Grain Farmers Call for Immediate Tariff Relief from the Federal Government
Guelph, ON, Longueuil, QC – April 27, 2022 – Grain Farmers of Ontario and Grain Growers of Quebec (Producteurs de grains du Québec), representing over 50,000 grains and oilseeds farmers, are calling for the federal government to take immediate action to eliminate the burden on farmers caused by fertilizer tariffs. Failure to act to alleviate the tariff burdens on farmers will impact grain availability and potentially impact food prices. Eastern Canadian grain farmers further call on the fertilizer industry to act with integrity, with fair and transparent pricing.
This is a critical time for farmers. The availability and cost of fertilizer is causing great concern for grain farmers who are ready to plant their crops. The grain planted today by farmers will have a direct impact on what grain is available at harvest time to feed people and livestock in Canada, as well as around the world. Farmers are ready to plant their crops to maximize their production, but policymakers, fertilizer companies, and others in the agriculture value chain need to work together to respond to the food crisis that is unfolding around the world as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.
“The invasion of Ukraine continues to escalate and its impacts on the global food system are increasing. It is vital that the Canadian government offer tariff relief for farmers who cannot continue to bear the brunt of these costs,” said Brendan Byrne, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario. “One of the key areas of concern for grain farmers is the shortage and additional costs of fertilizer available to us for our planting season. This is a moment in history for our partners in the fertilizer industry to act with integrity in treating farmers fairly around pricing and contracts.”
“This is a global crisis and farmers are ready to plant the crops, but we cannot afford to pay additional inflated costs while doing so. We understand the reason behind tariffs, but the impact to our food system is not supportable and the government must act now to provide relief to farmers, who are paying the price. Fertilizer shortages coupled with increased costs are going to make this a difficult spring and potentially a compromised harvest, which could be devastating as the world is looking at grain and food shortages. Eastern Canadian grain farmers need access to the tools that will help them grow an abundant, healthy crop,” said Christian Overbeek, Chairman of the Grain Growers of Quebec.
Grain Growers of Quebec and Grain Farmers of Ontario are united in stating that it is not acceptable for farmers to pay the additional costs for fertilizer created by the restrictions and tariffs. Grain farmers in Quebec and Ontario need the federal government to provide immediate relief from the tariffs and to help ensure that there is enough fertilizer in Canada for grain farmers in Quebec and Ontario.
Despite repeated meetings and assurances that the government is working on a solution, the federal government has not announced a tariff solution for farmers. Farmers are doing their part this year by going to fields to grow as much grain as possible. Farmers need action now.
Producteurs de Grains du Québec/Grain Growers of Quebec and Grain Farmers of Ontario represent over 50,000 grain and oilseed farmers in Eastern Canada.
Victoria Berry, Communications
Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario