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2019-2020 Departmental Results Report

2019–20 Departmental Results Report (PDF version, 4.37 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 am pleased to present Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Departmental Results Report for 2019–20, an overview of our Government's ongoing collaboration with stakeholders to help Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector continue to innovate, grow and prosper.

2019–20 was a challenging year for Canadian farmers and food processors, with difficult growing conditions in many parts of the country, market access issues, transportation stoppages, and then the COVID-19 pandemic, which delivered an unprecedented shock to the whole value chain, from farmers to grocery stores. I am so proud of the hard work of the Department in engaging with the sector and government partners to identify strategies and rolling out support as soon as possible to help farmers and food processors maintain their cash flows and workforces, keep their facilities safe and manage processing slowdowns and surpluses, while maintaining our nation's food supply and helping feed vulnerable Canadians.

Trade remains the cornerstone of an industry that exports over half of its production by value. Our ambition to reach $75 billion in agriculture and agri-food exports by 2025 remains as strong as ever. In 2019–20, despite significant market challenges, Canada's agriculture and agri-food and seafood exports hit a new record of $67 billion – thanks to Canada's world-class agricultural products, our investments in market development, and our trade diversification strategy, with trade agreements covering over 60 percent of the world's economy in key markets in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. To build on that success, I continued to promote stable, reliable, and rules-based trade with our international partners through the World Trade Organization and the G20 – while supporting our supply-managed dairy, poultry and egg producers.

As well, we continued to roll out federal investments in agricultural science, including collaborative research clusters, which are delivering sustainable innovations such as climate-friendly livestock feeding strategies, and pest-resistant crop varieties. We hired new scientists and launched the first-ever Living Laboratories Initiative, working with farmers in Prince Edward Island and Manitoba to develop homegrown, collaborative solutions to local environmental farming issues, helping farmers by enhancing soil health, water quality, and crop productivity.

In 2019–20, I was also proud to launch the first-ever Food Policy for Canada, including the new Local Food Infrastructure Fund, which helped hundreds of food aid organizations purchase equipment such as refrigerated trucks, as well as personal protective equipment and other measures to keep serving vulnerable Canadians through the COVID-19 crisis.

Collaboration with all partners remains vital to our success. I continued to work closely with provinces, territories, and industry to deliver forward-focused investments under the $3-billion Canadian Agricultural Partnership, while ensuring our Business Risk Management programs meet the needs of farmers facing circumstances affecting the viability of their farms. Federal, provincial, and territorial Ministers of Agriculture made key improvements to the programs to help farmers weather the impact of a number of significant challenges, including market disruptions, extreme weather conditions and COVID-19, and we remain determined to fill the gaps and ensure the programs are as effective as they can be for the long term.

And since inclusion and diversity drive a stronger and more sustainable future, I continued to support the leadership of youth, women, and Indigenous peoples in the agriculture and agri-food sector, through key measures including announcing the first-ever Canadian Agricultural Youth Council, financial tools targeted to youth and women, and support for Indigenous agri-food entrepreneurs.

COVID-19 has exposed vulnerabilities in our food system and supply chains and challenges remain, but the future continues to be bright for Canada's agriculture and agri-food industry, which will clearly be a pillar of our country's economic recovery. As demand increases in Canada and around the world for wholesome and high quality food, I am confident our agriculture and food sector will capitalize on the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.

Building on our progress in 2019–20, I will continue to work collaboratively with my provincial, territorial, and industry partners to help everyone in the agri-food supply chain succeed in their vital task of feeding Canada and the world in a sustainable and innovative way that meets consumer needs, and leading Canada's economy towards even greater growth and prosperity.

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

Results at a glance and operating context

The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector brings significant economic benefits at both the provincial and national level. Identified as a key sector to support Canada's future growth, agriculture drives $67 billion of Canadian exports (2019). In addition, the agriculture and agri-food system, which includes all stages of the value chain from farm input suppliers to food retail and service providers, generates approximately $143 billion of the country's gross domestic product (2019), and accounts for one in eight jobs, employing approximately 2.3 million Canadians.

Many factors contribute to the performance of the sector, and the agricultural operating environment is rapidly evolving as new opportunities and challenges arise. In 2019–20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continued its work in collaboration with portfolio partners, other government departments, provincial and territorial governments, industry, and other partners, to create conditions for the long-term profitability, sustainability, and adaptability of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector. The total resources utilized by the Department in 2019–20 are as follows:

Total actual spending

$2,567,930,523

Total actual full-time equivalents

4,831

In 2019–20, the Department delivered year two of the five-year, $3-billion Canadian Agricultural Partnership policy framework, including through federal programs and activities, and by supporting provinces and territories in their delivery of cost-shared programming in their jurisdictions. Efforts focused on the Partnership's priority areas of growing trade and expanding markets; innovative and sustainable sector growth; and a diverse, dynamic and evolving sector. Departmental results achievements in 2019–20, as outlined below, also aligned with commitments from the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food's mandate letter, broader Government of Canada priorities, and the Department's three core responsibilities.

Enhanced export growth and market diversification, and supported the sector to seize market opportunities

With over half of the value of Canadian agricultural production being exported, the growth of the sector is significantly influenced by increasing global demand for agricultural products, shifting consumer preferences, access to new and emerging markets, and continued access to existing markets. Departmental efforts in 2019–20 contributed to the achievement of results in these areas including by supporting the ratification of the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement as well as through negotiating and implementing trade agreements with other key international partners. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada also worked to promote trade opportunities for the agriculture and agri-food sector resulting from the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Approximately three-quarters of Canada's agriculture and agri-food exports are destined for countries where Canada has a trade agreement that is signed or in force. However, increasing protectionism in other countries could lead to new tariffs or non-tariff barriers that could threaten the economic outlook for producers who depend on export markets. Advocating for a predictable and stable rules-based trade environment can help to mitigate these risks, and the Department works closely with trading partners, other federal departments, and the World Trade Organization to do this, and to prevent, resolve, or mitigate market disruptions. Since March 2019, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have been working through all available channels to restore full market access for Canadian canola exports to China. This ongoing work to assist the agriculture and agri-food sector in capitalizing on both domestic and international market opportunities aligns with the Government of Canada's trade priorities, including objectives to increase and diversify Canadian exports.

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. In turn, these efforts help to strengthen the sector's competitive advantages and foster growth, while supporting Government of Canada commitments related to clean growth and the climate change agenda. An increasingly collaborative approach is being used across government, industry, and academia to build the agriculture and agri-food sector's scientific capacity to address emerging opportunities and challenges, and to better reflect Canada's diversity. In 2019–20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada contributed to these collective efforts by hiring 30 new scientists in critical new fields. In doing so, consideration was given to Indigenous candidates and to achieving gender parity among the new researchers. Of the new hires, two were Indigenous scientists and 43 percent were women, helping to grow the federal capacity for agricultural science and close the representation gap.

In addition, the Department launched the first two Living Laboratories sites in Canada in 2019–20. These sites are the first of what will become a nationwide network bringing federal research teams, farmers, and other partners together to explore and test innovative solutions in a real-life context. Through this work, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continued making critical contributions to agricultural science and innovation research, including with respect to environmental and clean technology projects. The Department also worked to modernize its science sector strategies, to ensure its ability to remain agile and results-oriented in its science and innovation efforts, while supporting the needs of the agriculture industry and broader Government of Canada priorities.

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

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Along with the complex economic forces at play within a competitive global marketplace, due to the nature of their businesses, Canadian farmers face risks posed by extreme weather events and animal or plant disease outbreaks. Sustainable growth in the sector rests on the effective implementation of tools to assist producers when they face significant risks. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continues to deliver its suite of Business Risk Management programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, to assist producers in managing risks that could threaten the viability of their operations. In 2019–20, the Department implemented adjustments to AgriStability and the Advance Payments Program for the 2019 program year, to better help producers affected by market disruptions and other production challenges.

In addition, the Department continued to work with provincial and territorial partners, as well as with industry stakeholders, to explore ways to further improve Business Risk Management programs. This included examining options to strengthen the core suite of programs and to address challenges with the AgriStability program; supporting the development of producer-led risk management tools; and improving risk management education and communication within the sector.

