CPMA responds to Federal Budget 2024

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CPMA responds to Federal Budget 2024

Press release (CPMA)

OTAWA,ON, April 17, 2024 The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) was pleased to see the inclusion of certain key supports for the Canadian fresh fruit and vegetable sector in Federal Budget 2024. 

Budget 2024 includes a number of commitments that were recommended by CPMA in its advocacy efforts and pre-budget submissions to the government, such as: 

  • A federal investment of $1 billion over 5 years to establish a national school food program;
  • Federal funding under the new Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate construction and upgrades of municipal waste infrastructure, which is critical to an effective transition to a circular economy; 
  • An adjustment to the Advance Payment Program that sets the interest-free loan limit at $250,000; 
  • Significant investments in innovation and AI adoption to help foster the growth of critical sectors including agriculture; and
  • Funding of $39 million for Health Canada and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada to maintain the pesticides regulatory system and support sustainable pesticide management.

The fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain contributes nearly $15 billion to Canada’s GDP, and supports more than 185,000 jobs in rural and urban communities across the country. We also provide Canadian families with safe and nutritious food that is crucial to supporting their health and well-being,” said CPMA President Ron Lemaire. “We urge the government to further build on the efforts in Budget 2024 to make food a federal priority across federal departments, strengthen Canada’s food security and support a growing, resilient and sustainable fresh produce sector.”

However, CPMA was disappointed that the implementation of a financial protection mechanism for produce sellers was again not included in the federal budget. CPMA has consistently reiterated the importance of this tool as an opportunity to address gaps in market stability, financial protection, trade and food security, with no cost to the government. Bill C-280, the Financial Protection for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Act, which would establish a deemed trust financial protection tool, also received nearly unanimous support in the House of Commons last fall and is currently before the Senate.

“Supply chain disruptions and geopolitical and economic volatility have put the produce sector in a more vulnerable position without a financial protection mechanism in place,” said Lemaire. “Bill C-280 has support from associations across the country and Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum. We are hopeful that all Senators will support this important legislation and secure its swift passage in the coming weeks.”  

CPMA will be reviewing Budget 2024 in more detail in the coming days to assess its specific implications for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry.

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