28 May 2018

Six questions à Errol Halkai Directeur exécutif intérimaire de la Fédération Canadienne de l’Agriculture.

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ERROL-HALKAIQuelle est la vocation de la FCA et quelles sont ses missions les plus courantes ?

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) was formed in 1935 to answer the need for a unified voice to speak on behalf of Canadian farmers. It continues today as a farmer-funded, national umbrella organization representing provincial general farm organizations and national commodity groups, striving to influence positive changes for the betterment of Canada’s agricultural landscape. The CFA's mission is to promote the interests of Canadian agriculture and agri- food producers, including farm families, through leadership at the national level and to ensure the continued development of a viable and vibrant agriculture and agri-food industry in Canada.

Combien la Fédération compte-t-elle de membres et quels sont les secteurs – de l’Agriculture, de l’élevage ou de l’Agroalimentaire – les plus représentés ?

CFA is the largest general farm organization in Canada. Through its members, CFA represents more than 200,000 Canadian farm families from coast to coast. It is a national federation of provincial farm organizations and interprovincial and national commodity organizations united to speak with an authoritative voice for the agricultural community of Canada.

Quelles sont les principales attentes des producteurs et de quels moyens disposez-vous pour les aider à obtenir les réponses qu’ils souhaitent ?

In order to fulfill its mission of promoting the interests of Canadian agriculture and agri-food producers, the main objectives of the CFA are:
-To coordinate the efforts of agricultural producer organizations throughout Canada for the purpose of promoting their common interest through collective action.

-To assist members and where necessary government in forming and promoting national agricultural policies to meet changing domestic and international economic conditions; and to collaborate and co-operate with organized groups of producers outside Canada to further this objective.

-To promote and advance acceptance of positive social, economic and environmental conditions of those engaged in agricultural pursuits.

Additionally, the CFA makes use of annual member surveys to help ensure work plans continue to reflect members’ priorities.

Les nombreux accords de libre-échange signés par le Canada – tels que l’AECG -  posent-ils ponctuellement des problèmes aux secteurs que vous représentez et comment ces accords sont-ils globalement perçus par vos membres ?

Canada is the world’s 5th largest exporter, accounting for 3.5% of the total value of world agriculture and agri-food exports. The majority of Canadian farmers rely both on the domestic and oversea markets to sell their product and, in many cases, producers of certain commodities sell more than half their production overseas. As a result, access to international markets is vital for these farmers to ensure their continued viability and prosperity. On the other hand, farmers of several other commodities opted decades ago to market their product through supply management systems and rely primarily on the Canadian market for their livelihood. For these farmers, predictable and controlled levels of imports into Canada is essential to enable planning for domestic production which fulfills the Canadian market demand. In either case, Canadian farmers need fair, transparent and predictable trade rules to ensure their viability.

Following the October 2015 general election in Canada, CFA has encouraged the new Canadian government to pause and assess its trade agenda. With the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union and the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, Canada has trade deals in place with the two largest trading blocks in the world. As such, it is necessary for government and industry stakeholders to work together in developing an export strategy that will ensure Canadian producers are able to take advantage of access to new markets.

Quels sont vos interlocuteurs privilégiés pour mener au mieux votre travail de défenses des intérêts de vos membres et d’optimisation de leurs débouchés et de leurs ressources ?

In order to advocate on behalf of Canadian producers, the CFA works diligently to create and maintain key relationships - both nationally and internationally - with parliamentarians, government officials, industry stakeholders and consumers. These crucial relationships are the foundation for CFA’s success in influencing important changes that benefit Canadian farmers and consumers. Ongoing engagement is important for maintaining these key relationships and is achieved through various direct and indirect initiatives.

A l’occasion de l’élection 2015, vous demandez aux partis politiques d’intégrer à leur plateforme électorale 3 grands enjeux : le maintien de la main-d’œuvre requise, la gestion des risques, l’adoption de règles claires en matière de négociations commerciales. Le résultat de cette élection a-t-il apporté les réponses ou les orientations que vous attendiez ?

CFA has already commenced conversations with Canada’s new government on top priorities for the agriculture sector, including: putting in place a comprehensive labour program for Canadian agriculture and agri-food; ensuring the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a fair and meaningful deal for Canadian farmers; detailing risk management programs for Canadian farms; working towards environment policy that supports a thriving agriculture sector and Canada's natural resources; and fostering a consumer/agriculture relationship that is built on trust and transparency.

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