Each action taken by consumers has an impact on producers' income. Government support, whether political, regulatory, administrative or financial, regardless of its conditions, is essential. Governments must enable Quebec's agriculture and agri-food industry to maintain a viable economic model.
In 2007, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada introduced new programs to support the Canadian agricultural sector.
The Growing Forward Framework Agreement lays the groundwork for coordinated federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) action over five years (2008 to 2012) to help the sector become more prosperous, competitive and innovative. The agreement builds on the vision, principles and policy outcomes agreed to by Ministers in June 2007 in Whistler, and gives the details of national shared-cost initiatives, as well as complementary federal initiatives that will help to achieve the outcomes. The agreement also includes the details of the new Business Risk Management (BRM) program suite launched on April 1, 2008.
The Growing Forward Framework Agreement includes Business Risk Management programs, amongst others. These are national, demand-driven, FPT programs to help producers reduce income losses resulting from low commodity prices, reduced production or natural disasters.
Business Risk Management Programs
The new BRM suite consists of four national cost-shared programs, namely AgriStability, AgriInvest, AgriInsurance and AgriRecovery. The governmental contribution is provided 60% by the Government of Canada and 40% by the Government of Québec.
- AgriStability is a margin-based income stabilization program that covers larger margin declines of more than 15% caused by circumstances such as low prices, production losses or rising input costs. The program reduces the fluctuation of participant production margins by providing payments when a producer's production margin is below the previous five-year olympic average.
- AgriInvest is a contributory-style savings account program that helps cover small margin declines of 15% or less. The governments pay an amount equal to the contributions paid annually by the producers into savings accounts, up to an amount based on the eligible net sales (1.5% of ANS).
- AgriInsurance provides insurance against production losses for specified perils. The federal government contributes to AgriInsurance contracts offered to producers by provinces or territories. The commodities covered vary by province or territory.
- AgriRecovery provides a process to enable governments to respond quickly when a natural disaster hits and fills gaps not provided by existing programs.