Launched the Food Policy for Canada

The Government of Canada launched the Food Policy for Canada in June 2019, informed by extensive consultations that took place across the country beginning in 2017. The objective of the Food Policy is to create a more coordinated food systems-based approach to food-related opportunities and challenges in Canada. Budget 2019 announced funding of over $134 million to deliver a number of new initiatives in collaboration with other government departments, as well as representatives from industry, academia, civil society, and health professions. Several initiatives were identified as part of the Food Policy, including the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, the Food Waste Reduction Challenge, the Buy Canadian Promotion Campaign, and the creation of a Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council. The Food Policy supports the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food's mandate letter commitment to help Canadian communities access healthy food, make Canadian food the top choice at home and abroad, support food security in northern and Indigenous communities, and reduce food waste.

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 - Domestic and International Markets

In 2019–20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supported the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector to take advantage of market and trade opportunities, and worked to enhance the sector's domestic and international competitiveness. Increasing and diversifying Canada's agriculture and agri-food exports contributes to the Government of Canada's trade agenda and its overall priority for economic growth, and supports commitments in the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food's mandate letter.

Result 1: The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector contributes to growing the economy

The agriculture and agri-food sector is a significant contributor to the Canadian economy, employing 2.3 million people and contributing approximately $143 billion to Canada's gross domestic product in 2019. Seizing opportunities in both domestic and international markets is critical to the economic growth and profitability of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.

Informed by the Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table recommendations from 2018, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continues to work with government and industry partners to enhance the competitive position of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector, with a focus on increasing value-added production and attracting increased investment to the sector. In 2019–20, the Department engaged in industry discussions through the Value-Chain Roundtables regarding the state of the business environment and sector competitiveness in areas such as labour, innovation, and regulation. The Department is also implementing an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Investment Attraction Strategy, in line with the Government of Canada's broader priorities for investment attraction. The strategy seeks to raise the profile and awareness of the investment opportunities in the agriculture and agri-food sector among government investment attraction partners, including Canadian Trade Commissioners and the Invest in Canada Agency.

Increased and diversified trade and investment are also Government of Canada priorities as a means to advance economic growth. In 2019–20, the Department focused efforts on supporting the Export Diversification Strategy (launched through the 2018 Fall Economic Statement), which seeks to increase overall Canadian exports by 50 percent by 2025 through improved access to new markets and strengthened trade with Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, investments in the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service support the growth of Canadian exports including for the agriculture and agri-food sector. In 2019–20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada created six new positions abroad in Germany, India, Mexico, Vietnam, Korea, and the Philippines to support trade and market development in these key markets.

The Department continues to support the agriculture and agri-food sector, through its integrated efforts with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, to take advantage of international opportunities and to maintain or expand market access towards achieving the target of $75 billion in agri-food exports by 2025. In 2019–20, activities were undertaken to promote Canadian agri-food products in key markets, including China, the United States, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, India, and the United Arab Emirates. This work involved participation and promotion at international trade shows, ongoing advocacy efforts at events or industry meetings, market development coordination and branding activities in priority markets, the development of sector prioritization models to highlight opportunities in key markets, and ongoing communication of market intelligence.

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 Canadian economy through the agriculture and agri-food sector. In 2019–20, the economic performance of the agriculture and agri-food sector surpassed its annual growth target, and the overall value of Canadian agricultural exports reached $67 billion, representing a continued increase toward Canada's ultimate target of $75 billion in agriculture and agri-food exports by 2025. However, the percentage change of agri-food products sold was the same or lower than in previous years (from 3.8 percent in 2017–18 to 2.8 percent in both 2018–19 and 2019–20), due to a number of factors including market access issues, transportation infrastructure disruptions, labour shortages, or regulatory challenges.

Result 2: Access to international markets is increased by resolving or mitigating market barriers and advancing trade positions

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; advocating for science-based trade rules; and addressing trade irritants. 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 for the 2019–20 year.

In November 2018, Canada, the United States and Mexico signed the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement, modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement and preserving duty-free access to North American markets for a wide range of Canadian agricultural products, while reinforcing Canada's strong economic ties with the United States and Mexico in general. The United States is the largest market for Canadian agriculture and agri-food exports, with total two-way trade for agriculture and agri-food products between the United States and Canada reaching over US$50 billion in 2019. Throughout 2019–20, the Department supported work towards the ratification and implementation of the Agreement (entering into force as of July 1, 2020), in collaboration with other federal departments and portfolio partners, such as Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, while ensuring that the agriculture and agri-food sector had the information it needed to understand and benefit from the opportunities contained in the Agreement. The Department continues to promote the importance and benefits of the Agreement to maintain Canada's strong integrated supply chains and trade opportunities.

The Department continues to work with other partners to deliver on the Government's commitments to market diversification and to increase exports of agriculture and agri-food products, including through the promotion of new trade opportunities in Europe and Asia resulting from the implementation of the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, and the entry into force of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. With both agreements in place, Canadian farmers and producers have preferential market access to an estimated 1.5 billion consumers in more than 50 countries. Throughout 2019–20, the Department supported the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food and other senior government officials on international trade missions to key markets to advance agricultural trade and promote the safety and quality of Canadian agri-food products. The Department also made several market access gains to diversify export markets across Latin America and Asia. A key achievement included the restoration of access for beef and pork products to China. The Department will continue to assist businesses in seizing new opportunities in these markets.

In August 2019, the Government of Canada announced additional compensation for supply-managed dairy producers following the entry into force of the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. As provided in Budget 2019, the federal government will make available $1.75 billion over eight years to Canada's dairy farmers, with $345 million allocated in the first year, as direct payments to all dairy producers in proportion to their quota held. In the first year of the new Dairy Direct Payment Program which ended March 31, 2020, a total of over $338 million in direct payments were made to all eligible producers who submitted an application. The Department will continue working with stakeholders to determine the terms and conditions for future compensation, including for impacts resulting from the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement. This work supports the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food's mandate letter commitment to continue working with supply-managed agricultural sectors to develop a vision for the future.

Efforts in 2019–20 sought to advance Canadian agricultural interests in ongoing trade negotiations, including with member countries of MERCOSUR (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) and the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru). In 2019–20, the Department participated in bilateral discussions with the United Kingdom towards maintaining preferential trade relations after Brexit; and assisted in the implementation of the modernized Free Trade Agreement with Israel, which entered into force on September 1, 2019. In collaboration with other federal partners, the Department continued to pursue exploratory discussions towards free trade agreement negotiations with other markets, such as the Association of South-East Asian Nations.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continued to advance Canadian trade interests in multilateral fora, including at the World Trade Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, international standard-setting bodies (Codex Alimentarius, the International Plant Protection Convention, and the World Organization for Animal Health) and other multilateral institutions. Efforts in 2019–20 included actively promoting trade facilitative approaches in priority areas such as innovative agricultural technologies, and seeking to address any attempted shift away from transparent regulatory systems based on science and risk. Funding to the international standard-setting bodies also supported efforts to prevent the spread of African Swine Fever in the Americas. In addition, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is actively contributing to the work that Canada is undertaking with like-minded countries to modernize the World Trade Organization by providing policy advice that reflects the interests and realities of Canadian agriculture.

Working to restore full market access for Canadian canola in China

The Canadian canola industry contributed almost $27 billion annually to the Canadian economy and exported over $11 billion in canola products to over 50 markets in 2018. In 2019–20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada worked to resolve or mitigate market access barriers and to advance priority market access issues, particularly for exports of canola and grains and oilseeds to Asia.

Beginning in March 2019, the General Administration of Customs in China suspended the licenses of two Canadian companies to export canola seed to China citing non-compliance with their plant health requirements, and strengthened their inspection measures on all Canadian canola seed shipments.

Since then, the Department has been working through all bilateral and multilateral channels to restore full access for canola exporters, including consultations at the World Trade Organization as well as technical visits and discussions with China. The Government–Industry Canola Working Group was established and met throughout 2019–20 to work collaboratively on restoring market access for canola seed exports to China. The working group, co-chaired by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the President of the Canola Council of Canada, included representatives from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Canadian Canola Growers Association, as well as provincial officials from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba and other industry stakeholders. The Government of Canada will continue to engage on this issue and is committed to restoring full market access.

