Grain Farmers of Ontario Demands Better Support From Canadian Government for Trade War Losses

GUELPH, ON (May 14, 2019) – Grain Farmers of Ontario, the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers, today urges the federal government to establish a Trade War Fund to ensure that Ontario grain farmers are protected from global trade disputes.

Ontario grain and oilseed farmers are paying the price for political decisions that are creating havoc for farmers including unpredictable markets, buyers in China nervous about buying Canadian, tariffs on steel and aluminum, and commodity price fluctuations. The farmer in the U.S. is protected from trade disruptions but there is nothing in place to support Canadian farmers. The U.S. farmers received $9 billion from last year’s farm bill to help recoup losses, and on May 12 there were reports of additional funds to support U.S. farmers this year.

“A Trade War Fund needs to be established by the Canadian government to protect Ontario grain and oilseed farmers from political decisions outside their control,” says Markus Haerle, Chairman of Grain Farmers of Ontario “The U.S. is protecting its farmers and we need the Canadian government to protect our farmer members from trade disputes that have impacts on markets and distort prices.”

The continued market uncertainty caused by trade disputes and other political issues have created depressed commodities prices that are doubly hard for farmers as costs of crop production tools and other inputs are increasing, and there is no relief in sight.

“A Trade War Fund should be put in place immediately,” added Markus Haerle, Grain Farmers of Ontario.

In addition to a Trade War Fund, Grain Farmers of Ontario has the following election asks:

An activated pilot of Grain Farmers of Ontario Gross Margin insurance product by 2020. This product would be a voluntary top up to the current production insurance product. This will help farmers address a 15 percent loss that is currently not covered by AgriStability.

Defend current markets and find new markets for grains and oilseeds. The federal government should normalize commercial relationships with China, ratify the CUSMA and CPTPP. They should invest in domestic processing and explore new markets. The government needs to eliminate harmful tariffs, including aluminum and steel tariffs.

The implementation of impactful climate change programs. The government should eliminate the carbon tax and focus on programs that will bring about real climate change impact, such as ethanol mandates.

Contact:
Markus Haerle, Chair – 613 229-8336; marhaerle@gmail.com
Victoria Berry, Manager, Communications – 226 820-6641; vberry@gfo.ca