8% of farms accounted for over half of farm cash receipts

AAFC is mandated to support primary agriculture and food and beverage processing, but the sector reaches into the broader agri-food system

Input and service suppliers serve primary agriculture.

Primary agriculture (GDP, $32.3 billion, 1.7%, employment 265,700) serves food and beverage processing (GDP, $33.9 billion, 1.8%, employment 298,200) and Food Retail and Wholesale

Primary agriculture and food and beverage processing also serve foodservice

In 2018, the whole agriculture and agri-food system employed

  • 2.3 million people
  • accounted for 7.4% of Canada's GDP
  • provided 1 in 8 jobs in Canada
Food and beverage processing

Largest manufacturing industry in Canada

  • 17% of all manufacturing GDP
  • 18% of manufacturing employment

Facilities across the country but most in Ontario and Quebec

Food and beverage processing sales totalled $114.9 billion in 2018

Main industries:

  • meat, 25%;
  • dairy, 13%;
  • beverage, 10%;
  • grain and oilseed milling, 10%

Overview of the Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Sector

From farm to plate

Large in scope, the agriculture and agri-food system is an integrated supply chain making a significant contribution to the Canadian economy.

Key players in this system:

  • producers (primary agriculture)
  • input and service suppliers
  • food and beverage processors
  • food retailers and wholesalers
  • foodservice providers
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
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Input and service suppliers serve primary agriculture.

Primary agriculture (GDP, $32.3 billion, 1.7%, employment 265,700) serves food and beverage processing (GDP, $33.9 billion, 1.8%, employment 298,200)

AAFC works within this system to support several key components — primary agriculture, food and beverage processing, and the growing field of bioproducts — through our programs and services.

The department also maintains relationships with suppliers, retailers and others in the value chain. Related industries contribute to the sector as well, such as agricultural technology and equipment).

Putting agriculture on the map

While all major farm types (such as grain, dairy, horticulture) are present across the country, the mix of farm types varies considerably across regions.

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  • Yukon
    • hay
    • poultry
  • Northwest Territories
    • eggs
    • greenhouse products
  • Nunavut
    • caribou
    • wild berries
  • British Columbia
    • horticulture
    • dairy
    • poultry
    • eggs
  • Alberta
    • cattle
    • grains
    • oilseeds
  • Saskatchewan
    • grains
    • oilseeds
    • cattle
  • Manitoba
    • grains
    • oilseeds
    • hogs
  • Ontario
    • grains
    • oilseeds
    • horticulture
    • dairy
  • Quebec
    • hogs
    • dairy
    • poultry
    • eggs
  • Atlantic Provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador)
    • horticulture
    • dairy

Economic driver here at home

The Canadian agriculture and agri-food system is a key driver of Canada's economy.

In 2018, the system generated $143 billion, accounted for 7.4% of GDP, and provided one in eight jobs in Canada.

The agriculture sector is healthy and profitable, experiencing strong growth in the past decade. Farm market receipts grew by 4.2% annually, on average, between 2009 and 2018, with the largest growth coming from grains and oilseeds.

Net Cash Income reached a record high of $14.7 billion in 2017 but decreased in 2018 to $11.6 billion.

In 2016, the average farm family had an estimated income of $127,172, compared to $108,600 for the average Canadian family.

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Agriculture and agri-food system's contribution to Canadian GDP, 2018
(% of total GDP)
Input and service suppliers 0.7
Primary agriculture 1.7
Food and beverage processing 1.8
Food retail and wholesale 1.6
Foodservice 1.6
Total 7.4

Notes:
1. Data is preliminary and subject to revisions.
2. Components may not add up due to rounding.
Source: Statistics Canada and AAFC calculations.

Food and beverage processing – Number one in Canada

Largest manufacturing sector in Canada in terms of both GDP and employment -- with plants across the country.

The number 1 market for Canadian primary agriculture products, using 42% of primary production.

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Distribution of food and beverage processing shipments by sub-industry, 2018
(%)
Meat 25.4
Dairy 12.8
Beverage 10.0
Grains and oilseeds 9.6
Bakeries and tortilla 9.5
Animal food 7.0
Fruit and vegetable[1] 6.8
Seafood 4.5
Sugar and confectionary 3.2
Other food[2] 11.1

Source: Statistics Canada and AAFC calculations.

Notes: Data are preliminary and subject to revisions.

[1] Fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty food manufacturing.
[2] Includes snack food, coffee and tea, flavoured syrup and concentrates, seasoning and dressings, and all other food manufacturing.

Charting a path to continued growth in food and beverage processing

Domestic and international food and beverage processing sales have increased steadily over the past 10 years.

