COG’s Statement on Agricultural Climate Solutions Program Announcement

On Thursday, March 18 2021 the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of $185 million over the next 10 years for the new Agricultural Climate Solutions (ACS) program.

This program aims to establish a strong, Canada-wide network of regional collaborations led by farmers, and would include scientists, researchers and other sector stakeholders. Together, these regional collaboration hubs will develop and share management practices that will mitigate the impacts of climate change, drawdown and store carbon, help protect biodiversity, and improve water and soil health.

Canadian Organic Growers (COG) welcomes this announcement and applauds AAFC for placing emphasis on developing and deploying solutions that are tailored for each region, and that the ACS program will be led by farmers and farm groups themselves.

Regenerative organic agriculture is an important part of Canada’s future

At COG, we know that farmers in all provinces and territories want to be part of the solution, and are innovating to make their on-farm practices ecologically sound and to regenerate the soils in which we grow food and fibre. 

For Canada to meet its national commitments under the Paris agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and towards net-zero emissions by 2050, we must support farmers as they implement and evaluate regenerative organic agricultural practices on the ground, in real-time. We believe that this investment is a good first step to support more farmers as they make such innovations. 

Canada needs a larger investment for Budget 2021 to hit climate targets

To further drive emissions reductions in the agricultural sector and build climate resilience across Canada, we recommend the Federal government consider the six high-impact programs presented in Farmers for Climate Solutions Budget 2021 recommendations.  These programs would drive environmental benefits, create returns on investment for farmers, and ensure the competitiveness of our sector in the clean economy of the 21st century.

Support for farmers is critical not only because they are facing the climate crisis from the front lines every day, but because they are at the root of the solution and uniquely positioned to change the course of climate change in Canada.

This is a commendable and important investment for Canada’s agricultural sector. We believe that by taking a collaborative, farmer-led approach, our sector can engage the power of nature-based solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change, store carbon, help protect biodiversity, and improve water and soil health for current and future generations.” – Gillian Flies, Canadian Organic Growers Board President.

View Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s news release in English and in French.