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2018-2019 Departmental Results Report

2018–19 Departmental Results Report (PDF version, 4.92 MB)

International Standard Serial Number: 2560-9505

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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

Minister's Message

Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau

I’m pleased to present to Parliament and Canadians the 2018–19 Departmental Results Report for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector continues to be a driving force of the national economy and the vitality of our rural communities. Responsible for one in eight jobs in Canada, the sector contributes over $143 billion to our gross domestic product and over $66 billion in agri-food exports. These amazing results reflect the hard work of our farmers and food processors, women and men, across the country – supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s strategic programs and activities.

In 2018–19, the Government continued to advance a strong trade agenda, diversifying markets for farmers through trade agreements such as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, while securing our North American markets in one of the world’s largest trading zones, through the signing of the Canada-United States- Mexico Agreement. Overall, our trade agreements are giving our farmers and food processors a competitive edge in about two-thirds of the world’s economy. We’re setting our sights on 2025, with a $75-billion target for annual agriculture and food exports.

At the same time, we continued to address trade barriers to our world-class Canadian agriculture and agri-food products, while advancing a trade agenda rooted in rules-based transactions for all parties and sound science for our farmers and food processors. As a result, we were able to expand markets for our farmers, including beef and cherries to Japan.

To help the industry capture exciting opportunities that lie ahead, 2018–19 marked the launch of the new Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments. In Year One of the Partnership, governments invested close to $346 million in cost-shared programming and $79 million in federal programs to benefit the sector. We also delivered ongoing support for producers through our Business Risk Management programs. Recognizing that climatic and trade risks have changed over the past few years, with the provinces and territories, we are now improving our business risk management programs, starting with the AgriStability program.

With a strong focus on agricultural innovation, the Partnership will invest almost $700 million in innovation and science over five years. It will support 19 research clusters, which bring scientists and industry together to ensure that research is meeting the needs of industry.

We are also taking a collaborative approach in our Living Laboratories Initiative, which brings farmers, scientists and other stakeholders together to develop practical technologies and sustainable practices that can be quickly adopted – for instance, helping farmers find best fertilizer rates to maximize production and environmental protection. Endorsed by the G20 as a model for the future of collaborative agriculture, Living Laboratories are part of our $100-million investment in agricultural science, including hiring 75 federal research scientists.

Building on these investments, we also launched the new $50-million Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program, to help the industry seize opportunities through investments in tools such as new technologies and more sustainable farming practices.

In 2018–19, we also laid the groundwork for the first-ever Food Policy for Canada, our shared vision for improving access to food for all Canadians as part of a sustainable, innovative food system. To reach this goal, we led extensive online and in-person consultations, receiving input from more than 45,000 Canadians from industry, stakeholders, communities and Indigenous groups, which helped us to build this inclusive policy.

We continue to build diversity across agriculture, helping women, youth and Indigenous Canadians take leadership roles in the sector. For example, our first-ever AgriDiversity program is helping Indigenous communities in the North learn new agricultural techniques and practices to boost food security and nutrition.

Our strong agenda for agriculture and agri-food continues to deliver on the recommendations of the Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table, including streamlining regulations, investing in innovation and filling the labour gap.

An exciting future lies ahead for Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry. By 2050, farmers will be challenged to feed an expected global population of 9.5 billion people. Building on our strong progress in 2018–19, our Government will continue to deliver targeted investments in trade, risk management, the environment, and other key priorities, to support a profitable, adaptive and sustainable industry that can feed the world.

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

Results 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, contributes over $143 billion to the country's gross domestic product annually, 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.

In 2018–19, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continued working in collaboration with partners such as portfolio organizations, other government departments, provincial and territorial governments, industry, and others, to create conditions for the long-term profitability, sustainability and adaptability of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector. The total resources utilized by the Department for 2018–19 are summarized below:

$2,157,945,637

Total actual spending

4,716

Total actual full-time equivalents

The Department achieved the following key results in 2018–19, in line with commitments from the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food's mandate letter and other departmental priorities:

Delivered the first year of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership

Launched on April 1, 2018, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion policy framework that sets the strategic direction for federal-provincial-territorial programs and activities. Building on the lessons of past frameworks, the Partnership provides over $1 billion in federal programs and activities focusing 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. These areas cross each of the Department's core responsibilities and align with overall priorities for 2018–19.

Changes to Business Risk Management programs, which provide approximately $1.5 billion in annual support to producers within the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, were agreed to by federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Agriculture and implemented in 2018. Future enhancements are also being considered as a result of a review of Business Risk Management programming undertaken in 2018–19.

Enhanced trade and supported the sector to seize market opportunities

Improving domestic and international market conditions and advocating for a predictable and stable trade environment helps the agriculture and agri-food sector strengthen its competitiveness and contribute to growing the Canadian economy. Efforts in 2018–19 contributed to results achievement through the conclusion of negotiations on the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, Canada's ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the provision of ongoing assistance to the sector to take advantage of opportunities resulting from these trade agreements. These successes were achieved despite challenges to the predictability and stability of the global trade environment, marked by increased trade uncertainty and an increase in the use of tariff and non-tariff measures on agriculture products.

The Department's work was undertaken in close collaboration with other federal departments and aligned with broader Government of Canada trade priorities, such as the target to increase annual agricultural exports to $75 billion by 2025, as outlined in Budget 2017, and the commitment from the 2018 Fall Economic Statement to launch an Export Diversification Strategy.

Dairy Programs Update

To help the dairy sector adjust to new market conditions following the entry into force of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada implemented two new programs in 2017, designed to encourage investment by the dairy sector to strengthen productivity and competitiveness: The Dairy Processing Investment Fund and the Dairy Farm Investment Program.

In 2018–19, through the Dairy Processing Investment Fund, the Department approved 43 projects, representing an investment of up to $31 million to help processors modernize operations, increase productivity, and improve efficiencies. The Department also launched phase 2 of application intake for the Dairy Farm Investment Program, giving industry access to $98 million in funding to help farmers invest in productivity enhancing technologies.

Advanced agriculture science and research, generating knowledge and innovation

The Department's work to support and advance scientific research helps increase the knowledge base of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector, enabling innovations in products, processes and practices while strengthening the sector's competitive advantages. Under Budget 2017, the Government of Canada committed to a transformational investment of $70 million over five years to further support research in leading-edge agricultural discovery science and innovation. In 2018–19, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada used this investment to enhance scientific capacity by hiring the next generation of federal research scientists in important, emerging fields. This funding also enabled continued and new collaborative research with other federal, provincial, and territorial governments to test and implement innovative ideas, including the new Living Laboratories Initiative. Efforts such as these will better position the agriculture sector for future success.

Led the development of the Food Policy for Canada

In 2018–19, the Department continued to work in close collaboration with partnering government departments, Indigenous representatives, key food system stakeholders, industry, academia, and interested Canadians, to lay the foundation for the Food Policy for Canada. The Food Policy will provide a strategic and coordinated approach to help achieve positive social, health, environmental, and economic outcomes for Canadians as well as the food and agriculture sector. The policy was informed by extensive cross-country and online consultations, resulting in feedback from over 45,000 Canadians and stakeholder organizations.

