Frequently Asked Questions
- Q1. What is Growing Forward?
- A1. Growing Forward is a partnership between Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments to support the development of a profitable, innovative and competitive agriculture and agri-food sector that is adept at managing risk, responds to market demands and contributes to the health and well-being of Canadians.
- Q2. Does Growing Forward replace the Agricultural Policy Framework?
- A2. Yes. The Agriculture Policy Framework (APF) expired in March 2008 and has been replaced by Growing Forward.
- Q3. How is Growing Forward different from the APF?
- A3. Growing Forward builds on the best of the APF and brings together federal, provincial and territorial governments with a common vision.
For two years, the federal and provincial/territorial governments held consultations with producers and industry partners to discuss what worked under APF and what needed to change. All agreed there was a need for a stronger focus on innovation, competitiveness and on achieving results with simpler, more effective programs, tailored to meet local needs.
- Q4. How much money is being spent on Growing Forward?
- A4. Growing Forward non-BRM programming which includes initiatives to promote increased competitiveness and innovation, food-safety assurance systems and environmentally-responsible farming, includes more than $1.3 billion in funding - cost-shared 60:40 between the federal and provincial/territorial governments.
The federal, provincial and territorial Business Risk Management (BRM) programs under Growing Forward are funded on a demand-driven basis, where the cost of the program is not set but is based on program uptake and payments triggered. The BRM programs include AgriStability, AgriInvest, AgriInsurance and AgriRecovery.
Since the inception of the BRM suite in 2007, over $11 billion in federal and provincial funds has flowed to the benefit of producers across Canada and payments continue to flow as applications are being processed.
- Q5. What are the key priorities of Growing Forward?
- A5. Flexibility is a cornerstone of Growing Forward and moves the relationship between governments towards a partnership. The flexibility allows the provinces and territories to design programs and target funding to meet the specific needs of the agriculture sector specific to each province and territory, while contributing to the national Growing Forward outcomes.
The main principles and policies include:
- A competitive and innovative sector;
- A sector that contributes to society's priorities; and
- A sector that is proactive in managing risks.
To achieve these outcomes, governments are investing in initiatives that promote increased competitiveness and innovation; implement improved food-safety assurance, biosecurity and traceability systems; enhance farm environmental performance; promote Canadian agriculture in global markets and further, help producers and processors access these markets; and help farmers move beyond traditional BRM to better manage risks to their businesses.
- Q6. What is the difference between Business Risk Management and non-Business Risk Management under Growing Forward?
- A6. BRM programs are designed to provide farmers with the financial tools they need to manage risks to their businesses that are inherent in the nature of farming (e.g. drought, market fluctuations).
The federal government committed to replace the old Canadian Agriculture Income Stabilization program with BRM programs that are more responsive, predictable and bankable for farmers.
The Government has met this commitment by implementing a new suite of BRM programs under Growing Forward that includes AgriStability, AgriInvest, AgriInsurance and AgriRecovery. The new suite of BRM programs was launched in April 2008.
Non-BRM programs under Growing Forward are designed to help farmers and other participants in the agricultural and agri-food industry to make changes to their operations to increase their competitiveness and profitability, to meet consumer demands for food safety and environmental performance and to manage risk proactively.
- Q7. How does Growing Forward help farmers run a more successful and competitive business?
- A7. Growing Forward recognizes that improving competitiveness and adopting innovative technologies and business practices are crucial to farmers who wish to build their businesses and increase their profitability.
Investments in research and science will help give producers and processors an edge in the global marketplace.
Modernizing regulatory systems and encouraging the use of the best ideas and practices from other sectors and countries gives Canadian producers a competitive advantage.
Growing Forward helps the sector maintain and expand market access, and help enhance domestic and international competitiveness through improved planning and market diversification. Sharing the latest market information helps producers and processors better understand today's consumer and prepare for those of tomorrow.
- Q8. What is Growing Forward doing to make food safer?
- A8. Investments in food-safety assurance systems helps assure consumers that Canadian products meet the highest standards for product safety. The federal government works with the provinces and territories to ensure that the implementation of on-farm food-safety assurance systems meet federal requirements for consistency while also responding to the unique issues and circumstances facing the sector in each jurisdiction.
Traceability initiatives provide the government and industry with infrastructure necessary to continue developing a National Agriculture and Food Traceability System, beginning with livestock and poultry.
Biosecurity initiatives include the development of National Biosecurity Standards, led by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Growing Forward supports the development of a national Animal and Plant Biosecurity Strategy to identify priority sectors where national farm-level biosecurity standards are to be developed and implemented.
- Q9. How does Growing Forward contribute to a healthier environment?
- A9. Farmers are stewards of the environment. Environment programming helps meet consumer demands for goods that have been produced in an environmentally-sustainable manner and preserve agricultural lands as a precious resource for future generations.
Agricultural activities can have an impact on Canada's water resources and Growing Forward programs help minimize those impacts. This will include initiatives to gain a greater understanding of the agriculture sector's on-going water requirements.
Governments and industry work together under Growing Forward to safeguard animal and plant resources, and to adapt to climate change, drought and the other environmental challenges that affect production.
- Q10. How does Growing Forward help the agri-food sector?
- A10. Growing Forward's Regulatory Action Plan helps establish a more efficient, responsive regulatory environment for agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products. This plan responds directly to recommendations raised by the industry during the Growing Forward consultations.
Under Growing Forward, more than $35 million will be invested to help speed up approvals for novel foods and ingredients with validated health claims. This investment helps get new, innovative products into the marketplace faster while safe-guarding the health of Canadians.
- Q11. Where can I find information regarding the programs offered under Growing Forward?
- A11. For more information on Growing Forward programs, please visit our Programs and Services page.
- Q12. What is Growing Forward 2?
- A12. Growing Forward 2 is the next agricultural policy framework. The existing 5-year Growing Forward policy agreement expires on March 31, 2013 and a successor framework must be ready for implementation on April 1, 2013.
To support the development of Growing Forward 2, Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FPT) governments have committed to a multi-phased engagement strategy with a broad range of stakeholders across the agriculture value chain.
For more information, please visit the Growing Forward 2 page.
Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.