To support Canadian producers in managing the impacts of these market disruptions, the Department announced a temporary increase in loan limits to advance up to $1 million under the Advance Payments Program and an extension to the AgriStability enrollment deadline for the 2019 program year, to help ease cash flow pressures for farmers.

Gender-based analysis plus - Domestic and International Markets

In 2019–20, as part of its work to enhance the competitive position of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector, the Department advanced efforts to revitalize the Value Chain Roundtables to create a more strategic forum for industry–government collaboration, with a greater focus on cross-cutting issues through thematic tables. This revitalization provided an opportunity to “reset” the membership at all tables, in order to consider a well-balanced and diverse representation of interests and expertise including women, Indigenous peoples, and youth. Building on work initiated in 2018–19, these underrepresented groups are now more formally incorporated in the criteria used to assess the eligibility of new members. The proposed new roundtable structure, which will be deployed in the 2020–21 fiscal year, also identifies three specific fora for underrepresented groups: the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council launched in January 2020 (see highlight box); an Indigenous Roundtable; and the design of a women's task force, which will progress through 2020–21.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has been exploring ways to increase the participation of underrepresented groups and strengthen diversity in the agriculture and agri-food sector. The Department is committed to developing a strategy to address gender gaps across the agriculture and agri-food value chain. In 2019–20, the initial phase of work was focused on conducting research through a female-gendered lens to better understand dynamics across the sector and identify what other organizations have been doing to increase the economic participation of women. In 2020–21, work will focus on further research and engagement with stakeholders to better understand the barriers as well as identify potential areas for action. This will include engagement with the Value Chain Roundtable women's task force once it has been formed.

In addition, as part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the AgriDiversity program is aimed at helping organizations focus on national-scale projects that build the capacity of underrepresented groups, such as women, youth, Indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities, to better participate in the agriculture and agri-food sector. The program supports projects undertaken by not-for-profit organizations, as well as official language minority communities working to help these underrepresented groups.

One example of a project that received funding support was a train-the-trainer initiative which was aimed at building the entrepreneurial capacity and business skills of Indigenous women in relation to the agriculture and agri-food sector. By helping to increase the training available, it is anticipated that these projects will promote entrepreneurship and careers in the agriculture and agri-food sector, and help First Nations, Metis, Inuit, non-Indigenous youth, and women through the provision of education, training, mentorship and hands-on learning opportunities.

Agricultural Youth Council

In January 2020, the Government of Canada announced the launch of Canada's first Agricultural Youth Council, seeking membership applications from young people who are working in the agriculture and agri-food value chain.

This diverse group from across the country, including representation from Indigenous communities, will provide advice and share information on agriculture and agri-food issues such as sustainable agriculture, market diversification and innovation, intergenerational transfers, mental health, as well as other emerging challenges and opportunities.

The Council is expected to meet multiple times annually, and members will have an opportunity to participate in other roundtable discussions or other government and industry events. The Council will provide an important forum for members to work with the federal government and national organizations through ongoing dialogue, and will enable the next generation of agricultural leaders to provide their advice on the policies and programs affecting the sector. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced the 25 members of the first council on July 27, 2020.

Experimentation - Domestic and International Markets

In 2019–20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada was engaged with the Privy Council Office Impact and Innovation Unit in the design of challenge prizes to address food waste as part of the Food Policy for Canada initiatives. Through a fellowship program, a subject-matter expert was engaged to support the Department in structuring the design process and producing key documentation. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada was able to scope the focus areas for the food waste challenge and initiate the design, which will be completed in 2020–21. The Food Waste Reduction Challenge was included under the Privy Council Office's overall framework for evaluation of challenge prizes. This review, led by the Privy Council Office with support from Statistics Canada and other implementing departments, evaluates the use of challenge prizes as innovation mechanisms by the government in order to provide insight into the impact of this approach on achieving policy outcomes.

In addition, the AgriDiversity Program is exploring the possibility of experimenting with a new collaborative application and partnership model. This is aimed at increasing the level of interest and number of applications which the program receives, targeted specifically to advancing the participation of women and women's groups which have historically been underrepresented in the sector. This work will continue to be pursued in 2020–21.

Food Policy for Canada

On June 17, 2019, the Government of Canada launched the Food Policy for Canada with a vision that, "All people in Canada are able to access a sufficient amount of safe, nutritious and culturally diverse food. Canada's food system is resilient and innovative, sustains our environment and supports our economy." The objective of the Food Policy is to ensure a reliable access to healthy food for all Canadians while addressing ongoing challenges, such as reducing food waste.

The Food Policy is the product of extensive consultation and collaboration since 2017 with Canadians; food producers and processors; Indigenous groups; experts in environment, health, and food security; non-government organizations; and community advocates. Implementation of the various initiatives under the Food Policy will be delivered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, as well as other government departments and agencies including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and Employment and Social Development Canada.

Through Budget 2019, the Government of Canada invested $134 million for a number of new initiatives that were announced in 2019–20 as part of the Food Policy:

In addition, the Department is supporting the delivery of other Food Policy initiatives led by other federal departments, including:

Results achieved - Domestic and International Markets
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18
Actual results
2018–19
Actual results
2019–20
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
March 31, 2020 2.5%[1] 2.5%[1] 2.5%
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
March 31, 2020 3.8% 2.8% 2.8%[2]
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector contributes to growing the economy Value of agriculture and agri-food exports $75.0 billion December 31, 2025 $64.8 billion $66.2 billion $67.0 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, 2020 Not available 85% 84%
Access to international markets is increased by resolving or mitigating market barriers and advancing trade position 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, 2020 Not available 87% 87%

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

  1. Past results are based on revised Gross Domestic Product data by Statistics Canada, as of July 2019.
  2. A complex interaction of risk factors have contributed to this indicator not reaching its target in 2019–20, including labour shortages, foreign market access issues, transportation infrastructure disruptions, low technology investment, and regulatory challenges. Further reduction in agri-food product sales due to reduced consumption in the service sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic could affect the Department's ability to successfully achieve this results target 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) - Domestic and International Markets
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2019-20
Total authorities
available for use
2019–20
Actual spending (authorities used)
2019–20
Difference (actual spending minus
planned spending)
236,376,062 236,376,062 654,422,145 622,424,048 386,047,986

Note: Actual spending was greater than planned spending primarily due to support for the new Dairy Direct Payment Program as well as the new Food Policy for Canada initiatives, as announced in Budget 2019.

Human resources (full-time equivalents) - Domestic and International Markets
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Actual full-time equivalents
2019–20
Difference (actual full-time equivalents minus planned
full-time equivalents)
514 519 5

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

Science and Innovation

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

Results highlights - Science and Innovation

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Science and Innovation activities in 2019–20, in continued collaboration with industry, academia, and other federal, provincial, and territorial government partners, helped to maximize science capacity and better position the agriculture and agri-food sector for future success. Scientific research enhances knowledge and drives new ideas that lead to innovative products, processes, and practices. In turn, transforming these innovations into practical applications serves to strengthen productivity, while helping the sector address and adapt to challenges. Departmental efforts related to the Science and Innovation core responsibility are essential for improving the competitiveness of the agriculture and agri-food sector, while enhancing environmental sustainability and fostering Canada's economic growth.

Result 1: The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector knowledge base is increased through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supported scientific and innovative research

In 2019–20, efforts at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continued to advance the Government of Canada's commitment to innovation. The Advance Agricultural Discovery Science and Innovation Initiative, an investment from the 2017 federal budget, seeks to help address significant environmental challenges and increase science capacity. This included hiring the next generation of federal research scientists and science professionals, and equipping them with state-of-the-art tools. In 2019–20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada hired 30 new scientists in emerging fields such as predictive analytics, phenomics, and clean technologies, in addition to four from the previous year. By the end of 2020–21, it is expected that approximately 75 new positions will have been filled, growing the federal agriculture science capacity in these critical new areas.

The science requirements of the agriculture and agri-food sector continue to grow in complexity. New technologies are emerging, the federal policy and program landscape is changing, and the capacity of other key entities in Canada's agri-innovation system – such as provincial and territorial governments, universities, and the private sector – continues to evolve. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continues to work collaboratively with provincial, territorial, academic, and industry partners, to identify future research priorities and potential gaps. For example, the Department successfully engaged representatives from the AgriScience Program clusters and the federal, provincial and territorial Innovation Working Group in policy and program discussions to identify opportunities in the agriculture and agri-food sector. As a leader in agricultural research and development, the Department must regularly examine and modernize its own delivery of science and technology to ensure the continued growth and development of a competitive, innovative, and sustainable sector.