For more information on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.

Results: what we achieved

Core Responsibilities

Domestic and International Markets

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

Results highlights

Seizing opportunities in both domestic and international markets is critical to the economic growth and profitability of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector. Increasing global integration offers an unprecedented opportunity for Canadian industry to reach new markets. As well, a strong domestic sector contributes significantly to international success. However, Canada's success also depends on the predictability of the global trade environment, which saw notable challenges in 2018–19 related to protectionist measures and non-tariff barriers. Departmental activities served to enhance competitiveness and position the sector to leverage both domestic and international market opportunities, despite increased trade uncertainty.

Increased and diversified trade and investment are also Government of Canada priorities as a means to advance economic growth. The 2018 Fall Economic Statement included a commitment to expand support for agricultural exporters, and launch an Export Diversification Strategy, aimed at improving access to new markets and strengthening trade with Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, Budget 2017 set an ambitious target to increase annual agricultural and seafood exports to $75 billion by 2025, taking advantage of the sector's strengths and growing international demand for food. To support the sector in reaching this target, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continued to advance and promote Canadian agriculture trade interests in 2018–19, including through targeted advocacy and engagement, market development work, trade negotiations, and market access efforts.

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

The agriculture and agri-food sector is a significant contributor to the Canadian economy, and the global market offers tremendous growth potential. Targets assessing changes in the economic performance of the sector and agri-food products sold, as well as agricultural export values, serve as measures of progress towards the result of growing the economy through agriculture and agri-food. In 2018–19, the percentage change of agri-food products sold was lower than in previous years due to strong competition and other economic factors. Despite facing challenges, the economic performance of the agriculture and agri-food sector surpassed its annual growth target, and the overall value of Canadian agricultural exports reached $66.2 billion in 2018–19, representing a continued increase that keeps Canada on track to meet its ultimate target of $75 billion in exports by 2025.

Assisting the sector to pursue and realize the benefits of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, and supporting its ratification by Canada, was a key area of focus for 2018–19. Working closely with Global Affairs Canada, provinces, territories, and industry stakeholders, the Department promoted the benefits of the Agreement and assisted industry in understanding its rules and technical aspects. In September 2018, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada delivered the first meeting of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Committee on Agriculture. Discussions focused on first experiences in implementing the Agreement, building understanding of each party's views, and advancing key market access issues for Canada. The Department also organized incoming visits and outgoing missions to strengthen relationships with European Union member states and to promote the safety and quality of Canadian agri-food products.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada led a number of initiatives to enhance market diversification and trade opportunities, helping the sector compete in the global marketplace and build commercial success. Activities included providing strategic intelligence, in-market services of agricultural trade commissioners, Canada Brand promotional tools, and collaborative initiatives to support small- and medium-sized enterprises in exporting, as well as delivering high-level missions, and coordinating industry participation in eight flagship tradeshows. The Department also continued working closely with federal, provincial and territorial partners to develop collaborative strategies and work plans, and delivered programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support the market development efforts of Canadian exporters.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada also continued supporting long-term competitiveness by addressing challenges and issues that could impede sector growth, including through the value chain roundtables, and by contributing to the work of the Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table. The roundtables are an industry-government forum to discuss issues such as innovation and competitiveness, develop solutions to challenges, and provide strategic direction for the sector. Along with advancing sector-specific work, all roundtables were engaged on the themes identified in the Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table report that was released in September 2018, including regulations, innovation and labour. The Agri-Food Table, one of six sector-specific tables created as part of the Government of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan, served as a forum for industry leaders to explore opportunities and challenges facing the sector, and bring forward recommendations for action.

The In-Market Partnership Fund

The first year of the In-Market Partnership Fund, a new initiative under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, was successfully implemented to assist Canadian agriculture and agri-food exporters enter and expand across priority markets such as the European Union, the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, India and the Gulf Cooperation Council. In 2018–19, the In-Market Partnership Fund delivered 62 projects in 20 countries, which supported national sector associations and over 1,000 companies in developing new business relationships and marketing their products. For example:

Projects supported by the fund are planned and implemented through the International Market Engagement Teams, which facilitate collaboration between the Department, provinces, industry representatives, and trade commissioners posted abroad.

Achieving results: Increasing market access and advancing agricultural trade interests

Recognizing the importance of global markets to the growth and profitability of Canada's agriculture sector, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continued its efforts to support Canada's international market presence, including by re-opening, maintaining, and expanding access for Canadian products, pursuing free trade agreements with key partners, and advocating for science-based trade rules. Activities related to the result of increasing market access and advancing agricultural trade interests serve to strengthen competitiveness and support sector growth beyond the domestic market. Success is measured by indicators assessing the degree to which the Department resolved or mitigated market access issues and advanced trade policy positions, both of which surpassed their targets in 2018–19.

In November 2018, Canada, the United States and Mexico signed a new trade agreement called the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement. The agreement preserves duty-free access to North American markets for a wide range of Canadian agricultural products and secures a number of beneficial outcomes for agriculture in terms of rules of origin, agricultural biotechnology, and a modernized Committee on Agricultural Trade. The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement reinforces Canada's strong economic ties with the United States and Mexico, while respecting Canada's complex agriculture and food interests. The efforts of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials, including at the negotiation table and through continued advocacy with American and Mexican networks, supported the achievement of this result for Canada.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada also worked to advance trade interests with other international partners in 2018–19, including through continued negotiations towards free-trade agreements with member countries of MERCOSUR (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) and the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru). The Department also engaged in discussions with the United Kingdom on the future of a Canada-United Kingdom trade relationship.

In addition, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continued its efforts to advance science-based rulemaking in international fora through engagement with multilateral organizations, such as the World Trade Organization, and international standard setting bodies. Canadian companies exporting agriculture and food products face increasingly complex issues, including a rise in the use of non-tariff measures such as delays in approvals for products of biotechnology and inconsistent import regulations for pesticide residues. These issues create obstacles to trade but also impact the development and availability of new products and tools due to market uncertainty. The Department's ongoing efforts towards a predictable, rules-based trade environment and improved and preferential access to markets, including engagement efforts and regulatory and scientific cooperation with trading partners, were undertaken in close collaboration with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada, Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Grain Commission, and other government departments.

Canada signs the International Statement on Agricultural Applications of Precision Biotechnology

Canada is a leader in producing safe, high quality products, and is committed to fostering innovation in the agricultural sector, both at home and abroad, as a means to grow prosperous economies. Canada ranks fifth in the world in terms of area cultivated with agricultural biotechnology crops, and has a long history of developing and advocating for science-based rules to govern international trade.

