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Government Relations


Our Government Relations team is here to help you understand and recognize the impact that federal and provincial policy, legislation, regulations, and funding decisions can have on your operation.

In an ever-changing industry and regulatory environment it is important that UFA moves parallel with government as key decisions are being made, and most importantly that you are part of the conversation. Through advocacy, partnerships, awareness, and education we are here to carry your voice on issues that affect you and your business-today and into the future.

Public Policy

UFA recognizes that responsible applications of crop protection and nutrition products are vital practices in order to feed an increasing global population with safe, sustainable, healthy and high quality agricultural products.

UFA believes that any effective crop protection and nutrition policy should:

  • Be based on sound science;

  • Promote environmental stewardship (land, air, water, biodiversity);

  • Promote and support development of consumers and producers choice while not eliminating current proven products;

  • Streamline regulatory barriers for new products to get to market more efficiently; and

  • Include extensive consultation with agriculture stakeholders.

UFA recognizes the importance of proper ethical and humane treatment towards livestock and farming animals, as these two components are vital to their overall health and well-being throughout the supply chain. In order to maintain a world class reputation of providing safe, sustainable, healthy and high quality livestock products, the quality of nutrition and welfare of our animals can never be compromised.

UFA supports livestock nutrition and animal welfare policies that:

  • Are based on sound science;

  • Abide within the scope of industry standards;

  • Address a consensus demand from the livestock sector; and

  • Include extensive consultation with agriculture stakeholders.

UFA shares the concerns of the agricultural community regarding farm safety and recognizes the impact of farm and ranch related injuries. UFA has championed farm safety for over 105 years and believes that the most effective way to tackle this issue is through collaboration using a multi-tiered approach with all stakeholders involved (producers, industry and government) leading with an emphasis on education and awareness of safety practices as the key component in order to reduce injuries.

UFA supports all farm safety policies and initiatives that:

  • Respects and does not disrupt the farming and ranching way of life;

  • Recognizes the diversity of farming and ranching and its uniqueness compared to other industries;

  • Extensively consults, acknowledges and considers industry and stakeholder input prior to implementation of any policy; and

  • Supports income continuation through producer choice of a private or public option.

As an exporting province, the success of Alberta's agricultural industry is based on the ability for farmers and ranchers to sell their products/commodities in both foreign and domestic markets. UFA believes that provincial and federal governments must work to increase trade and market access to help ensure fair pricing, reduce trade barriers and to provide a level international playing field. UFA recognizes the need for organization such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) to act as an arbitrator for all trade negotiation disagreements.

UFA supports trade and market access policies and initiatives that:

  • Maintain and enhance the role of Alberta/Canada as a reliable supplier of safe, sustainable, healthy and high quality agricultural products;

  • Reduce red tape and trade barriers to streamline market access and trade development (bilateral and multilateral trade agreements);

  • Increase and promote harmonization, mobility and free flow of goods across international borders.

  • Promote Alberta and Canadian products and commodities both internationally and domestically through trade missions, funding programs and marketing opportunities;

  • Integrate the crop commodity supply chain for faster and consistent access to markets (rail access and technology);

  • Expand investment in food safety and security programs/technology to increase market competitiveness and to minimize trade restrictions.

UFA recognizes global climate change and the need to monitor the greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint across all industry sectors at the provincial, national, and global level.

UFA believes that any policy related to climate change should:

  • Be based on sound science;

  • Include extensive consultation across all industry sectors;

  • Be clear, predictable and provide a reasonable transition time;

  • Not be detrimental to the economic well-being of the agricultural industries' farmers and ranchers;

  • Not be at the expense of economic competitiveness;

  • Support and be adaptable to the latest technologies and innovations;

  • Support energy efficiency initiatives; and

  • Acknowledge and consider the progressive work that is already being done by the agricultural industry and its organizations.

UFA recognizes that fostering and promoting innovation and technology in the agricultural sector is a fundamental component to help drive economic competiveness, maintain environmental stewardship, and to expand market access for agricultural products.

UFA supports innovation and technology policies and initiatives that:

  • Strike a balance between applied and academic research;

  • Consult, acknowledge and consider industry and stakeholder input;

  • Recognize agriculture as a major contributor to economic growth;

  • Provide incentives or opportunities to producers to enhance their business operations;

  • Allow for private and public sector collaboration;

  • Reduce red tape to streamline the development and commercialization of new technologies;

  • Address a growing concern, demand or need; and

  • Utilize and builds upon current investments and infrastructure.

UFA believes that the Canadian Agricultural Partnership is an essential component to the long-term success of the agricultural industry in Alberta and agrees with the current strategic direction which focuses on research and innovation, environmental stewardship, food safety, biosecurity, business management, market development, traceability, livestock welfare, energy efficiency and water management.

UFA supports a Canadian Agricultural Partnership that will ensure:

  • Market development investments are made across entire agriculture value chain and commodity sectors;

  • The development and continuation of risk management tools that better mitigate damages associated with increased weather volatility;

  • Best on-farm management practices;

  • Funding for broader government initiatives that are outside the Ag Policy Framework is maintained;

  • Flexibility in the use of the funds and programs to support ever changing needs for growth and innovations in agriculture;

  • Fair and efficient program funding that is easily accessible, communicated, and advertised to all respective applicants;

  • That policies and programs reflect the agricultural diversity among provinces; and

  • Extensive consultation and input from stakeholders across the entire agricultural sector.

  • Increase funding to the new five year plan, supporting the agricultural sector in contributing to overall economic development.