In this context, in 2019–20, the Department also continued to advance a review and refresh of its nine sector science strategies. These strategies outline the Department's priorities for scientific research and development and outline the role Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will play in relation to other organizations. Efforts were undertaken across the Department and with key partners to gather strategic insights on the main challenges confronting the agriculture and agri-food sector. These insights informed the development of advice on how Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada can best position itself to be agile and responsive to opportunities, and on how departmental roles should evolve in relation to other partners in agricultural innovation. As part of the sector strategy refresh process, the Department is assessing how to best leverage its strengths and expertise as a leader, collaborator, and convener in research and development going forward, while supporting Government of Canada and agricultural priorities. This ongoing work will allow Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to continue delivering effective science results for the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector and for Canadians.

Investing in innovation to advance Canada’s food processing

On August 28, 2019, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced an investment in the Food and Beverage Cluster through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership's AgriScience Program. Clusters bring together government, industry, and academia to drive growth in Canada's agricultural industry. The Food and Beverage Cluster, led by Canadian Food Innovators, will support 10 projects that focus on cutting-edge research on product and technology innovations in cereals, oats, pulses, and new ingredients that serve as natural preservatives.

This research and innovation will help accelerate product development, innovation, and technology adoption in Canada's food and beverage processing sector by funding projects under three streams: innovative solutions to food processing challenges; collaborative projects in automation, packaging, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology; and pilot-scale equipment at Canada's food and beverage innovation centres.

One activity is exploring how to best apply pulsed light technology during a final stage of processing as an additional step to ensure frozen vegetables are listeria-free. Listeria is a leading cause of foodborne illness and a priority pathogen in the processed frozen vegetable sector.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's efforts to increase federal agriculture science capacity in new and emerging areas of research, and to leverage the Department's strengths to collaborate and convene research and development activities, contribute to the increase of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector's knowledge base. Departmental results in this area are assessed against indicators that measure the level of collaboration or citation involved in departmental scientific publications. For 2019–20, these results were on track, meeting the targets established for at least 75% of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientific publications in collaboration with external partners and an average of 15 citations per departmental scientific publication, over a five-year period from 2014 to 2019.

Result 2: The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is effective in transforming ideas into new products, processes, or practices

Supporting scientific research helps the sector to identify new ideas and solutions, and to keep pace with the demand for sustainability attributes in agri-food products. Building on that research through investments to help commercialize and adopt innovations, allows those ideas to be transformed into new business practices. In 2019–20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continued to assist industry in addressing the financial gap between research and application and to mitigate the risks associated with adopting new technologies in commercial-level production. For example, funding under the AgriInnovate Program allowed for the purchase and installation of three new-to-Canada technologies that will help advance processing for a company in the apple industry, enabling increased capacity and improved efficiency. Another example of funding facilitated the installation of robotic equipment to automate production and create new production lines for allergen-free healthy snacks, resulting in an increase of production and sales. By investing in innovation, Canadian companies are able to introduce new products to the market and grow the food processing industry. Ongoing efforts to assist agricultural, agri-food, and agri-based businesses in being innovative and sustainable, serves to strengthen the sector's ability to compete in the global economy.

In support of the sustainable management of agriculture resources, the Department also continued to advance collaborative research projects through the Living Laboratories Initiative. The goal of the Initiative is to establish a network of sites where groups both inside and outside government can work together to co-develop, assess, and implement innovative solutions to address persistent agri-environmental issues. Farmers work directly with scientists and other partners to conduct experiments right on their farms, allowing beneficial management practices and technologies to be adopted faster through collaboration. A Canadian-led agroecosystem living laboratories approach was endorsed by the G20 Ministers of Agriculture in 2018 and 2019 as a novel way to accelerate the development of sustainable agricultural practices and technologies around the world.

The Department is establishing a coordinated, long-term, nationwide network of Living Laboratories sites, the first two sites were launched in 2019 in Manitoba and Prince Edward Island. In the Prairie region (Manitoba), projects are led by the Manitoba Association of Watersheds with a consortium of 13 partners including Swan Lake First Nation, supported by 18 departmental scientists and researchers from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment and Climate Change Canada. Activities focus on climate change, soil health, water quality, and biodiversity. In 2019–20, over 400 producers participated in knowledge- transfer outreach events related to the project.

In the Atlantic region (Prince Edward Island) work is led by the East Prince Agri-Environment Association. More than a dozen organizations and 20 scientific teams have partnered to collectively identify environmental issues to tackle and then develop, test, monitor, and implement beneficial management practices focusing on water management, fertilizer use, conservation of soil organic matter, and nutrient losses due to soil erosion. The next two sites are slated to launch in 2020 in Ontario and Quebec, so efforts in 2019–20 focused on developing collaborative proposals for both provinces. Through these distinct Living Laboratories, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continues to pursue improved agroecosystem resilience, the adoption of innovations, and more sustainable and competitive production practices for the Canadian agriculture sector.

Mitigating and adapting to climate change is critical for environmental sustainability and the economy, and the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector can be an important contributor to climate change solutions. In 2019–20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada developed its first climate risk assessment to review, prioritize, identify, and more clearly document adaptation measures to address existing and evolving climate risks to its mandate and areas of responsibility. This assessment provides an overview of climate change impacts on Canadian agriculture, identifies further actions the Department could take to include climate change considerations in departmental processes, and highlights existing programs and services designed to help the sector adapt to climate change and address related soil and water conservation issues. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada also continued to promote the advancement and adoption of agricultural clean technologies, including through Department-led innovation and programming. The Department also undertook innovative research and development activities to contribute to the sustainable growth of the sector with climate change considerations in mind.

For example, departmental research on sustainable agricultural practices to improve water quality will inform both national and international policies and help shape future research direction in the field of water quality. In addition, continued efforts to develop decision-support tools, such as those related to drought, crop yield, and pest monitoring and forecasting, as well as resource use and efficiency, help enable the on-farm management of environmental and climate challenges within the sector, including through the use of tailored input. Through a continued focus on the development and adoption of improved management practices through research, development, and programming support, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Science and Innovation efforts help expand sector competitiveness, while supporting Canadian farmers as responsible stewards of the land.

The Department's ability to support the sector in transforming ideas into new products, processes or practices is assessed by several results indicators measuring the development or adoption of new innovations in the sector. The Department continues to meet its target for an average development of 100 new innovations annually within the Canadian Agricultural Partnership policy framework. These innovations include examples such as using new feeding systems to improve manure management, new technology to help in the reduction of pesticide contamination in waterways, and new monitoring systems for greenhouses to improve efficiency. Other results are more long term in nature and will continue to be pursued.

Gender-based analysis plus - Science and Innovation

The Department continued to seek opportunities to ensure that diverse and underrepresented groups are considered in its ongoing science hiring efforts. For example, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has initiated multi-year staffing plans through the Advancing Agricultural Discovery Science and Innovation Accelerated Staffing Initiative for science-based positions, with a commitment to gender parity and to provide opportunities for Indigenous applicants to close the representation gaps in science. In the last half of 2019–20, 55 percent of new hires in scientific positions were women, with an overall rate of 43 percent for the year. The Department has also been proactive in ensuring that hiring managers are engaged and working toward the objective of meeting gender parity and increasing representation of women and Indigenous groups. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has put a dedicated staffing board in place to lead Indigenous hiring in science – two new Indigenous scientists were hired in 2019–20. Furthermore, in the summer of 2019, 67 Indigenous students were hired to support STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) initiatives as a result of the outreach activities by the Indigenous Student Recruitment Initiative under the Indigenous Support and Awareness Office.

The Indigenous Support and Awareness Office has also continued to support staff, researchers, and managers in effectively and respectfully building relationships, engaging, and co-developing science activities and research projects with Indigenous partners. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada led the establishment of the interdepartmental Indigenous STEM (I-STEM) cluster, a collaborative interdepartmental team of employees from across the natural resource science-based departments aimed at accelerating support for Indigenous-led science and innovation. The I-STEM cluster will facilitate the broader adoption across all participating departments of effective approaches already in place in an individual department within the cluster. It will also help create new ways for departments to support Indigenous aspirations in agriculture and natural resource stewardship through the bridging of Indigenous and western science knowledge systems. The I-STEM cluster builds on the foundational work of the Indigenous Support and Awareness Office.