In November 2018, Canada joined Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Paraguay, the United States, Uruguay, Vietnam and the Secretariat of the Economic Community of West African States in supporting the International Statement on Agricultural Applications of Precision Biotechnology. The Statement sends a strong message that governments must create a functional regulatory environment that enables scientific advances for the benefit of facilitating trade.

In signing the International Statement on Agricultural Applications of Precision Biotechnology, Canada has committed to work with international partners in support of transparent, predictable and science-based regulatory approaches that reduce potential trade disruptions and allow for the commercialization of precision biotechnology products to the benefit of the sector.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's 2018–19 Departmental Plan highlighted areas where gender-based analysis plus and experimentation efforts would take place for each core responsibility. The following updates the Department's activities and results in these areas.

Gender-based analysis plus

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Department launched a new AgriDiversity Program with the objective of strengthening the sector by:

In 2018–19, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada approved seven AgriDiversity projects helping underrepresented groups to fully participate in the sector. For example, a three-year project by the Native Women's Association of Canada facilitates a national engagement initiative that focuses on Indigenous women and gender-diverse people in agriculture, aiming to: increase participation in the agriculture and agri-food sector; incorporate traditional roles in agriculture and traditional foods; and obtain a better understanding of agriculture and agri-food from an Indigenous lens.

In support of building the next generation of industry leaders, the Department also completed a membership review of the value chain roundtables in 2018–19, to ensure a greater diversity of voices actively participate in these meetings. As a result of this review, underrepresented groups are now formally incorporated in the criteria used to assess eligibility of new members, youth participation is now a standard at roundtable meetings to the greatest extent possible, and an initial strategy for a women's task force has been developed.

Experimentation

Agriculture is a shared jurisdiction in Canada, with a high level of collaboration between the Department and the provinces and territories. This offers a unique opportunity to experiment with new collaborative models that enable consistency while reducing the duplication of activities. The Regional Collaborative Partnership Program aims to increase cooperation among provincial and territorial governments to address agricultural priorities that extend beyond their own jurisdiction, but that are not quite national in scope. The program was designed to offer an innovative, matched incentive funding approach intended to increase cross-jurisdictional collaboration, and improve alignment between program funding transferred to provinces and territories and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada priority areas. The program also facilitates improvements in the types of collaborations and the sustainability of these partnerships. In 2018–19, the Department began working with an experimentation firm to help refine the experimentation parameters for the Program.

Results achieved
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2018–19
 Actual results
2017–18
Actual results
2016–17
 Actual results
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector contributes to growing the economy Percentage change in the economic performance of the agriculture and agri-food sector 2.0%
Average annual growth rate between 2017 and 2025
December 31, 2019 2.5% 2.5%[1] 5.2%[1]
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector contributes to growing the economy Percentage change in agri-food products sold 4.5%
Average annual growth rate between 2017 and 2025
December 31, 2019 2.8%[2] 3.8% 5.9%
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector contributes to growing the economy Value of agriculture and agri-food exports $75 billion December 31, 2025 $66.2 billion $64.8 billion $62.7 billion
Access to international markets is increased by resolving or mitigating market barriers and advancing trade positions Degree to which Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada advances the resolution or the mitigation of market access barriers, World Trade Organization disputes and technical trade issues 80%
Maintain score of 80% or above[3]
March 31, 2019 85% Not available Not available
Access to international markets is increased by resolving or mitigating market barriers and advancing trade positions Degree to which Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada advances trade policy through negotiations, agreements and discussions 80%
Maintain score of 80% or above[4]
March 31, 2019 87% 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 publically available data, where applicable. Actual results that are “not available” were not previously measured or reported prior to 2018–19.

  1. Past results are based on revised Gross Domestic Product data by Statistics Canada, as of July 2019.
  2. Despite the decline in the average 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.
  3. Performance against this indicator and target is self-assessed based on a scale of 0% to 100%, whereby 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.
  4. Performance against this indicator and target is self-assessed based on a scale of 0% to 100%, whereby 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.
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned spending
2018–19
Total authorities available for use
2018–19
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2018–19
Difference
(Actual spending minus
planned spending)
250,182,291 250,182,291 317,962,385 280,684,647 30,502,356
Note: Actual spending was higher than planned spending primarily due to the transfer of federal canal infrastructure to the Government of Saskatchewan under the Water Infrastructure Program.
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2018–19
Actual full-time equivalents
2018–19
Difference
(Actual full-time equivalents minus
planned full-time equivalents)
493 517 24

Financial, human resources and performance information for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's 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.

Results highlights

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's science and innovation efforts are fundamental to Canada's economic growth, and vital to the competitiveness, sustainability and profitability of the agriculture sector. Scientific research enhances knowledge and drives new ideas that lead to the development of innovative products, processes and practices. In turn, transforming these innovations into practical applications serves to strengthen competitiveness and productivity, and helps the agriculture and agri-food sector adapt to and address agri-environmental challenges. This work aligns with the Government of Canada's commitment to innovation and was advanced through recent investments, including $70 million over five years from the 2017 federal budget. The Advance Agricultural Discovery Science and Innovation Initiative will help address significant environmental challenges and increase science capacity by hiring approximately 75 new scientists and science professionals in emerging agricultural fields.

Achieving results: Growing the agriculture sector's knowledge base through innovative scientific research

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's scientific capacity is an important part of Canada's agricultural innovation system. Scientific research is a critical component for the generation of new ideas, is a key driver of product and process innovation, and serves to better position the agriculture sector for future success. To support the result of growing the agriculture sector's knowledge base through innovative scientific research, $44 million of the Budget 2017 investment was dedicated to hiring the next generation of scientific professionals, and equipping them with the state-of-the-art tools they need to advance agricultural research, including environmental sampling equipment and analytical instruments. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada developed a national, five-year staffing plan that identifies the scientific research positions required in emerging fields, such as phenomics and bioinformatics, and a total of 15 new positions were funded in 2018–19.

Scientific research enables the sector to improve efficiencies, increase productivity, and enhance competitiveness in the world market. In addition, an ongoing focus on environmental sustainability and climate change adaptation and mitigation serves to promote the advancement and adoption of practices and agricultural clean technologies, which maintain and improve soil, water, air, and biodiversity resources, and help the sector keep pace with the demand for sustainable attributes in new agriculture and agri-food products. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provided renewed support for agricultural research and emerging and transformative areas through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Over 125 science projects were initiated by the Department in 2018–19 that seek to increase the productivity of the sector, or address emerging priorities, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, soil conservation, soil health, and water quality. In addition, through the federal AgriScience Program, the Department funded 33 industry-led research projects and 19 science clusters in 2018–19. Building on the success of previous policy frameworks, clusters mobilize partnerships between industry, governments and academia to coordinate efforts, leverage capacity, and address cross-cutting issues affecting the sector.

The Department's continued efforts to advance scientific research in these areas, are assessed against results measuring the level of collaboration with other research partners, and the impact or contribution of the Department's scientific research, as determined by the proportion of citations of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientific publications. In 2018–19, the Department was on track to achieve its results target of collaboration with external collaborators rising to at least 75% of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada peer-reviewed scientific publications by 2023; and maintaining an average of at least 15 citations per peer-reviewed scientific publication over the span of five years.

Plant Genetic Resources

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Plant Gene Resources of Canada at the Saskatoon Research and Development Centre is a vital facility for plant preservation with more than 110,000 seed samples in its repository. These vast holdings are a key resource to assist scientists in finding genetic resistance to pests and disease, adaptation to climate change, and developing new crop varieties in the future. Although most seeds can be stored for decades, the Department's research centre must grow and test the plants in greenhouses and fields for seed regeneration and to maintain their long-term viability.

Over the past three years, Plant Gene Resources of Canada has distributed over 22,000 seed samples to clients in Canada and more than 30 countries, for research, breeding and educational purposes. The demand for these samples highlights the need to maintain these valuable resources and the importance of crop diversity to the economic and ecological sustainability of the agriculture sector.

Achieving results: Transforming ideas into products, processes and practices

Building upon collaborative research proposals and supporting the commercialization and adoption of new innovations, encourages the transformation of research-generated ideas into new business applications for the sector. Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Department continued to support industry in addressing the gap between research and commercialization, and in mitigating the risk of applying new technologies to commercial-level production. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada also continued to facilitate the demonstration, commercialization and adoption of innovative agri-based products, technologies, processes and services, to accelerate their availability within the sector.

The Department continued its work to ensure that science capacity was maximized by means of collaboration with industry, academia, and other federal, provincial and territorial governments. In support of the result to transform ideas into products, processes and practices, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada launched an innovative new research partnership model in 2018–19. From the $70 million investment in science under Budget 2017, $10 million was dedicated to a Living Laboratories Initiative that enables collaborative research projects with external partners.

The Living Laboratories Initiative is an integrated approach to agricultural innovation that brings farmers, scientists, local organizations, and other partners together to co-develop, test, and monitor new practices and technologies in real life conditions. Farmers will work directly with scientists and other partners to develop and implement new beneficial management practices and technologies right on their farms. Efforts in 2018–19 focused on selecting projects within the Canadian Prairie and Atlantic regions for the first phase of the Initiative. Planning for the second phase, and initiating projects within Ontario and Quebec, also began. Performance evaluations from these projects will be used to refine agricultural beneficial management practices related to the environmental and economic resilience of agricultural landscapes. This work will result in more practical technologies that help build the sector's capacity to adapt to, and recover from, climate change impacts, and accelerate the adoption of sustainable farming practices by Canadian farmers.

The Department's results towards transforming ideas into new products, processes or practices are evaluated against targets that measure the development of new innovations available for transfer to the sector, and by assessing the rate of adoption of innovative practices by the agriculture and agri-food sector over the longer term. In 2018–19, with 106 new innovations reported, the Department exceeded the results target of developing an average of 100 new innovations annually as new technologies available for transfer to the sector, and was on track to meet the longer term target of a total of 500 new innovations for the duration of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Other results information to measure the adoption rate of innovative practices or to assess the change in productivity of the agriculture and agri-food sector is not available for 2018–19, due to the time lag in collecting and analyzing this data.

Manure Separation and Composting

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers have identified a way to improve the environmental impact of cow manure and the emission of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

As cow manure degrades, it produces methane. Using an automated system that separates the solid fraction of manure for compost can significantly reduce methane emissions and lower the carbon footprint of raising dairy cows. While analyzing the life-cycle effects of this system on an Ontario dairy farm, the researchers found that total methane emissions from the composter, storage tank, barn floor, and field after manure fertilization were reduced by 50%.

Despite the added electricity needed to run the composter, the overall environmental benefits outweighed the burdens: composted manure solids could be used as bedding, and the ability of soil to sequester carbon was improved when it was fertilized with the separated liquid manure (versus soil fertilized with untreated manure).

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's 2018–19 Departmental Plan highlighted areas where gender-based analysis plus and experimentation efforts would take place for each core responsibility. The following updates the Department's activities and results in these areas.

Gender-based analysis plus

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Women in Science Network continued to facilitate engagement among women working in science and increase awareness of local and national initiatives. In 2018–19, the network's action plan was adopted by the Department to include a gender approach for the accelerated staffing initiative in science, working towards an equitable number of women hired in science positions over the next five years. Other member-driven activities in 2018–19 included training sessions, the creation of profiles of women working in science, and promotion of local STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) events. In recognizing the importance of a diverse and representative workforce, the Department also continued to leverage existing diversity networks in its recruitments efforts, including the Indigenous Student Recruitment Initiative.

Experimentation

The Department is committed to using experimentation approaches to drive innovation in policy and program design and delivery. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has continued to advance its use of Transformative Workshops in generating new ideas that address key agricultural challenges. These scientist-driven workshops bring together multi-disciplinary and multi-generational participants along with a range of stakeholders to support transformative and integrative approaches to research and development, with a goal of broadening collaboration and fostering discussion in the agricultural science community.

In 2018-19, the Department's efforts focused on reporting the emerging topics and opportunities resulting from the five 2017-18 Transformative Workshops: vertical agriculture, biovigilance, phenomics, observational studies, and Indigenous agriculture. These reports and related discussions highlighted new opportunities, as well as enhanced scientific collaborations and partnerships that developed as a result of the Transformative Workshops. These outcomes will inform planning and approaches for further innovative scientific research and partnerships at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and lessons learned will be used to bolster the impact of Transformative Workshops in future years.

The launch of the Living Laboratories Initiative in 2018–19 also showcased the great potential in Transformative Workshops. The concept and core research design for the Initiative began with the first Transformative Workshop pilot from 2016, related to building resilience in agricultural landscapes. The broadened implementation of this initiative highlights the positive impact of collaborative dialogue in developing transformative approaches to scientific research within the agricultural sector.

The Indigenous Student Recruitment Initiative

Championed by the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Department's Science and Technology Branch, the Indigenous Student Recruitment Initiative encourages Indigenous youth to pursue studies and consider a career in science. Through the Initiative, 65 Indigenous students were hired into departmental positions across Canada in 2018–19. Students hired through the Initiative are supported by the Department's Elder and dedicated advisors on an ongoing basis. The Initiative also helped facilitate the retention of numerous Indigenous students into full-time positions of various tenures, both with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and other Government of Canada departments.

