Government of Canada invests in strengthening diversity in Canadian agriculture 

News release

May 31, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Diversity and inclusion are integral to creating an economy that works for everyone. Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of up to $734,806 to help five organizations increase the participation of under-represented groups in the Canadian agriculture and agri-food industry.

With funding under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriDiversity Program, the organizations will identify barriers and address issues to help more people from diverse backgrounds enter the industry and pursue careers as agricultural entrepreneurs.

The recipients include:

  • The Fédération des Agricultrices du Québec will receive up to $315,301
  • The Native Women’s Association of Canada will receive up to $136,954
  • Indigenous Works will receive up to $123,406
  • The Canadian Federation of Agriculture will receive up to $82,389
  • The Do More Agriculture Foundation will receive up to $76,756

The projects being undertaken by these organizations will open doors for Canadians of diverse backgrounds, creating new opportunities in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry. The organizations will also help raise awareness in the sector of the barriers to starting and growing an agriculture or agri-food business. The work includes a national project to address systemic barriers facing women trying to succeed in agriculture, local initiatives to empower Indigenous peoples to create business opportunities through traditional food and medicine, and national research to address gaps in mental health support for under-represented groups working in agriculture.

The Government of Canada strongly believes that for the Canadian economy to reach its potential, everyone must have the opportunity to fully contribute. It is essential that Canadians in every region of the country see themselves reflected in the agriculture sector. Canada’s diverse population is a source of strength, and helps to make the sector more competitive and prosperous.

Quotes

“Companies and organizations are most successful when they bring together skilled and talented people from different genders, generations, and cultures. The agriculture sector has everything to gain from growing its diversity at a time when career and business opportunities are multiplying, from the farm to the laboratory, and through new technologies.”

- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food 

“This funding will allow us to promote our Dimension E Program across Canada, develop new business partnerships and offer concrete services to French-speaking women farmers living outside Quebec and to English-speaking clients in our province. This project will strengthen the entrepreneurial capacities of 270 women farmers through training and professional workshops. These activities are perfectly aligned with our new organizational mission, which is to provide women working in agriculture and forestry with a network dedicated to the development of their full potential.”

- Jeannine Messier, President, Fedération des Agricultrices du Québec

“The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is pleased to receive this funding. We are committed to empowering Métis, Inuit, and First Nations women, girls, two-spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people to grow traditional food and medicine and this funding will help enable us to do that. NWAC is installing a rooftop greenhouse at its Gatineau location in order to explore urban horticultural possibilities. The produce we grow is used in the building’s state-of-the-art kitchen to make Indigenous-based meals for patrons, adding a new kind of cuisine to Gatineau’s urban culinary experience. As well, NWAC has two satellite rural growing areas that provide smart growth strategies for food security in small Indigenous towns and rural communities alike.”

- Lynne Groulx, Chief Executive Officer, Native Women’s Association of Canada 

“The Indigenous Agriculture and Agrifood Sector holds so much promise for Indigenous people and communities, both for employment and business development. This project, to identify gaps, challenges and opportunities for Indigenous peoples and organizations participating in the agriculture and agri-food industry, comes at a time when issues pertaining to Indigenous food security and food sovereignty are paramount. Innovation will be important for the development of the sector.”

- Kelly J. Lendsay, President and CEO, