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Small Group Discussion

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Small Group Discussion

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  • March 2011
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Agricultural pricing and food policies
Federal agricultural policy is intended to serve national economic and political goals as well as the interests of those directly involved in and affected by Canadian agriculture - primarily producers, food processors, distributors, retailers and consumers. The Task Force Report on AGRICULTURE, official publications such as Canadian Agriculture in the Seventies (1969), A Food Strategy for Canada (1977) and the 4-volume Orientation of Canadian Agriculture (1977) identify the national goals as economic development, rising and stable incomes, full employment and harmonious international and federal-provincial relations. Specific agricultural goals include stable and fair producer returns, adequate supplies of high-quality, nutritious food at stable and reasonable prices, and rural development and resource conservation. In addition to these traditional goals, new objectives entered Canadian agricultural policy in the 1990s. Agriculture Canada's 1989 Growing Together document and their 1994 Vision on Future Directions for Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food stressed the agriculture sector's need to be more self-reliant and market-oriented, less dependent on government financial support, and more internationally competitive. At the same time, long-standing goals of a safe and high-quality food supply and financial security for producers were reaffirmed.

Policy Goals
From Confederation until the late 1950s federal agricultural policy was designed to secure Canada's control over the West, and to produce food for Canada, its trading partners and war allies. In the years following Confederation, agricultural expansion was encouraged by immigration and settlement of the West and the DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE began its existing program of scientific research and development and experimental farms. Governments encouraged the production and export of grain. The freight rates at which grain grown on the prairies moved to export markets...

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