Results achieved
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2018–19 
Actual results
2017–18
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector knowledge base is increased through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supported scientific and innovative research Percentage of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientific publications produced through collaboration

75%

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

March 31, 2023 73% 76% 72%
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector knowledge base is increased through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supported scientific and innovative research Number of citations as a proportion of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientific publications

15 citations per Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada publication

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

March 31, 2019[1]

Not available

 (results available in January 2020; for citations from 2014 to 2019)

15

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

14

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

The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is effective in transforming ideas into new products, processes or practices Number of new technologies, products, practices, processes or systems that are available for transfer to the sector Average development of 100 new innovations annually with the goal of achieving 500 over the Canadian Agricultural Partnership framework March 31, 2023 106 104 74
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is effective in transforming ideas into new products, processes or practices Percentage of farms adopting innovative practices

70%

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

December 31, 2023[2]

Not available

(results available in 2021)

53%

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

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

To be determined

The target will be available December 2019[3]

To be determined Not available Not available Not available
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is effective in transforming ideas into new products, processes or practices Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability (water, soil, air quality, biodiversity) Index of 71[4] March 31, 2030[5]

Not available

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

Not available

Index of 65 “good”

(based on the 2011 Census of Agriculture)

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

1.4%

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

December 31, 2026[6]

Not available

(results available in 2021)

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

0.2%

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

December 31, 2026[7]

Not available

(results available in 2022)

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 publically 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 has a five-year lag time as data is collected every five years in the Census of Agriculture.
  • 6. Indicator has a three-year lag time; 2026 result will be available in December 2029.
  • 7. Indicator has a four-year lag time; 2026 result will be available in March 2030.
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned spending
2018–19
Total authorities available for use
2018–19
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2018–19
Difference
(Actual spending minus
planned spending)
590,110,466 590,110,466 602,085,144 560,826,128 (29,284,338)
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2018–19
Actual full-time equivalents
2018–19
Difference
(actual full-time equivalents minus
planned full-time equivalents)
2,600 2,633 33

Financial, human resources and performance information for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's 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.

Results highlights

Canadian farmers face various types of risks in managing their operations, including production risks stemming from weather events, pests, and diseases, as well as risks related to market conditions, such as supply and demand fluctuations and potential volatilities in world markets. Given this, the continued growth and resiliency of the agriculture and agri-food sector relies on an effective suite of risk management tools, including Business Risk Management programs and services that help producers when they face risks beyond their capacity to manage. In addition, “assurance systems” — a term used to describe the processes and procedures that provide confidence in the food supply chain — help the sector respond to consumer and market demands while protecting it against threats to plant and animal health. Sector risk activities are critical to ensure a reliable supply of Canadian food products, to maintain confidence in the agricultural supply chain, and to support the ultimate result of a financially resilient agriculture and agri-food sector.

Achieving results: A financially resilient agriculture sector

Agricultural producers face a multitude of risks that can threaten the viability of their operations, such as drought, flood, hail, declining international or regional commodity prices, increasing cost of inputs, pests and diseases, and border closures. Business Risk Management programs help producers to effectively manage the impact of these risks by ensuring that producers can remain productive and withstand impacts from a severe event.

Business Risk Management Program Suite

Business Risk Management programs help farmers manage significant risks that threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond producers' capacity to manage. Costs are shared between federal and provincial/territorial governments. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership includes the following Business Risk Management programs, which provide approximately $1.5 billion in annual support to producers:

Over the previous agricultural policy framework, Growing Forward 2, Business Risk Management programs provided $8.2 billion in support for Canadian farmers between 2013 and 2017.

The Department, in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, continues to deliver a comprehensive suite of Business Risk Management programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Governments also continue enabling proactive approaches to risk management by supporting the development of new tools to help the sector understand, anticipate, and address their unique business risks. This includes activities that consider the complexities of risk beyond agricultural production losses.

As part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a number of amendments to the Business Risk Management programming were implemented in 2018–19, including:

A financially resilient agriculture sector is measured by indicators and targets that assess the percentage of financially healthy farms in Canada, and sector income levels as compared to historical averages. As of 2018–19, the Department is on track to achieve this result, with over 90% of farms assessed as financially healthy, and with sector operating income above the target of 85% of the five year average. These results reflect the fact that, overall, the sector as a whole has experienced growth and positive economic conditions over the last three years.

In addition to program delivery, federal, provincial and territorial governments initiated a review of all Business Risk Management programs beginning in 2017, to assess the effectiveness and impact of specific programs on growth and innovation. A panel of external experts, including producers, academia and global specialists were engaged to provide input and facilitate broader industry engagement to ensure an understanding of the risks faced by the sector. The panel presented their recommendations to federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Agriculture in July 2018. Recommendations focused on the need to address complexity, timeliness, and predictability challenges with the AgriStability program, and to further support the development of producer-paid risk management tools that will help to cover risks not targeted by the suite of Business Risk Management programs. Other recommendations included ways to improve risk management communication and education, as well as other improvements to the suite of programs. Work is ongoing to address the panel's recommendations through continued engagement among federal, provincial and territorial governments and with industry stakeholders. The goal is to develop the path forward to ensure that Business Risk Management programs evolve and continue to work as an effective tool for producers.

Achieving results: Equipping the sector with assurance systems and tools

Beyond risk management, trust in Canada's food and agriculture sector is critical to ensure the competitiveness of individual businesses and the sector as a whole. Equipping the agriculture and agri-food sector with assurance systems and tools helps the industry to demonstrate that their agriculture products have certain characteristics, or are produced using specific methods.

The AgriAssurance program, launched under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, helps industry develop and adopt systems, standards and tools that allow them to make meaningful and verifiable claims about agriculture and agri-food products, or to respond to buyers' demands that, for example, the food meets requirements related to quality, traceability, sustainability, or animal welfare. By addressing risks along the food supply chain, these projects are intended to build trust in Canadian products. Funding available to national industry associations equips the sector for greater success by supporting the creation of systems that underpin industry's ability to meet consumer and buyer demands and gain access to markets, while protecting plant and animal health. Funding is also available to small and medium-sized enterprises, providing targeted support to help companies implement third-party assurance certifications required to access foreign markets.

Results data measuring the functionality of implementation plans for assurance projects is not yet available (expected in 2021), given the long-term nature of this work. However, the Department surpassed its target of 20 applications to the AgriAssurance program, with 52 applications received in 2018–19, and 27 projects approved as of March 31, 2019.

Indigenous Pathfinder Service

In September 2018, the Department launched the Indigenous Pathfinder Service, designed to assist Indigenous Peoples and communities navigate and access Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada programs and services. First Nations, Métis and Inuit individuals or organizations in Canada, including businesses and non-profit associations, who have projects or opportunities to pursue in the agriculture and agri-food sector can access the Pathfinder service for information, advice and referral.

The one-on-one service connects Indigenous Peoples with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada staff who listen to project ideas and suggest next steps, discuss available agriculture-related programs, services and funding, provide referrals to an industry, trade or scientific expert and make connections with other federal, provincial and territorial support across the country to help move the idea or project to reality.

Since the launch of the Indigenous Pathfinder Service, the Department has reported over 60 contacts for its information services.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's 2018–19 Departmental Plan highlighted areas where gender-based analysis plus and experimentation efforts would take place for each core responsibility. The following updates the Department's activities and results in these areas.

