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Farm Groups call on federal government to return tariff payments

OTTAWA, ON, November 25, 2022 – Farm groups from Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada are calling on the federal government to refund farmers who have borne the extra fees and costs resulting from tariffs on fertilizer in 2022.  

Representatives from the Atlantic Grains Council, Québec Grain Farmers, Grain Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Bean Growers Association, Ontario Canola Growers, and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario – representing more than 50,000 farmers – have come together to ask the government to ensure the refund of tariff fees goes directly to farmers.

According to Statistics Canada, the federal government collected $34 million in tariff income on fertilizer imported into Canada in 2022. Since last spring, farmers have been paying tariff surcharges on fertilizer purchased to grow their crops. Much of these surcharges were placed on fertilizer purchased in advance of the tariffs being introduced.

Farm groups have spent months meeting with Members of Parliament to outline the impact the tariffs are having on the Canadian food system and the importance of refunding this money back to farmers.   

“We need the government to return the money collected directly back to farmers who paid the tariffs on fertilizer,” said Brendan Byrne, Chair of the Grain Farmers of Ontario. “Over the past two months, we have met with over a dozen Members of Parliament who have been very supportive of finding a resolution to this matter. We want to ensure decision-makers follow through to see this money is returned to farmers.”

“Canadian farmers bore the costs of these tariffs and have been disadvantaged with higher production costs when they sell their crops on the same markets as farmers from other countries who did not pay tariffs on fertilizers,” said Christian Overbeek, Chair of Québec Grain Farmers, adding “our farmers need to know the government is acting on a resolution.”

“With mounting food insecurity concerns at home and abroad, the world is depending on Canadian farmers to produce our best crop this year. You cannot grow crops without fertilizer, and you cannot produce food without crops,” said Roy Culberson, Chair of the Atlantic Grains Council.

“Forcing farmers to pay a tariff on a global product such as fertilizer just penalizes the farmer and adds additional costs at a time when input costs are already at an all-time high,” said Ryan Koeslag of the Ontario Bean Growers Association. “We look forward to seeing a speedy resolution from government.”

“Farmers continue to take the brunt of yearly rising input costs,  and now with a new tariff added on top of that for a global product,  such as fertilizer, is simply ridiculous. The CFFO is asking the government to please refund back our Farmers,” said Thomas Tavani, General Manager of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario.


Contact

Heather Russel, Atlantic Grains Council – 506-380 9663; heather@atlanticgrainscouncil.ca
Tom Tavani, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario – 519-837-1620; tom@christianfarmers.org
Victoria Berry, Grain Farmers of Ontario – 226-820-6641; vberry@gfo.ca
Emile Gauthier, Grain Farmers of Quebec – 418 806-6250 emile.gauthier@lorangebleue.biz
Ryan Koeslag Ontario Bean Growers & Ontario Canola Growers Association – 519-8979088; ryan@ontariobeans.on.ca

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