Canadian Federation of Agriculture
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is Canada's largest general farm organization, representing 200,000 farmers and farm families. The organization is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, with the mandate to provide a unified industry voice at the national level. The CFA was formed in 1935, and continues today as a farmer-funded, national umbrella organization representing provincial general farm organizations and national commodity groups.
- To coordinate the efforts of agricultural producer organizations throughout Canada for the purpose of promoting their common interest through collective action.
- To assist members and where necessary government, in forming and promoting national agricultural policies to meet changing domestic and international economic conditions; and to collaborate and cooperate with organized groups of producers outside Canada to further this objective.
- To promote and advance acceptance of positive social, economic and environmental conditions of those engaged in agricultural pursuits.
To promote awareness of agricultural producer organizations, the CFA sponsors a "Food Freedom Day", the date when an average Canadian family has earned enough income to pay the grocery bill for the entire year. In 2008, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture calculated that it took 34 days (Feb. 3, 2008) for the average Ontario family to make enough to cover their food expenses for the year. The 2016 date for Food Freedom Day is February 8.
The current President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture is Ron Bonnett. Bonnett had previously been the vice president of the CFA and, before that, the president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. The current First Vice President is Norm Hall of the Saskatchewan-based APAS, and the Second Vice President is Marcel Groleau of the Quebec-based UPA. Previously, delegates at the 2009 Annual General Meeting elected Laurent Pellerin as the President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. The organization had been without a President since September, 2008, when Bob Friesen stepped down in order to participate in national politics. Friesen had been the Canadian Federation of Agriculture's president for over nine years.
Laurent Pellerin had previously served as President of the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) as well as serving as 1st Vice-President of the CFA for over a decade. Pellerin, a hog and beef producer from Saint-Gregoire de Nicolet, Quebec, was the first québécois head of the organization in its 74-year history.
CFA Membership and Policy Development
Being a federation of organizations, the deliberative body is composed of provincial farm organizations and commodity groups. Policy is generally developed in the form of grassroots resolutions, passed through member organizations and finally brought before the general assembly for a vote at the Annual General Meeting. Additional policy development decisions are deliberated by the 24 board members. Organizational decision-making is decided through a subset of the board of directors, called the National Council.
Members of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture currently include:
Provincial Farm Organizations:
Commodity Groups and Other Organizations:
- Food Freedom Day from the Canadian Federation of Agriculture's website
- Cooper, Kim. "Food freedom comes cheap in Canada". Chatham Daily News. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- Ontario Federation of Agriculture's announcement of the 2008 Food Freedom Day