Gender-based analysis plus

The Department is committed to ensuring a more inclusive agriculture and agri-food sector. Enhancing access to Business Risk Management programs to underrepresented groups, including youth, women and Indigenous communities, was one of the topics discussed as part of the Business Risk Management review. This discussion was advanced further during the Business Risk Management Education Workshop held in March 2019, advancing one of the recommendations put forward by the review's expert panel to federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Agriculture in July 2018. This work will continue as federal, provincial and territorial government officials collaborate towards improving the suite of Business Risk Management programs for the next agricultural policy framework.

Experimentation

The Department is committed to using experimentation approaches to drive innovation in policy and program design and delivery. In 2018–19, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada began using an experimental approach to deliver the AgriRisk Initiative – Research and Development Stream, that piloted microgrants to incent research in risk management. The aim was to build academic expertise and encourage partnerships with agricultural associations, to ultimately develop marketable tools for producers to mitigate risks. If successful, this approach, to provide grants for initial research and then subsequent contributions in support of product design and delivery to bring ideas to market, could be applied to other departmental programs.

Results achieved
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2018–19
Actual
results
2017–18
Actual
results
2016–17
Actual
results
The agricultural sector is financially resilient Sector's income as a proportion of historical income

85%

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

March 31, 2019[1] 113%
(for the 2016 program year)
121%
(for the 2015 program year)
118%
(for the 2014 program year)
The agricultural sector is financially resilient Percentage of financially healthy farms

90%

Percentage of financially healthy farms is maintained at least 90%

December 31, 2019[2] Not available

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 31, 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 publically 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.
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned spending
2018–19
Total authorities available for use
2018–19
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2018–19
Difference
(actual spending minus
planned spending)
1,524,183,899 1,524,183,899 1,178,045,900 1,145,612,636 (378,571,263)

Note: Actual spending was less than planned spending mainly due to a decrease in demand and participation in the AgriStability program, a reduced requirement for AgriRecovery disaster response initiatives, as well as current below interest rates and low participation in the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act program and the Canadian Agricultural Loans Act program. In addition, actual spending is net of $25.5 million related to a return of funding from statutory grant and contribution programs.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2018–19
Actual full-time equivalents
2018–19
Difference
(actual full-time equivalents minus
planned full-time equivalents)
456 442 (14)

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

Internal Services

Description: Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of Programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct services that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. These services are:

Results highlights

In 2018–19, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada undertook specific initiatives in support of the Department's mandate and to strengthen our capacity to deliver results to Canadians.

Enabling and strengthening program and service delivery

The Department continued to implement client-centered, digitally enabled, and well-integrated services to meet clients expectations and deliver results for Canadians. This included improving ease-of-use and access to programs and services across service channels, and releasing timely, usable and relevant data and information to the public.

In 2018–19, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada updated systems that process program applications and developed tools and procedures that support federal initiatives under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. In addition, the Enhanced Service Delivery Strategy, which applied to AgriInvest and AgriStability, two of the Department's largest Business Risk Management programs, simplified access to these programs and led to faster processing times and improved client satisfaction. Implementation of the Strategy also contributed to increased digital service delivery, greater client participation, and improved performance measurement and reporting. As part of the implementation of the service delivery strategy, the Department launched an outreach initiative in 2018–19, to proactively communicate with clients and stakeholders to offer assistance and provide information.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continues to contribute to the Government of Canada Open Data and Open Information initiatives and deliver on the mandated commitments to make data and information more accessible to the Canadian public. In 2018–19, the Department released 66% of known eligible data, information resources and inventories to the public through the Open Government portal. By ensuring that timely, usable, and relevant data and information resources are released to the public, the Department contributes to Government of Canada commitments to increase transparency, as well as citizen engagement and innovation.

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

In 2018–19, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continued its efforts to foster a culture of wellness in an environment where employees feel motivated, valued and equipped to bring the best of their diverse abilities in delivering services to Canadians.

The Department launched a People Strategy in 2018, focusing on three themes: workforce (a workforce that learns and adapts in achieving results), work environment (providing effective tools and a healthy workplace for employees) and culture (encouraging innovation and empowering employees to make a difference). Implementation of the strategy and specific actions are also informed by results from the 2017 Public Service Employee Survey.

Implementation of the Department's 2018-21 Diversity and Inclusion Plan was also initiated in 2018, aiming to build a workplace that embraces inclusiveness and is representative of the Canadian public that it serves.

In addition, the Department communicated a Mental Health Strategy to all employees, with a focus on reducing stigma around mental health issues, building capacity and support within the Department, and enabling a culture change through access to training as well as establishing psychological health policies and programs. Efforts continue to implement measures that will help entrench workplace wellness as well as diversity and inclusiveness in the Department's work environment.

To address ongoing challenges with the Public Service pay system, the Department established a Pay Transformation team in 2018–19, to support employees dealing with ongoing or new pay issues. Throughout the year, the pay team monitored pay disruptions, provided support, and escalated pay matters as required.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned spending
2018–19
Total authorities available for use
2018–19
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2018–19
Difference
(actual spending minus
planned spending)
151,526,770 151,526,770 172,134,555 170,822,226 19,295,456

Note: Actual spending was more than Planned Spending primarily due to amounts carried forward from 2017–18 and a realignment among programs.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2018–19
Actual full-time equivalents
2018–19
Difference
(Actual full-time equivalents minus
planned full-time equivalents)
1,140 1,124 (16)

Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Actual expenditures

Departmental spending trend graph

Description of this image follows.

Description of the above image
Departmental spending trend graph
2016–171 2017–181 2018–191 2019–202 2020–212 2021–222
Statutory 1,298 974 1,134 1,450 1,450 1,449
Voted 1,317 1,011 1,024 1,031 1,028 986
Total 2,615 1,985 2,158 2,481 2,478 2,435
  1. Spending for 2016–17, 2017–18 and 2018–19 represents the actual expenditures incurred during the respective fiscal years, as reported in Public Accounts.
  2. Spending for 2019–20, 2020–21 and 2021–22 represents Planned Spending amounts as reported in the 2019–20 Departmental Plan.

Over the period 2016–17 to 2021–22, spending varies from a low of $2.0 billion in 2017–18 to a high of $2.6 billion in 2016–17. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's programs and initiatives vary from year to year in response to changes affecting the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector as outlined below.

Actual spending was higher in 2016–17 as it reflected $350 million for the transfer of federal water infrastructure to the Government of Saskatchewan, an increase in demand for Business Risk Management programs, as well as increased spending under the Federal Infrastructure Initiative.

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

Actual spending was higher in 2018–19 than in 2017–18, as it reflected increased demand for Business Risk Management programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, mainly due to increased spending in AgriStability. It also reflected increased support for the Dairy Farm Investment Program and the Dairy Processing Investment Fund, the transfer of federal canal infrastructure to the Government of Saskatchewan, and spending for science and innovation from a Budget 2017 commitment (the Advance Agricultural Discovery Science and Innovation Initiative).

Planned spending in 2019–20 and 2020–21 reflects a forecast increase in Business Risk Management programs spending based on market conditions, primarily related to the AgriStability program.

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

Budgetary performance summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2018–19
Main Estimates[1]
2018–19
Planned spending[2]
2019–20
Planned spending[3]
2020–21
Planned spending[3]
2018–19
Total authorities available for use[4]
2018–19
Actual spending (authorities used)[5]
2017–18
Actual spending (authorities used)[5]
2016–17
Actual spending (authorities used)[5]
Domestic and International Markets 250,182,291 250,182,291 236,376,062 231,493,163 317,962,385 280,684,647 187,502,391 495,273,150
Science and Innovation 590,110,466 590,110,466 587,129,203 588,833,839 602,085,144 560,826,128 605,900,795 625,575,604
Sector Risk 1,524,183,899 1,524,183,899 1,506,697,119 1,506,832,217 1,178,045,900 1,145,612,636 1,020,593,334 1,343,028,316
Subtotal 2,364,476,656  2,364,476,656  2,330,202,384  2,327,159,219  2,098,093,429  1,987,123,411  1,813,996,520  2,463,877,070
Internal Services 151,526,770 151,526,770 150,662,962 150,524,496 172,134,555 170,822,226 170,901,257 151,033,280
Total 2,516,003,426 2,516,003,426 2,480,865,346 2,477,683,715 2,270,227,984 2,157,945,637 1,984,897,777 2,614,910,350

Note: For an explanation of the variances by Core Responsibility and Internal Services, please refer to the "Results: what we achieved" section of this report.

  • 1. Main Estimates figures are as reported in the 2018–19 Main Estimates.
  • 2. Planned spending figures are as reported in the 2018–19 Departmental Plan. 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 Annual Reference Level Update.
  • 3. Planned spending figures are as reported in the 2019–20 Departmental Plan. It does not reflect funding announced in Budget 2019.
  • 4. Total authorities reflect 2018–19 Main Estimates and a net total decrease of $245.8 million consisting of adjustments to statutory amounts to equal actual spending, Supplementary Estimates and allocations from central votes received during 2018–19, as well as other adjustments and amounts available from previous year, as reported in the Public Accounts of Canada 2019.
  • 5. Actual spending figures represent the actual expenditures incurred during the respective fiscal year, as reported in Public Accounts. In certain cases, where authorized amounts are unspent, they can be reprofiled for use in future years.

Actual human resources

Human resources summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2016–17
Actual
full-time equivalents
2017–18
Actual
full-time equivalents
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2018–19
Actual
full-time equivalents[1]
2019–20
Planned
full-time equivalents[2]
2020–21
Planned
full-time equivalents[2]
Domestic and International Markets 512 512 493 517 514 514
Science and Innovation 2,531 2,599 2,600 2,633 2,711 2,712
Sector Risk 462 450 456 442 448 448
Subtotal 3,505 3,561 3,549 3,592 3,673 3,674
Internal Services 1,089 1,112 1,140 1,124 1,192 1,192
Total 4,594 4,673 4,689 4,716 4,865 4,866
  • 1. Actual full-time equivalents reflect only those funded through the Department's appropriated resources. In addition to the actual full-time equivalents of 4,716, there were 30 full-time equivalents employed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for research funded through collaborative agreements with industry partners and 18 full-time equivalents funded from other government departments. Also, an additional 521 full-time equivalents were employed as students.
  • 2. Planned full-time equivalents are as reported in the 2019–20 Departmental Plan.

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

The increase in full-time equivalents in 2018–19 and beyond is due to staffing required to support research priorities, including the Advancing Agricultural Discovery Science and Innovation Initiative as announced in Budget 2017, as well as to support service delivery improvements and modernization of agriculture science and technology initiatives.

Expenditures by vote

For information on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2018–2019.

Government of Canada spending and activities

Information on the alignment of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's spending with the Government of Canada's spending and activities is available in the GC InfoBase.

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's financial statements (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2019, are available on the departmental website.

Financial statements highlights

The financial highlights presented within this Departmental Results Report are intended to serve as a general overview of the Department's financial position and operations. More detailed information is provided in the Department's consolidated financial statements which are prepared using an accrual basis of accounting.

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2019 (dollars)
Financial information 2018–19
Planned
results
2018–19
Actual
results
2017–18
Actual
results
Difference (2018–19 Actual results minus 2018–19 planned results) Difference (2018–19 Actual results minus 2017–18 actual results)
Total expenses 2,620,377,000 2,237,295,000 2,096,848,000 (383,082,000) 140,447,000
Total revenues 67,981,000 57,630,000 64,500,000 (10,351,000) (6,870,000)
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 2,552,396,000 2,179,665,000 2,032,348,000 (372,731,000) 147,317,000

Note: Consolidated Future-Oriented Statement of Operations (Unaudited) can be found on the departmental website.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as of March 31, 2019 (dollars)
Financial Information 2018–19 2017–18 Difference
(2018–19 minus
2017–18)
Total net liabilities 985,180,000 968,900,000 16,280,000
Total net financial assets 926,196,000 882,079,000 44,117,000
Departmental net debt 58,984,000 86,821,000 (27,837,000)
Total non-financial assets 440,701,000 428,670,000 12,031,000
Departmental net financial position 381,717,000 341,849,000 39,868,000

Expenses and Revenues

Expenses incurred and revenues earned, in support of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s programs and services that benefited Canadians during 2018–19, are detailed in the following graphs.

Description of this image follows.

Description of the above image
Expenses by Core Responsibility
Sector Risk Science and Innovation Domestic and International Markets Internal Services Total Expenses
$1,136.4 million / 50.8% $526.5 million / 23.5% $290.0 million / 13.0% $284.4 million / 12.7% $2,237.3 million

Total expenses were $2,237.3 million in 2018–19, an increase of $140.5 million from the previous year's total expenses of $2,096.8 million. This was primarily attributable to an increase of $153.6 million in the AgriStability program, which is reflected in Sector Risk. The increase is due to higher expected payments as a result of lower producer margins and higher input costs, as well, in the previous years, actual demand was less than forecast, which resulted in an adjustment that impacted 2017–18. There was also an increase of $42.6 million in the Dairy Farm Investment Program and $20.9 million in the Dairy Processing Investment Fund under Domestic and International Markets, due to a late start up of the programs in the prior year. These increases were offset by declines in other programs, mainly the Canadian Agricultural Partnership cost-shared programs in the amount of $29.6 million, due to a slower start for the first year of the new Canadian Agricultural Partnership framework.

Planned expenses for 2018–19 were $2,620.4 million compared to actual expenses of $2,237.3 million. Actual expenses were $383.1 million less than planned mainly due to a decrease in the AgriRecovery program, as there were fewer disaster responses required, and the AgriStability program, where the demand was less than forecast. Both of these programs are part of Sector Risk.

Description of this image follows.

