Canadian producer views of strategic issues in agriculture

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) recently conducted a survey with Canadian producers. This is the seventh wave of this research, allowing AAFC to track Canadian producer views over time. The previous wave was conducted in 2018.

This wave of research includes a focus on sustainability and provides insights into future farm operations, issues facing the sector, business challenges, public trust, emergency planning, innovation, the role of governments in the agricultural sector and awareness of AAFC programs.

Key Findings

  • When considering their business five years from now, over a third of producers (36%, up 1%) think their situation will be better, 30% (up 1%) do not expect much change, and more than a quarter (28%, no change) think their situation will be worse.
  • The top three issues producers see facing Canadian agriculture over the next five years are: production and input costs (28%, up 15%), climate change and its impacts (21%, up 10%), and labour shortages (8%, up 3%).
  • Most producers believe agricultural activities have a positive impact on the environment (69%, up 11% from 2011) rather than a negative one (15%, down 7% from 2011). Similarly, three out of four of producers (73%, down 15% from 2011) think producers take appropriate actions to minimize the impact of their operations on the environment. Half (50%) of producers say it is high priority for them to implement environmental sustainability initiatives.
  • The impact of public perceptions is seen as less important than in the past (59%, down 8%). Producers say environmental sustainability, food safety and water conservation are the top three elements needed to build and maintain public trust.
  • Just over a third (35%) of producers face labour market challenges in the past two years, including recruitment of staff (both low and high wages). On farm experience (18%) and expertise operating farming equipment and heavy machinery (16%) are the top two skills in demand.

Want to know more? The final report is now available online at Library and Archives Canada.

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