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Improving regulations in the agri-food sector: Industry and government need to cooperate to make industry more competitive

 
OTTAWA, March 4, 2009 — Canada's agri-food sector will become more efficient and competitive if industry and government work in partnership to reform the regulations that affect agriculture, says a new discussion paper commissioned by the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI).

The discussion paper, entitled Regulatory Reform in Canada's Agri-Food Sector, was made public at the annual general meeting of the Canadian Horticultural Council.

"The need for regulatory reform has been a long-standing call from across the agri-food sector and this need for change has been acknowledged by government," said CAPI Chair Gaëtan Lussier. "In response, CAPI initiated a review of the regulatory framework in Canada and among its competitors and considered ways to constructively respond to this need for change."

The CAPI discussion paper suggests that a more effective regulatory policy framework is now conceivable for the agri-food sector. In 2007, the federal government published a new directive instructing federal departments to evaluate their current set of regulations. The CAPI discussion paper outlines ways that the agri-food sector can and should work in partnership with relevant federal departments and agencies to develop a more streamlined — or "whole of government" — regulatory approach.

"The agri-food sector needs a means for federal government departments and agencies to come together with industry to review current regulations, such as through facilitated panels and symposia," said Mr. Lussier. "The horticulture sector could consider this approach in working with regulators to bring about needed regulatory improvements."

The discussion paper is based on discussions held by the Institute with the Treasury Board of Canada and other government departments and agencies. The discussion paper highlights the general extent to which industry is impacted by regulations. Feedback from this initial work will enable CAPI, and its partners, to assess the concepts outlined in the discussion paper and determine what additional steps could be considered to advance regulatory reform.

The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute provides an independent voice on long-term issues facing the agriculture and agri-food sector. CAPI is a catalyst. As a policy forum, it identifies significant emerging issues and trends and promotes dialogue across the diverse value chain, and among academia, research institutes and governments, in order to advance the success of Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector. Based in Ottawa, CAPI was established as a non-profit corporation in 2004 by the federal government and is guided by a diverse Board of Directors and an Advisory Committee.

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The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute    •    960 Carling Avenue, CEF Building 49, Room 318    •    Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6
info@capi-icpa.ca    •    Telephone: 613-232-8008 or toll-free 1-866-534-7593    •    Fax: 613-232-8008
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