A new group made up of several Ontario commodity groups marked the launch of Farm Action Now with an inaugural meeting held earlier this week.
The “task force” of farm organizations, representing a broad-section of Ontario’s agriculture sector, has been formed, organizers say, to evaluate the fate of Ontario agriculture in the face of looming increased government regulation.
Farm Action Now plans to develop a farmer-driven science-based blueprint on the future of agriculture in Ontario, the group says, ensuring regulations are made with a clear understanding of the practicality of on-farm implementation and down-stream implications.
“Shortly, the government will announce the most restrictive measures yet,” says Henry Van Ankum, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “We need to halt policies and practices that restrict growth and threaten the future of Ontario’s farming sector.”
Farm Action Now has launched what it calls a “balanced plan,” for Ontario agriculture, and is in development to evaluate the challenges with government agricultural policy and process.
Priority areas include:
- The responsible regulation of agricultural practices access to science and technology such as pesticides and seed treatments;
- On-farm implementation of regulatory changes; and,
- The appointment of an agricultural commissioner to advise the government on the implications of existing and new regulations and to help grow the agricultural sector.
The group says it is launching a broad consultation process at this time to evaluate the impact of agricultural restrictions on communities and will include farmers and beekeepers, rural municipal representatives along with industry and environmental groups and Chambers of Commerce.
Farm Action Now is a coalition comprised of Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Bean Growers, Ontario Canola Growers Association, Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association, and Ontario Pork and supported by other agricultural organizations.
Follow the group on Twitter at @FarmActionNow, or contact the Grain Farmers of Ontario for more information.