In support of the government-wide priority to promote gender equality, diversity and inclusiveness, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Women in Science Network launched an initiative to capture and explain the depth and diversity of the role of the Department's female scientists, past and present. The Network routinely facilitates webinars and training sessions to support members on issues of importance (e.g. unconscious bias). By increasing the information available, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada aims to reach, educate, and influence youth about possible career paths and inspire the next generation of Canadian female agricultural scientists.

Experimentation - Science and Innovation

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continues to explore ways to incorporate experimentation into its Science and Innovation efforts, including through program delivery models. For example, the Agricultural Clean Technology Program, as originally announced, was structured to provide funding outside the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to provincial and territorial governments, to design and deliver greenhouse gas reduction initiatives unique to their respective agriculture and agri-food sectors. However, under this approach, applications to the program were low. To address low program uptake, an experimental amendment to the delivery of the Agricultural Clean Technology Program was approved in 2018. The new approach allows industry, rather than only governments, to apply directly for funding, with the requirement that the applicants obtain a 10 percent financial contribution from a sponsoring province. This has resulted in a 700 percent increase in applications to the program over 2018, while still maintaining the program objective of supporting provincial- and territorial-led solutions for achieving greenhouse gas reductions. The research gathered using this experimental approach will be considered during the development of the next agricultural policy framework.

Results achieved - Science and Innovation
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18
Actual results
2018–19
Actual results
2019–20
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 76% 73% 77%
The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector knowledge base is increased through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supported scientific and innovative research Number of citations as a proportion of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientific publications

15 citations per Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada publication

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

March 31, 2020[1]

15

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

15

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

Not available

(results available in January 2021; for citations from 2015 to 2020)

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 104 106 108
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]

53%

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

Not available

(results available in 2021)

Not available

(results available in 2023)

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

75%

Food processors with sales of $1 million or more introducing at least one innovation between 2021 and 2023[3]

March 31, 2023 Not available Not available

72%

Based on survey results for 2016 to 2018

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 Not available

Not available

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

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

1.4%

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

December 31, 2026[6] Not available Not available

Not available

(results available in 2022)

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

0.2%

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

December 31, 2026[7] Not available Not available

Not available

(results available in 2023)

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

  1. Indicator has a five-year lag time between time of publication and citations. Results in 2020 will be based on publications as of 2015.
  2. Indicator has a two-year lag time; 2023 result will be available in March 2025. Although the Farm Financial Survey takes place every two years, questions relevant to the adoption of innovation are asked every four years.
  3. Results are based on responses to the "Survey on Innovation in the Food Processing Industry", held every five years.
  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) - Science and Innovation
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2019-20
Total authorities
available for use
2019–20
Actual spending (authorities used)
2019–20
Difference (actual spending minus planned spending)
587,129,203 587,129,203 616,576,227 590,348,161 3,218,958
Human resources (full-time equivalents) - Science and Innovation
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Actual full-time equivalents
2019–20
Difference (actual full-time equivalents minus planned
full-time equivalents)
2,711 2,650 (61)

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

Sector Risk

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

Results highlights - Sector Risk

The growth and resiliency of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector relies on an effective suite of risk management tools that help farmers face various risks in managing their operations. These may include production risks resulting from weather events, pests, or diseases that impact their crops and livestock, or risks related to market conditions such as supply and demand fluctuations and volatilities in world markets.

The Department, in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, continues to deliver a comprehensive suite of Business Risk Management programs and services that help producers when risks are beyond their capacity to manage. In addition, the Department supports the development of assurance systems that help the agriculture and agri-food sector respond to consumer and market demands while protecting it against threats to plant and animal health. The Department's Sector Risk activities are critical to ensure a reliable supply of Canadian food products, to maintain consumer confidence in the agricultural supply chain, and to support the ultimate result of a financially resilient agriculture and agri-food sector.

Result 1: The agricultural sector is financially resilient

The Business Risk Management programs suite provides approximately $1.5 billion in annual support to producers, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and through cost-shared programming with provincial and territorial governments. These programs are designed to help Canadian agricultural producers manage significant risks that can threaten the viability of their operations – risks such as drought, flood, hail, declining international or regional commodity prices, increasing cost of inputs, pests and diseases, or border closures. When these risks are beyond their capacity to manage, Business Risk Management programs help to ensure that producers can withstand the impacts from a severe event and remain productive.

In 2019–20, the Department continued to deliver its suite of Business Risk Management programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership:

In 2019–20, changes were made to Business Risk Management programs to help producers affected by market disruptions and other production challenges caused by extreme weather conditions. In May 2019, the Government of Canada announced a two-month extension to the AgriStability enrollment deadline for the 2019 program year, extending the deadline without penalty from April 30 to July 2, 2019, to make it easier for producers to participate in the program. Changes were also introduced to the Advance Payments Program, as noted below, to help farm operations manage cash flow concerns. These adjustments helped to ensure that producers had timely and efficient access to Business Risk Management programming support.

Advance Payments Program

In June 2019, the Government of Canada implemented new regulations to strengthen and enhance the Advance Payments Program, providing farmers with more flexibility to manage farm operations, adjust marketing plans, and explore new market opportunities. The amendments allowed for increased loan limits of up to $1 million on all commodities (from the previous limit of $400,000). In addition, the changes increased the interest-free portion of the loans for canola advances, up to $500,000 for the 2019 program year. All other commodities continue to receive up to $100,000 interest-free. As of March 2020, over 1,500 producers benefited from the increased loan limits under the Advance Payments Program, and more than $792 million in advances were issued to these producers.

In addition, crop producers impacted by recent market disruptions were granted a Stay of Default covering advances on grains, oilseeds, and pulses. As announced in August 2019, producers were eligible for an additional six months to repay 2018 cash advances under the Advance Payments Program.

Financial resiliency in the agriculture and agri-food sector is measured against indicators and targets that assess the percentage of financially healthy farms in Canada and sector income levels as compared to historical averages. For 2019–20, results show that the Department remains on track to achieve these targets, with sector operating income over the target of 85 percent of the five-year average, and over 90 percent of farms assessed as financially healthy (based on data from the 2017 Farm Financial Survey). Despite facing challenges in 2019–20, these results reflect the fact that, overall, the agriculture and agri-food sector as a whole continues to experience growth. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic beginning in March 2020, the Department will continue to monitor financial pressures on Canadian farm operations and ensure that Business Risk Management tools provide the support needed to manage impacts of the crisis and other risks faced by the sector.

In 2019–20, the Department continued to work with provincial and territorial partners and industry stakeholders following assessments on the effectiveness and impact of the Business Risk Management program suite, to ensure that the programs continue to work as intended. This ongoing work supports the commitment in the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food's mandate letter to undertake a review of risk management programs, with a special focus on AgriStability, and to provide faster and better-adapted support to producers in managing business risks.

In terms of addressing the complexity, timeliness and predictability of the AgriStability program, Department officials consulted with the National Program Advisory Committee on options that were ultimately presented to federal, provincial, and territorial Ministers of Agriculture in December 2019. The proposed changes to the treatment of private insurance and the launch of a pilot project in selected jurisdictions to use tax return information to simplify the application process, will be implemented to the AgriStability program starting in the 2020 program year. Federal, provincial, and territorial officials continue to examine options for broader program changes to AgriStability that can be implemented in future program years, in consultation with the National Program Advisory Committee.

Federal, provincial, and territorial governments continue to work collaboratively to respond to other recommendations, including efforts to improve risk management communication and education. As a result of the Workshop on Risk Management Education held in March 2019, recommendations and potential actions to improve the adoption of sound risk management practices by producers were presented to federal, provincial, and territorial Ministers in July 2019. Work with Farm Management Canada, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, and other industry associations will continue to promote risk management educational opportunities in industry communications and meetings.

In addition to ongoing work on the Business Risk Management program suite, the Department remains actively engaged with industry stakeholders, provincial and territorial governments, and other federal departments to enhance awareness of emergency preparedness and planning; share information related to key risks; and develop best practices to mitigate the impacts of emergency events. In response to the risk of an African Swine Fever outbreak in Canada, the Department has been working in collaboration with industry to develop policy objectives and a toolbox of options to help prevent an outbreak, or to prepare and respond to potential impacts in the event that an outbreak occurs. The establishment of an Incident Management System in 2019–20 that better ensures efficient communication of critical information with internal and external stakeholders also contributed to the Department's enhanced capacity to respond to emergency events.

Result 2: The agriculture and agri-food sector is equipped with assurance systems and supporting 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.

In this respect, the AgriAssurance Program, launched under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, helps industry to 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 under the program's national industry association component supports projects at a national level that help industry meet demands for specific product attributes or production methods. Funding is also available to small and medium-sized enterprises, providing targeted support to help them implement third-party assurance certifications required to access foreign markets. Supporting the creation and integration of assurance systems and tools to address market and regulatory requirements, equips the Canadian sector for greater success by supporting industry's ability to meet consumer and buyer demands, and thus gain access to markets, while protecting plant and animal health.

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

Results data measuring the functionality of implementation plans for assurance projects are not yet available (expected in 2021), given the long-term nature of this work. In 2019–20, the Department surpassed its target for applications to the AgriAssurance Program, with 82 applications received and 52 projects approved as of March 31, 2020.

Some of the assurance systems which the program has helped to support include:

Gender-based analysis plus - Sector Risk

Enhancing access to Business Risk Management programs for underrepresented groups, including youth, women, and Indigenous communities continues to be a focus for federal, provincial, and territorial governments, as work towards improving the suite of programs is ongoing. Analysis of the 2017 Farm Financial Survey demonstrated that women are underrepresented in the AgriStability program, as female farm operators represented roughly 38 percent of AgriStability participants. Efforts to better understand the participation of underrepresented groups in the agriculture and agri-food sector will enable identification of barriers and what data requirements are needed to better inform policy and program development and enhance diversity in the sector.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is even greater need to ensure that Business Risk Management programs are providing the necessary support to women and other underrepresented groups, as initial analysis indicates that in general, impacts of the pandemic are being experienced disproportionately by women and visible minorities. The Department is working towards identifying the severity of COVID-19 impacts on women and other underrepresented groups in the agriculture and agri-food sector.

Experimentation - Sector Risk

In 2019–20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada engaged with the Privy Council Office Fellowship program in the design of a nudge project for the “My AAFC” account portal with a goal to generate more interest and uptake in the portal. A survey was developed that targeted AgriInvest clients, seeking information on whether the clients had a My AAFC account and if not, why not; and on improvements that could be made to enhance the user experience. Although implementation of the measures was not completed in 2019–20, a plan has been developed for implementation in 2020–21. In addition to the survey work, a pilot project was explored to examine how AgriInvest and AgriStability clients could use their My AAFC account portal exclusively to communicate, submit requests, and receive their program documents, as opposed to receiving hard-copy documents through the mail. The pilot project will begin in 2020–21, and the client experience will be documented throughout the project.

Results achieved - Sector Risk
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18
Actual results
2018–19
Actual results
2019–20
Actual results
The agricultural sector is financially resilient Sector's income as a proportion of historical income

85%

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

March 31, 2020[1]

121%

(for the 2015 program year)

113%

(for the 2016 program year)

104%

(for the 2017 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, 2020[2]

90.7%

(based on data in the 2017 Farm Financial Survey)

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

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

  1. The indicator demonstrates whether there have been significant financial downswings in primary agriculture incomes, after accounting for Business Risk Management programs. A percentage less than 100% indicates that the sector's income is worse than the five-year average. Indicator has a two-year lag time; results for the 2019 program year will be available in fall 2022.
  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) - Sector Risk
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2019-20
Total authorities
available for use
2019–20
Actual spending (authorities used)
2019–20
Difference (actual spending minus planned spending)
1,506,697,119 1,506,697,119 1,200,974,105 1,177,946,837 (328,750,282)

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 low interest rates and low participation in the Canadian Agricultural Loans Act program and a stay of default resulting in lower loan guarantee payments under the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act program. In addition, actual spending is net of $12.6 million related to a return of funding from statutory grant and contribution programs.

Human resources (full-time equivalents) - Sector Risk
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Actual full-time equivalents
2019–20
Difference (actual full-time equivalents minus planned
full-time equivalents)
448 443 (5)

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

Internal services

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

Results highlights Internal services

In 2019–20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada undertook a number of specific initiatives in support of the Department's mandate and to strengthen its capacity to deliver results to Canadians.

Strengthening service delivery and transparency

The Department continues to support client-centred, digitally enabled and integrated services to meet stakeholder expectations and achieve quality results. Continued investments in digital technology have helped modernize how programs and services are delivered to Canadians, including by enhancing accessibility and improving ease-of-use. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has also initiated and employed digital tools that enable secure two-way communication between clients and the Department. These modifications enable the Department to provide directed assistance to users through both phone-based and web-based channels, and also allows for the solicitation of feedback on programming and service improvements.

To this end, in 2019–20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada began foundational work on a solution for the online delivery of grants and contributions that would work with the existing My AAFC account portal. The Department also successfully launched the collection and automated validation of the Canada Revenue Agency business number for the AgriStability and AgriInvest programs, in keeping with Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat directives to facilitate the reporting of information and results across programs.

In 2019–20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada also leveraged digital technology to support the Department's data management and results and analysis. Progress was achieved in the improvement of the collection, analysis, and reporting of program results. For example, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada began using the secure electronic transfer of program data with the provinces and territories, which greatly improved the speed by which data was received by the Department. In addition, the Department has applied digital technology and data management tools for real property management. A comprehensive database was established that allows in-depth analytics on real property to improve decision-making.

In pursuit of continuous improvement in delivering outcomes for the agriculture and agri-food sector through programs and services, departmental efforts in 2019–20 also included process updates and a strengthened use of business intelligence. In support of this, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada focused on enhancing digital literacy within the Department through a number of means, including the creation of a senior management digital working group, and the development of a series of digital learning sessions that began with the departmental senior management teams. In addition, the Department implemented many of the key foundational tools to support a digital government, including adopting cloud usage and building its data strategy to support programs. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continues to contribute to the Government of Canada open data and open information initiatives and to deliver on the mandated commitments to make data and information more accessible to the Canadian public. In 2019–20, the Department released 100% of known eligible Departmental Results Framework datasets to the public through the Open Government portal.

Cultivating wellness in the workplace

The Department implemented a number of concrete actions in 2019–20 to foster a healthy workplace that is inclusive, respectful, and harassment-free and continued its efforts to entrench workplace wellness in the organization's culture, practices, and processes. For example, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada implemented year two of the 2018–2021 Diversity and Inclusion Plan by focusing on supporting diversity in recruitment efforts, and by promoting an inclusive workplace through internal diversity networks.

The Department took action to respond to the recommendations of the Deputy Minister Task Team Report, Safe Workspaces: Starting a Dialogue and Taking Action on Harassment in the Public Service, including through tangible steps to improve employee well-being. In August 2019, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada established an independent Ombudsperson Workplace Well-Being Office to provide employees with an independent, safe, and confidential space to discuss workplace concerns, including harassment, without fear of reprisal and connect them with available resources.

Beyond the recommendations of the Deputy Minister Task Team Report, the Department implemented measures to raise awareness of harassment and violence and to support constructive, respectful, and healthy behaviours in its workplaces. For example, the Department expanded its informal conflict management and formal dispute resolution programs, with emphasis on prevention and early resolution. The Department also increased its program capacity for prevention of harassment and violence in the workplace, to ensure readiness for the coming into force of new federal regulations under Bill C-65, An Act to Amend the Canada Labour Code (Harassment and Violence) in January 2021.

Canada's Best Diversity Employer

In 2020, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada was recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for the fourth year in a row. The award recognizes employers across Canada that have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs.

