According to the vice-president of the Canada Grains Council, the new code of practice being developed for grain farms across Canada aims to proactively build public confidence, potentially alleviating the need for more red tape. and regulations in the future.
The voluntary code of practice – created by the Canadian Round Table on Sustainable Crops – will set a basic standard of sustainability practices that are followed on Canadian farms, says Rick White, who is also CEO of the Canadian Association of Food Producers. canola.
“It’s a best practice documentation to follow to show the sustainability practices that farmers are already implementing,” he says in the interview below. “This document will help give farmers ideas on how they can improve over time, and it’s a great element to show consumers and buyers around the world. “It’s a code of practice that Canadian farmers support and it’s the culture or the way they do it. “
The words “standard” and “codes of practice” could lead to expectations of audits, additional documents and new regulations – a more European agricultural environment, but White says it won’t.
“We have the same concerns in terms of being pushed into a European model, either by the market or by the government,” he says. “It is about building public confidence… to avoid taking this path where Europe has gone. We already apply all these good environmental practices. We don’t need to be regulated. We can show the government and our customers that we are already doing the right things. We just have to tell them through this code of practice.
Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau last week announced $ 789,558 in funding to CropConnect in Winnipeg for the Canadian Grain Council to invest in the grain code of practice.
Former MP Ted Menzies heads the code development committee, which will cover a range of topics including fertilizer management, pesticide use, soil management, human resources on farms and protection of wildlife habitat, as well as food security and occupational safety. .
Hear Rick White discuss the new code of practice, as well as the impact of the coronavirus on the Canada-China canola trade dispute, and the record use of the CCGA cash advance program – a sign cash flow challenges farmers are facing this winter: