Ag ministers discuss progress on Grocery Code of Conduct, transition to Sustainable CAP, avian influenza response

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Agriculture ministers from across Canada met virtually on Friday to discuss and receive updates on several agriculture-related files that they’re following, including progress on a national grocery code of conduct and the implementation of the new five-year Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (SCAP) that’s set to take effect April 1, 2023.

“We would like to commend the agri-food industry on the substantial progress they have made in developing Canada’s first-ever Grocery Code of Conduct. We know there has been a significant amount of time and effort dedicated towards this initiative – and we would like to thank you all as we move towards its implementation,” said federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and her Quebec counterpart André Lamontagne, in a joint statement following the federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) ministers meeting.

Bibeau told the Financial Post that she is confident the grocery code, aimed at addressing problems caused by the concentration at the retail level in the grocery market, will be put in place before the end of 2023.

The FPT ministers also discussed the remaining steps for implementing and ensuring a smooth transition to the new SCAP framework, with the current Canadian Agricultural Partnership expiring in March.

According to a readout distributed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, other items on the FPT meeting agenda included an update on African Swine Fever prevention and preparedness, and an update from the federal government on the development of its National Agricultural Labour Strategy.

The meeting wrapped up with a roundtable session that included discussions about the ongoing avian influenza outbreak and the need for coordination among government agencies, domestic trade issues, transportation, Foot and Mouth Disease preparedness, the shortage and health of Canadian bees, and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s re-evaluation process.

The annual face-to-face meeting of agriculture ministers from across the country is scheduled to take place in July in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Related: Agriculture ministers reach agreement-in-principle on new “Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership”

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