Some examples of departmental efforts in this area include:

This achievement is a testament to the Department and its dedicated employees, who strive to innovate in areas that support and create diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in our services. While recognizing that there is still work to be done, by embracing diversity and inclusion, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada ensures broader discussions, better decisions, a more positive workplace for its employees, and better outcomes for the agriculture and agri-food sector.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's mental wellness co-champions are the face of the Department's workplace mental health vision. Together, they engaged employees to raise awareness of the importance of workplace psychological health and safety and provided guidance to support departmental mental health priorities and initiatives. The Department also consulted with employees on mental health and wellness needs and ideas. Feedback helped inform the development of an updated mental health strategy and action plan for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, to be released in 2020. The strategy and action plan will guide departmental mental health programs and initiatives and build on progress to date in raising awareness and fostering culture change through concrete actions. Employee-led wellness committees played an important role in raising awareness and promoting safe and healthy workplaces.

The Department's ongoing work to support employees dealing with pay issues remained a top priority in 2019–20. These efforts focused on ensuring pay continuity and creating the necessary infrastructure to strengthen employee and manager support. Employees across the country were provided the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a compensation advisor through an outreach program. In addition, with regular communications and other tools such as fact sheets and business process reviews, the Department strengthened the timeliness of pay related human resource actions. These efforts helped to reduce the backlog of pay issues and contribute to the stability of the overall system.

Managing departmental assets and property

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada works to ensure the sound management of its assets, such as buildings, property, and equipment, in order to meet operational requirements and to deliver quality programs and services to Canadians.

The Department continues to work in collaboration with other science departments and the Federal Science and Technology Infrastructure Initiative to modernize agriculture science and technology infrastructure in support of Government of Canada commitments to build a stronger, more collaborative federal science and technology ecosystem.

In 2019–20, the Department made significant progress in addressing recommendations from a horizontal fixed asset review, to improve the strategic and sustainable management of real property under its stewardship. Data quality and analytics have been addressed as well as significant progress toward a sustainable 25-year real property strategy. In addition, all real property business processes have been documented to identify opportunities for further improvements.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has also made significant progress in implementing the Greening Government Strategy, achieving a 39.4 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (buildings and fleet) as of 2019, compared to the 2005 baseline level. This was achieved through dedicated efforts such as the integration of carbon reduction measures in the major capital investment planning process and projects such as the energy efficiency retrofit at the Harrow Research and Development Centre under the Federal Buildings Initiative. The Department remains on track to meet the federal government greenhouse gas reduction target of 40 percent by 2030.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars) Internal services
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2019-20
Total authorities
available for use
2019–20
Actual spending (authorities used)
2019–20
Difference (actual spending minus planned spending)
150,662,962 150,662,962 183,057,994 177,211,477 26,548,515

Note: Actual spending was greater than planned spending primarily due to support for service delivery improvements, work on the Fixed Asset Review and modernization of the work place, and agriculture science and technology initiatives.

Human resources (full-time equivalents) - Sector Risk
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Actual full-time equivalents
2019–20
Difference (actual full-time equivalents minus planned
full-time equivalents)
1,192 1,219 27

Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Actual expenditures

Departmental spending trend

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

Description of this image follows.

Description of the above image
Departmental spending trend
2017–181 2018–191 2019–201 2020–212 2021–222 2022–232
Statutory 974 1,134 1,487 1,474 1,489 1,492
Voted 1,011 1,024 1,081 1,065 1,028 956
Total 1,985 2,158 2,568 2,539 2,517 2,448
1. Spending for 2017–18, 2018–19 and 2019–20 represents the actual expenditures incurred during the respective fiscal years, as reported in Public Accounts. 2. Spending for 2020–21, 2021–22 and 2022–23 represents planned spending amounts as reported in the 2020–21 Departmental Plan.

Over the period of 2017–18 to 2022–23, spending varies from a low of $2.0 billion spent in 2017–18 to a high of $2.6 billion spent in 2019–20. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's programs and initiatives vary from year to year in response to changes affecting the agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products sector, as outlined below.

Actual spending was higher in 2019–20 as it reflected: support for the new Dairy Direct Payment Program increased spending in the second year of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership programs; an increase for the Advance Payments Program under the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act as a result of regulation changes, including for canola producers; and support for the new Food Policy for Canada initiatives, as announced in Budget 2019.

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

Budgetary performance summary for core responsibilities and internal services (dollars)
Core responsibilities and internal services 2019–20
Main Estimates[1]
2019–20
Planned spending[2]
2020–21
Planned spending[3]
2021–22
Planned spending[3]
2019–20
Total authorities available for use[4]
2019–20
Actual spending (authorities used)[5]
2018–19
Actual spending (authorities used)[5]
2017–18
Actual spending (authorities used)[5]
Domestic and International Markets 236,376,062 236,376,062 252,308,691 228,157,124 654,422,145 622,424,048 280,684,647 187,502,391
Science and Innovation 587,129,203 587,129,203 601,832,955 588,984,307 616,576,227 590,348,161 560,826,128 605,900,795
Sector Risk 1,506,697,119 1,506,697,119 1,531,629,689 1,546,245,688 1,200,974,105 1,177,946,837 1,145,612,636 1,020,593,334
Subtotal 2,330,202,384 2,330,202,384 2,385,771,335 2,363,387,119 2,471,972,477 2,390,719,046 1,987,123,411 1,813,996,520
Internal services 150,662,962 150,662,962 153,640,094 153,261,673 183,057,994 177,211,477 170,822,226 170,901,257
Budget implementation
– unallocated authorities
19,000,000 Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable 17,486,092 Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
Total 2,499,865,346 2,480,865,346 2,539,411,429 2,516,648,792 2,672,516,563 2,567,930,523 2,157,945,637 1,984,897,777

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 2019–20 Main Estimates Expenditures by program or purpose.
  2. Planned spending figures are as reported in the 2019–20 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. 2020–21 and 2021–22 planned spending figures are as reported in the 2020–21 Departmental Plan. It does not reflect funding announced in Budget 2020.
  4. Total authorities reflect 2019–20 Main Estimates and a net total increase of $172.7 million consisting of adjustments to statutory amounts to equal actual spending, Supplementary Estimates and allocations from central votes received during 2019–20, as well as other adjustments and amounts available from previous year, as reported in the Public Accounts of Canada 2020.
  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. Because of changes in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's reporting framework in fiscal year 2018–19, the 2017-18 expenditures have been crosswalked from the previous programs to the 2020–21 core responsibilities.

Actual human resources

Human resources summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)
Core responsibilities and internal services 2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents[1]
2018–19
Actual full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents[2]
2019–20
Actual full-time equivalents[3]
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents[2]
2021–22
Planned full-time equivalents[2]
Domestic and International Markets 512 517 514 519 534 521
Science and Innovation 2,599 2,633 2,711 2,650 2,641 2,637
Sector Risk 450 442 448 443 445 445
Subtotal 3,561 3,592 3,673 3,612 3,620 3,603
Internal services 1,112 1,124 1,192 1,219 1,217 1,217
Total 4,673 4,716 4,865 4,831 4,837 4,820
  1. Because of changes in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's reporting framework in fiscal year 2018–19, the 2017–18 actual full-time equivalents have been crosswalked from the previous programs to the 2019–20 core responsibilities.
  2. Planned full-time equivalents are as reported in the 2019–20 and 2020–21 Departmental Plans.
  3. Actual full-time equivalents reflect only those funded through the Department's appropriated resources. In addition to the actual full-time equivalents of 4,831, there were 57 full-time equivalents employed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for research funded through collaborative agreements with industry partners and 507 full-time equivalents employed as students.

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

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

Expenditures by vote

For information on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2019–20.

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 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, 2020, 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, 2020 (dollars)
Financial information 2019–20
Planned
results
2019–20
Actual
results
2018–19
Actual
results
Difference (2019–20 Actual results minus 2019–20 planned results) Difference (2019–20 Actual results minus 2018–19 actual results)
Total expenses 2,590,749,000 2,599,899,000 2,237,295,000 9,150,000 362,604,000
Total revenues 68,113,000 54,545,000 57,630,000 (13,568,000) (3,085,000)
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 2,522,636,000 2,545,354,000 2,179,665,000 22,718,000 365,689,000

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

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as of March 31, 2020 (dollars)
Financial Information 2019–20 2018–19 Difference
(2019–20 minus
2018–19)
Total net liabilities 949,969,000 985,180,000 (35,211,000)
Total net financial assets 884,671,000 926,196,000 (41,525,000)
Departmental net debt 65,298,000 58,984,000 6,314,000
Total non-financial assets 445,718,000 440,701,000 5,017,000
Departmental net financial position 380,420,000 381,717,000 (1,297,000)

Expenses and Revenues

Expenses incurred and revenues earned, in support of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada's programs and services that benefited Canadians during 2019–20, are detailed in the following graphs.

