The Guelph Statement

A vision to 2028

Canada is recognized as a world leader in sustainable agriculture and agri-food production and drives forward to 2028 from a solid foundation of regional strengths and diversity, as well as the strong leadership of the Provinces and Territories, in order to rise to the climate change challenge, to expand new markets and trade while meeting the expectations of consumers, and to feed Canadians and a growing global population.

The priorities

  • Tackling climate change and environmental protection to support GHG emission reductions and the long-term vitality of the sector while positioning producers and processors to seize economic opportunities from evolving consumer demands
  • Continued and targeted investments in science, research and innovation to address key challenges and opportunities
  • Supporting sustainable agriculture and economic growth by creating the conditions for Canadian businesses to meet evolving challenges of the interconnected domestic and global marketplace
  • Building sector capacity and growth through realizing the potential of value added agri-food and agri-products
  • Enhancing resiliency to anticipate, mitigate and respond to risks, including a robust suite of Business Risk Management programs

Guiding principles

  • Lead on ensuring a sustainable agriculture and agri-food sector, by addressing climate risks and creating conditions for industry to succeed and compete globally
  • Shared jurisdiction of agriculture and international trade obligations are respected
  • Collaboration among stakeholders to leverage innovation, regional strengths and diversity
  • Programs respond to the realities of producers and participants, and seek to reduce red tape
  • In order to maximize shared investments and contribute to collective outcomes, governments will deliver measurable results, while maintaining flexibility in the design, delivery and management of programs across provinces and territories
  • Work to address barriers to participation and consider the needs of underrepresented groups such as youth and women, and strengthen relationships with Indigenous Peoples to better support sector participation

Priorities and focus areas for the next policy framework

Advancing sustainable agriculture and agri-food

The next policy framework will reflect the principles of sustainable development allowing the agriculture and agri-food sector to meet the needs of today, and grow for tomorrow, without compromising the needs of future generations.

Building sector capacity, growth and competitiveness

  • Support new or emerging primary, value- added and processing opportunities
  • Improve productivity through the development and adoption of technology, digitization and artificial intelligence
  • Enhance labour attraction and retention, training and automation
  • Foster the next generation of farmers, considering economic, training and other barriers to entry
  • Pursue economic opportunities through efficiency improvements, reducing and recovering food and other wastes, and growing the bioeconomy

Climate change and environment

  • Prepare for and respond to a changing climate by supporting Beneficial Management Practices and accelerating technological adoption
  • Reduce GHG emissions, and improve carbon sequestration
  • Protect and regenerate soil, water and air quality
  • Improve biodiversity and protect sensitive habitats

Science, research and innovation

  • Address challenges such as climate change and pursue opportunities such as new markets
  • Support research in primary agriculture, agronomy, and value-added
  • Accelerate the development and adoption of new technologies and finding energy efficiencies
  • Supporting pre-commercialization and start-ups in such areas as innovative labour solutions and bioproducts
  • Enhance data collection, extension activities, performance measures, knowledge exchange and transfer

Market development and trade

  • Collaborate to pursue and defend Canadian trade interests and advance science-based trade rules
  • Support market diversification and efforts to remove barriers to interprovincial trade
  • Support export readiness and identify and pursue market development opportunities abroad and domestically such as buy local
  • Meet domestic and international demand for sustainable primary production and processing practices

Resiliency and public trust

  • Build the resiliency of the entire food chain
  • Provide BRM programs that are timely, equitable, and easy to understand
  • Encourage and support proactive risk management, including climate risk
  • Protect and enhance plant and animal health and animal welfare, through a "One Health" perspective
  • Support the sector to develop, adopt, and enhance assurance systems
  • Fostering awareness of sector commitment to the sustainable production of safe, high-quality food and building public trust while increasing sector awareness of the expectations of consumers
  • Support and empower producers and agri-food workers to take care of their mental health
  • Support worker health and safety