However, processing is viewed as an area of untapped potential because of underinvestment.

Processors experience labour productivity challenges and lower profit margins compared to the overall manufacturing sector.

Other major agri-food exporting countries have been more successful in developing their value-added industries.

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Canadian food and beverage processing sales and exports, 2009 to 2018
Total sales
(billion dollars)
Exports
(billion dollars)
Domestic sales
(billion dollars)
2009 90.11249 18.97797 71.13452
2010 91.60969 20.42079 71.1889
2011 93.95511 22.99743 70.95768
2012 94.57115 24.21764 70.35351
2013 96.63287 24.93002 71.70286
2014 100.243 27.45195 72.79104
2015 102.7402 30.70539 72.03482
2016 107.2171 32.89021 74.32685
2017 111.5798 34.44788 77.13188
2018 114.9245 35.80791 79.1166
Average growth (%) 2.7 7.3 1.2
Source: Statistics Canada and AAFC calculations.

A global force – strong and growing

The performance of the sector depends on its ability to compete in international markets. We're the fifth-largest exporter and importer of agriculture and agri-food products in the world.

The U.S. remains our largest trading partner, accounting for over half of our agricultural imports and exports.

Over the past 10 years, our exports to China have grown by 16% annually.

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Canadian agriculture and agri-food exports 2009 and 2018
2009 ($) 2018 ($)
Other 8,848,193,123 10,057,712,332
EU 2,055,234,703 2,635,479,754
Mexico 1,206,648,094 1,913,903,713
Japan 2,937,356,649 4,285,125,217
China 2,494,389,203 9,379,350,568
U.S. 17,633,457,214 31,089,572,016
Total 35,175,278,986 59,361,143,600
Source: Statistics Canada and AAFC calculations
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Agriculture and agri-food exports of the top five global exporters, 2009 and 2018
2009 (in Can $) 2018 (in Can $)
EU-28 485,199,542,945 760,776,536,774
U.S. 113,295,378,928 185,237,729,540
Brazil 61,953,419,837 109,489,599,266
China 32,588,402,740 74,575,756,670
Canada 35,176,793,657 59,378,238,687
World Total 1,047,396,192,596 1,821,427,088,394
Source: Global Trade Tracker and AAFC calculations.

In 2018:

  • 72% of our agricultural exports were destined for countries where Canada has a free trade agreement
  • our export sales grew by 2.7% over the previous year to reach $59.4 billion

Global demand drives a decade of strong growth

Most Canadian producers have seen good growth over the past decade, with farm market receipts reaching a record high of $60 billion in 2018.

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Farm market receipts (billion $), 2018
Other 4.8
Special crops 2
Poultry and eggs 4.3
Fruits and vegetables 5.7
Dairy 6.6
Red meat 13.4
Grains and oilseeds 23.2

Notes:
[1] “Special Crops” denotes dry peas, dry beans, lentils, chickpeas, mustard seed, canary seed and sunflower seeds.

[2] Numbers may not add to total due to rounding.

Source: Statistics Canada.

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Net cash income, Canada and U.S., 2009 to 2018
Can$ billion US$ billion
2009 8.48 74.41
2010 9.00 96.34
2011 11.33 123.22
2012 12.36 135.28
2013 12.54 136.09
2014 13.78 131.30
2015 14.34 106.78
2016 14.56 95.57
2017 14.65 102.52
2018 11.61 104.99
Source: Statistics Canada, USDA Economic Research Service.

Net cash income for producers reached a new record high in 2017, but fell in 2018. Even with this decline, the average net worth of farms continued to increase in 2018.

The long-term outlook for agriculture remains favourable.

The new realities of farming

Canadian agriculture has evolved over time in response to challenges, opportunities and market developments.

Over the past 50 years, the number of farms in Canada has decreased by half, average farm size has doubled, and farm value per acre has almost quadrupled. 

Today's farm can produce roughly twice as much output as 50 years ago, with the same amount of total input.

Consolidation has led to a small number of very large farms earning the majority of revenues, with the largest 8% of farms accounting for over half of farm cash receipts.

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Distribution of farms and gross farm receipts, Canada, 2016
% of farms % of revenues
Under $100,000 56 5
$100,000 to $249,999 16 7
$250,000 to $499,999 11 11
$500,000 to $999,999 9 17
$1,000,000 and over 8 60
Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Agriculture, 2016, AAFC custom tables.

Attracting the next generation of farmers

A quarter of farm operators are 65 and over, a steady increase in age over the past 25 years.

In 2016, only 7% of farms were operated by women only, and 33% by both men and women.

The proportion of new Canadians operating farms has decreased to 8.7% in 2016.