Expenses by core responsibility

Description of this image follows.

Description of the above image
Expenses by Core Responsibility
Sector Risk Domestic and International Markets Science and Innovation Internal Services Total Expenses
$1,128.6 million / 43.4% $623.7 million / 24.0% $544.1 million / 20.9% $303.5 million / 11.7% $2,599.9 million

Total expenses were $2,599.9 million in 2019–20, an increase of $362.6 million from the previous year's total expenses of $2,237.3 million. This increase was primarily attributed to the new Dairy Direct Payment Program amounting to $338.6 million; and the new Local Food Infrastructure Fund, in the amount of $25.9 million, the latter mainly for programming in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both programs are reflected under the Domestic and International Markets core responsibility. In addition, there was higher demand in the AgriScience program resulting in an increase of $17.3 million, which is reflected under Science and Innovation. Within Sector Risk, there was an increase in the Advance Payments Program under the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act as a result of regulation changes, including for canola producers. This increase was offset by declines within AgriStability and AgriInvest programs.

Planned expenses for 2019–20 were $2,590.7 million compared to actual expenses of $2,599.9 million. Actual expenses were $9.2 million higher than planned due to the new Dairy Direct Payment Program, and the new Food Policy for Canada initiative reported under Domestic and International Markets. These increases were partially offset by lower than planned expenditures in the AgriStability program, due to decreased demand; a reduced requirement for AgriRecovery, as there were minimal disasters to respond to; current low interest rates and low participation in the Canadian Agricultural Loans Act program; and a stay of default resulting in lower loan guarantee payments under the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act program. These programs are part of the Sector Risk core responsibility.

Revenues by Type

Description of this image follows.

Description of the above image
Breakdown of Revenues by Type
Sale of goods and services Interest Gain on disposal of assets Joint project and cost sharing agreements Miscellaneous revenues Total revenues (Gross)
$64.0 million / 66.4% $13.2 million / 13.7% $10.2 million / 10.6% $6.8 million / 7.1% $2.1 million / 2.2% $96.3 million

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

Total revenues earned of $96.3 million in 2019–20 were primarily comprised of $64.0 million in the 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 $41.8 million. Total net revenues remained relatively stable year over year at $54.5 million in 2019–20 compared to $57.6 million in 2018–19, a slight decrease of $3.1 million mainly in the sale of goods and services.

Liabilities

Liabilities arising from departmental activities at the end of 2019–20 were $950.0 million, a decrease of $35.2 million compared to the previous year's total liabilities of $985.2 million. The decrease was primarily in the Department's accounts payable and accrued liabilities, mainly due to a large program holdback remaining at the end of 2018–19. The accounts payable and accrued liabilities represents the largest portion of the overall liability at $817.2 million which is attributed to accruals in support of programs such as AgriStability. The Department does not hold any liabilities on behalf of government.

Liabilities by Type
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
$817.2 million / 86.0% $57.0 million / 6.0% $36.5 million / 3.8% $16.7 million / 1.8% $13.3 million / 1.4% $9.3 million / 1.0% $950.0 million

Assets

At the end of 2019–20, the Department held total gross financial assets of $1,173.9 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 $289.2 million, total net financial assets at the end of 2019–20 were $884.7 million, a decrease of $41.5 million from the previous year's net financial assets of $926.2 million. The change in total net financial assets was mainly due to a decrease in the amounts due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, mainly due to a decrease in accounts payable as the result of a large program holdback remaining at the end of 2018–19. The Department also held non-financial assets including real property, science equipment, and digital technology totaling $445.7 million at March 31, 2020, compared to $440.7 million at the same time in 2019.

Assets by Type

Description of this image follows.

Description of the above image
Assets by Type
Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund Tangible capital assets Loans receivable Accounts receivable and advances Prepaid expenses and inventory Total Assets (Gross)
$847.7 million / 52.3% $444.2 million / 27.4% $287.9 million / 17.8% $38.3 million / 2.4% $1.5 million / 0.1% $1,619.6 million

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

Additional 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.

Reporting Framework

The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019–20 are shown below.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Departmental Results Framework
Domestic and International Markets Science and Innovation Sector Risk Internal Services
Core Responsibilities AAFC provides programs and services and works in collaboration with the sector to support its competitiveness at home and abroad. AAFC also works to increase opportunities for the sector to export its products by maintaining and expanding market access and advancing agricultural interests internationally. AAFC conducts scientific research, develops new knowledge and new technologies, and transfers the results to the agriculture and agri-food sector. AAFC also works with industry and other partners to strengthen the sector's capacity to develop and adopt innovative practices, products, and processes. AAFC provides tools to mitigate the financial impact of risks beyond producers' control that threaten the viability of their operation. AAFC also works with the sector to ensure that systems, standards, and tools are developed to support its ability to prevent and control risks and address market demands.
Results The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector contributes to growing the economy Access to international markets is increased by resolving or mitigating market barriers and advancing trade positions The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector knowledge base is increased through AAFC supported scientific and innovative research The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector is effective in transforming ideas into new products, processes, or practices The agricultural sector is financially resilient The agriculture and agri-food sector is equipped with assurance systems and supporting tools
Indicators
  • Percentage change in the economic performance of the agriculture and agri-food sector
  • Percentage change in agri-food products sold
  • Value of agriculture and agri-food exports
  • Degree to which AAFC advances the resolution or the mitigation of market access barriers, World Trade Organization disputes, and technical trade issues
  • Degree to which AAFC advance 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
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Program Inventory (2019–20)
Domestic and International Markets Science and Innovation Sector Risk Internal Services
Programs
  • Trade and Market Expansion
  • Sector Engagement and Development
  • Farm Products Council of Canada
  • Dairy Programs
  • Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency
  • Water Infrastructure
  • Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Cost-shared Markets and Trade
  • Foundational Science and Research
  • AgriScience
  • AgriInnovate
  • Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program
  • Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program
  • Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Cost-shared Science, Research, Innovation and Environment
  • AgriStability
  • AgriInsurance
  • AgriRisk
  • AgriInvest
  • AgriRecovery
  • Loan Guarantee Programs
  • Farm Debt Mediation Service
  • Pest Management
  • Assurance Program
  • Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Cost-shared Assurance
  • Return of Payments
  • Management and Oversight Services
  • Communication Services
  • Legal Services
  • Human Resources Management Services
  • Financial Management Services
  • Information Management Services
  • Information Technology Services
  • Real Property Services
  • Material Services
  • Acquisition Services
Note: the program “Food Policy Initiatives” was added to the Program Inventory under the Domestic and International Markets core responsibility for 2019–20, following the publication of the 2019–20 Departmental Plan.

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 Priority (priorité)
A plan or project that a department 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.
Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. A Departmental Result is often outside departments' immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.
Departmental Result Indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A quantitative measure of progress on a departmental result.
Departmental Results Framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
A framework that connects the department's core responsibilities to its departmental results and departmental result indicators.
Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on a department's actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
experimentation (expérimentation)

The conducting of activities that seek to first explore, then test and compare the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making, and improve outcomes for Canadians, by learning what works, for whom and in what circumstances.

Experimentation is related to, but distinct from innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement, is experimentation.

full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. For a particular position, the full-time equivalent figure is the ratio of number of hours the person actually works divided by the standard number of hours set out in the person's collective agreement.
gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
An analytical process used to access how diverse groups of women, men and gender diverse people experience policies, programs and services based on multiple factors including race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2019–20 Departmental Results Report, those high-level themes outlining the government's agenda in the 2019 Speech from the Throne, namely: Fighting climate change; Strengthening the Middle Class; Walking the road of reconciliation; Keeping Canadians safe and healthy; and positioning Canada for success in an uncertain world.
horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where two or more federal organizations are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
plan (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally, a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead 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.

program (programme)
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
program inventory (repertoire des programmes)
Identifies all of a department's programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department's core responsibilities and results.
result (résultat)
A 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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