Statement by Karen Proud, President and CEO of Fertilizer Canada
Today, Fertilizer Canada joined the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, her Parliamentary Secretary, Francis Drouin and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Terry Duguid, as well as Canadian Federation of Agriculture President, Mary Robinson for the launch of a sustainable agriculture strategy (SAS) consultation. We are pleased to see the Minister’s commitment to consult with key stakeholders in the agriculture sector as her department develops the SAS. Fertilizer Canada is also honoured to serve on the SAS-Advisory committee where we can share our expertise and knowledge. The goals set out in the SAS are important and necessary, but also ambitious. Engaging stakeholders in the development process is vital to ensure the SAS is realistic and achievable.
The use of fertilizer is an important part of sustainable agriculture, and vital to food security, as it increases crop yields, allowing for more food to be grown on less land, and helps replenish nutrients that contribute to soil health. Fertilizer Canada works closely with grower groups to support farming practices that optimize fertilizer use to increase yields while reducing environmental impacts, which is possible through 4R Stewardship (Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place ®). The SAS lays out five priority areas: soil health, climate adaption and reliance, water quality, climate change mitigation, and biodiversity. There are 4R best management practices (BMPs) that support each of these issues and as shown in our recently released Agri-Economic Report, 4R BMPs are the best tools we have available to optimize fertilizer use, which is why we continue to ask the government to develop a national 4R strategy.