Over the past 20 years, operators who self-identified as Indigenous increased only slightly to 1.9%.

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Number of farm operators by age group, Canada, 1991 to 2016
Under 35 years (%) 35 to 64 years (%) 65 years and over (%)
1991 13 67 20
1996 14 70 16
2001 15 73 12
2006 18 73 9
2011 22 70 8
2016 24 67 9
Source: Statistics Canada, 2016 Census of Agriculture, AAFC calculations.

Agriculture's environmental footprint

Agriculture greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (8.4% of Canada's total emissions) have been relatively stable for 20 years.

In that time, production has increased significantly, resulting in a decrease of GHG emission intensity by half.

In addition, soil conservation practices have allowed our agricultural soils to sequester carbon for 20 years, offsetting nearly 10% of the sector's emissions.

The agricultural sector also has environmental impacts in other areas including water, soil quality and biodiversity.

Agriculture GHG Emission Trends (million tonnes)
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Net emissions = total emissions minus Carbon sequestered in soils (Soil Carbon) - 1990-2003
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Animal production 32 32 34 34 36 38 38 38 39 39 40 41 41 42
Crop production 15 14 14 15 16 16 17 17 17 17 17 15 15 16
On farm fuel use 11 11 11 12 13 14 14 15 14 13 13 11 11 12
Soil carbon 8.3 7.1 5.6 4.4 3 1.5 0.6 −0.9 −2.1 −3.3 −4.7 −5.9 −7.3 −8.6
Total emissions 58 57 59 61 65 68 69 70 70 69 70 67 67 70
Net emissions 66.3 64.1 64.6 65.4 68 69.5 69.6 69.1 67.9 65.7 65.3 61.1 59.7 61.4
Net emissions = total emissions minus Carbon sequestered in soils (Soil Carbon) - 2004-2017
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Animal production 43 44 43 41 40 38 37 36 36 36 36 35 36 36
Crop production 17 16 16 17 18 18 18 19 21 23 22 23 23 24
On farm fuel use 12 12 12 12 12 12 13 14 13 13 13 13 13 12
Soil carbon −9.8 −11 −12 −12 −12 −12 −12 −12 −11 −10 −9.5 −8.6 −7.8 −6.8
Total emissions 72 72 71 70 70 68 68 69 70 72 71 71 72 72
Net emissions 62.2 61 59 58 58 56 56 57 59 62 61.5 62.4 64.2 65.2

Labour is a key factor affecting the sector's growth

The majority of jobs are considered low-skilled and pay lower wages than in other sectors.

The national agriculture job vacancy rate is 7% and continues to grow: for example, meat packers have a 12% vacancy rate —7,300 positions.

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Primary agriculture employs 277,200 people. Sector employment declined by 16% between 2008 and 2018.

Food and beverage manufacturing employs 298,200 people. Sector employment increased by 1.46% between 2008 and 2018.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 2008 and 2018

Opportunity for tech to shift skillsets in the sector

Agri-food processing is becoming more automated and farm management is increasingly connected, integrating data and new technologies into operations.

Artificial intelligence provides better decision-making models to improve efficiency, productivity and sustainability.

As the emphasis shifts away from manual labour and machine operation, there may be displacement of agricultural workers.

However, there will be a continued  need for low and intermediate skilled labour in the sector for the foreseeable future.

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Share of high skill position for employees 2018
Primary agriculture Food and beverage processing Total, all industries
Share of high skill position (%) 17 33 60
Other (%) 83 67 40

Source: Labor Force Survey, Statistics Canada

Note: High skill positions include Skill level A (Management and Professional) and Skill level B (technical), “Other” includes Skill level C (Intermediate positions) and D (Elementary positions).

Promise and potential

Agriculture is one of the sectors with the highest economic growth potential in Canada.

Demand is growing for the kinds of food that Canadian farmers and processors can deliver – meats, grains, oilseeds, fruits, vegetables and processed foods.

Canada has some key advantages that will make us a leader in sustainable food production:

  • abundant land and water resources
  • access to international markets
  • strong R&D capacity
  • strong global reputation as a trusted supplier of safe, top-quality food

Together, these advantages create a powerful brand for Canadian food.