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Breakdown of Revenues by Type
Sale of goods and services Interest Joint project and cost sharing agreements Miscellaneous revenues Gain on disposal of assets Crop Reinsurance Fund Total revenues (Gross)
$66.6 million / 74.0% $11.2 million / 12.5% $8.3 million / 9.2% $2.2 million / 2.4% $1.1 million / 1.2% $0.6 million / 0.7% $90.0 million

Note: Revenues earned on behalf of government are included in this graph.

Total revenues earned of $90.0 million in 2018–19 were primarily comprised of $66.6 million in sale of goods and services. Total revenue is presented in the departmental consolidated financial statements net of revenues earned on behalf of government which amounted to $32.4 million. Total net revenues remained relatively stable year over year at $57.6 million in 2018–19 compared to $64.5 million in 2017–18, a slight decrease of $6.9 million mainly in sale of goods and services.

Liabilities

Liabilities arising from departmental activities at the end of 2018–19 were $985.2 million, an increase of $16.3 million compared to the previous year’s total liabilities of $968.9 million. The Department’s accounts payable and accrued liabilities represent the largest portion of the overall liability at $860.0 million which is attributed to accruals in support of programs such as AgriStability. The Department does not hold any liabilities on behalf of government.

Description of this image follows.

Description of the above image
Breakdown of Liabilities by Type
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities Other liabilities Vacation pay and compensatory leave Employee future benefits Deferred revenue Environmental liabilities Total Liabilities
$860.0 million / 87.3% $59.4 million / 6.0% $29.2 million / 3.0% $18.0 million / 1.8% $12.6 million / 1.3% $6.0 million / 0.6% $985.2 million

Assets

At the end of 2018–19, the Department held total gross financial assets of $1,154.2 million, consisting primarily of the asset due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. This category represents the net amount of cash that the Department was entitled to draw from the Consolidated Revenue Fund without further authorities to discharge its liabilities. Taking into account financial assets held on behalf of government which were $228.0 million, total net financial assets at the end of 2018–19 were $926.2 million, an increase of $44.1 million from the previous year’s net financial assets of $882.1 million. The change in total net financial assets was mainly due to an increase in the amounts due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The Department also held non-financial assets totalling $440.7 million at March 31, 2019, compared to $428.7 million at the same time in 2018.

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Assets by Type
Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund Tangible capital assets Loans receivable Accounts receivable and advances Prepaid expenses and inventory Total Assets (Gross)
$892.2 million / 55.9% $439.2 million / 27.5% $226.0 million / 14.2% $36.0 million / 2.3% $1.5 million / 0.1% $1,594.9 million

Note: Assets held on behalf of government are included in this graph.

Supplementary information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister: The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau
Institutional head: Chris Forbes, Deputy Minister
Ministerial portfolio: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Enabling instrument: Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Act, (R.S.C. 1985, c. A-9)
Year of incorporation / commencement: 1994

Raison d'être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

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

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

Operating context and key risks

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

Reporting Framework

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

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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Departmental Results Framework
Domestic and International Markets Science and Innovation Sector Risk
Core Responsibilities AAFC provides programs and services and works in collaboration with the sector to support its competitiveness at home and abroad. AAFC also works to increase opportunities for the sector to export its products by maintaining and expanding market access and advancing agricultural interests internationally. AAFC conducts scientific research, develops new knowledge and new technologies, and transfers the results to the agriculture and agri-food sector. AAFC also works with industry and other partners to strengthen the sector's capacity to develop and adopt innovative practices, products and processes. AAFC provides tools to mitigate the financial impact of risks beyond producers' control that threaten the viability of their operation. AAFC also works with the sector to ensure that systems, standards and tools are developed to support its ability to prevent and control risks and address market demands. Internal Services
Results The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector contributes to growing the economy Access to international markets is increased by resolving or mitigating market barriers and advancing trade positions The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector knowledge base is increased through AAFC supported scientific and innovative research The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is effective in transforming ideas into new products, processes or practices The agricultural sector is financially resilient The agriculture and agri-food sector is equipped with assurance systems and supporting tools Internal Services
Indicators
  • Percentage change in the economic performance of the agriculture and agri-food sector
  • Percentage change in agri-food products sold
  • Value of agriculture and agri-food exports
  • Degree to which AAFC advances the resolution or the mitigation of market access barriers, WTO disputes and technical trade issues
  • Degree to which AAFC advances trade policy through negotiations, agreements and discussions
  • Percentage of AAFC scientific publications produced through collaboration
  • Number of citations as a proportion of AAFC scientific publications
  • Number of new technologies, products, practices, processes or systems that are available for transfer to the sector
  • Percentage of farms adopting innovative practices
  • Percentage of processors developing and/or introducing innovations
  • Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability (water, soil, air quality, biodiversity)
  • Percentage change in the productivity of the agriculture and agri-food sector
  • Sector's income as a proportion of historical income
  • Percentage of financially healthy farms
  • Percentage of implementation plans for assurance projects reported to be functioning
Internal Services

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Program Inventory (2018-19)

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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Program Inventory (2018–19)
Domestic and International Markets Science and Innovation Sector Risk Internal Services
Programs
  • Trade and Market Expansion
  • Sector Engagement and Development
  • Farm Products Council of Canada
  • Dairy Programs
  • Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency
  • Water Infrastructure
  • Community Pastures
  • Federal, Provincial and Territorial Cost-shared Markets and Trade
  • Foundational Science and Research
  • AgriScience
  • AgriInnovate
  • Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program
  • Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program
  • Federal, Provincial and Territorial Cost-shared Science, Research, Innovation and Environment
  • AgriStability
  • AgriInsurance
  • AgriRisk
  • AgriInvest
  • AgriRecovery
  • Loan Guarantee Programs
  • Farm Debt Mediation Service
  • Pest Management
  • Assurance Program
  • Federal, Provincial and Territorial Cost-shared Assurance
  • Return of Payments
  • Management and Oversight Services
  • Communication Services
  • Legal Services
  • Human Resources Management Services
  • Financial Management Services
  • Information Management Services
  • Information Technology Services
  • Real Property Services
  • Material Services
  • Acquisition Services

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

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

Supporting information on the program Inventory

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

Supplementary information tables

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

Federal tax expenditures

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

Organizational contact information

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

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

Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Core Responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a three-year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
A Departmental Result represents the change or changes that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments' immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.
Departmental Result Indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.
Departmental Results Framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
Consists of the department's Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.
Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on an appropriated department's actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
experimentation (expérimentation)
Activities that seek to explore, test and compare the effects and impacts of policies, interventions and approaches, to inform evidence-based decision-making, by learning what works and what does not.
full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
An analytical process used to help identify the potential impacts of policies, Programs and services on diverse groups of women, men and gender differences. The "plus" in GBA+ acknowledges that the gender-based analysis goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ considers many other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2018–19 Departmental Results Report, those high-level themes outlining the government's agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada's Strength; and Security and Opportunity.
horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where two or more departments are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
performance 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 Main Estimates.
A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.
priority (priorité)
A plan or project that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Departmental Results.
program (programme)
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
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.
target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, Program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.
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