NFU Regional Meeting: Another successful event!

NFU Regional Meeting: Another successful event!

NFU Regional Meeting (Region 1):

Farmers from the three Maritime provinces gathered at the Duneview Inn/L’Auberge Vue de la Dune in Bouctouche, NB, on Tuesday, August 7, for the National Farmers Union (NFU) Region 1 Convention.  This year’s theme was “Diversifying the Farm: Value-adding in the Local Marketplace” and discussions throughout the day focused on the various opportunities for fostering a sustainable Maritime farm-base in an ever-changing marketplace.

NFU Regional Coordinator, Randall Affleck, from Bedeque, PE, spoke about the devastating effect of drought conditions in parts of Ontario and elsewhere this summer. Affleck said other issues being addressed by the NFU nationally include the troubling trend of increasing foreign ownership of farm land, referred to as land grabbing. He said this leads to more farmers working as tenants, while farm debt continues to rise. Quoting Statistics Canada, he noted the troubling increase in national farm debt, up from $65.4 billion in 2010 to $69.6 billion in 2011.

Affleck also stressed the importance of the Canadian supply management system in stabilizing consumer prices and providing fair returns to producers.  The NFU continues to work with other organizations to lobby government to protect this unique marketing system. Affleck warned that international trade deals, like the proposed Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union, no longer address food security and local economic development, and that, if signed, CETA could negatively affect Canadian farmers’ ability to compete with cheaper imports in the domestic marketplace. Trade agreements lead to a loss of policy tools, Affleck stated, resulting in less market power for farmers.

For complete details read the following press releases: August 2012 Regional Meeting and August 2012 Regional Meeting Resolutions.

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