Overview of programs - Tab 3

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Growth

  • AgriMarketing Program, $121 million
    Helps the industry increase and diversify exports
  • AgriCompetitiveness Program, $20.5 million
    Assists industry to build capacity through information-sharing activities
  • AgriDiversity Program, $5 million
    Helps under-represented groups, such as youth, women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, to participate in the sector
  • Indigenous Agriculture Food Systems Initiative, $8.5 million
    Builds capacity for Indigenous Peoples to participate in the sector
  • Local Food Infrastructure Fund, $50 million
    Aims to strengthen food systems and facilitate access to safe/nutritious food for communities
  • Regional Collaborative Partnerships Program, $3 million
    Supports, enables and encourages provinces and territories to address shared challenges and/or priorities
  • Youth Employment and Skills Program, $3.2 million
    Provides funding for agricultural internships that provide career-related work experiences to youth and youth facing barriers
  • Dairy Direct Payment Program, $345 million
    Payments to cow milk producers to help them transition to new market realities as a result of recent international trade agreements

Innovation

  • AgriScience Program, $338 million
    Supports leading-edge innovation and discovery/applied science
    • AgriScience Clusters partnerships to address priorities that are national in scope
    • AgriScience Projects support to short-term projects
  • AgriInnovate Program, $128 million
    Accelerates the commercialization, adoption, and/or demonstration of innovative agri-based products, technologies, processes or services
  • Dairy Farm Investment Program, $250 million
    Assists Canadian cow milk producers to improve productivity through upgrades to their equipment
  • Dairy Processing Investment Fund, $100 million
    Provides funding to improve productivity/competitiveness in the dairy processing sector
  • Living Laboratories Initiative, $10 million
    Supports a network of sites where producers, companies, non-profits, research organizations and government institutions develop innovative solutions to address agri-environmental issues
  • Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program, $27 million
    Supports technologies, practices and processes that can be adopted by farmers to mitigate GHG emissions
  • Agricultural Clean Technology Program, $25 million
    Supports research, development and adoption of clean technologies
  • Canadian Agriculture Strategic Priorities Program, $50.3 million
    Supports the development of solutions to new and emerging issues
  • Food Waste Reduction Challenge, $20 million
    Contributes to reducing food production and processing waste, and to lowering greenhouse gas emissions

Risk management

  • AgriRecovery Framework[1]
    Delivers disaster recovery relief following natural disaster events
  • AgriInsurance Program[1]
    Offers cost-shared insurance against natural hazards to reduce the financial impact of production or asset losses
  • AgriInvest Program[1]
    Offers cash flow to help producers manage income declines
  • AgriStability Program[1]
    Provides support when producers experience a large margin decline
  • AgriRisk Program, $55 million
    Supports the development of new risk management tools
  • AgriAssurance Program, $74 million
    Supports industry systems, standards and tools related to the health and safety of Canadian agri-food products, and how they are produced
  • Canadian Agricultural Loans Act[2]
    Provides easier access to credit to establish, improve and develop farms, and loans to process, distribute or market the products of farming
  • Advance Payments Program[2]
    Provides easier access to credit through cash advances to support flexible marketing decisions

[1] Funding for these programs fluctuates by an annual average of $1.62 billion.

[2] Funding fluctuates for average annual loans and repayable advances by $3.18 billion.

Agricultural Trade - Tab 4

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Trade at a glance

AAFC works to open new markets, capitalize on trade opportunities and promote science-based trade rules.

The agriculture and agri-food industry generated $175 billion in domestic sales and exports.

Producers and processors generated $109 billion in domestic sales.

Exports totaled $66.3 billion

  • 5th largest exporter of agriculture and agri-food products (after the EU-28, the United States, Brazil and China)
  • 3.3% of total world export value

5th largest importer of agriculture and agri-food products.

Top exports, ($ billions)
Wheat 7.4
Canola seed 5.8
Pork and products 4.02
Bakery products 3.6
Canola oil 3.5
Animal and pet food 3.2
Soybeans 2.9
Beef and products 2.7
Canada's position in the world: Top five export markets and their share of Canada's agri-food and seafood exports
Exports (% billion) Share (%)
United States 35.4 53.4
Mexico 1.9 2.9
European Union 3.1 4.7
China 10.6 15.9
Japan 4.6 6.9

Supporting trade

  • Agriculture trade commissioners and technical specialists provide on-the-ground intelligence and practical advice on foreign markets.
  • International trade missions, trade shows and the Canada Brand help exporters promote their products in key markets.
  • AAFC works with the World Trade Organization and other multilateral fora to establish trade rules, including science-based regulations, to maintain predictable and transparent market access.

Free trade agreements

Free trade agreements (FTAs) enhance and maintain access to markets through tariff reductions and rules that prevent and address non-tariff barriers. Canada has over 20 multilateral and bilateral FTAs.

Examples of multilateral FTAs
  • The North American Free Trade Agreement
  • The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
Examples of bilateral FTAs
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • European Union
  • Honduras
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • United States

In 2018, nearly three-quarters of Canada's agricultural exports were destined for countries where Canada has a trade agreement in place.

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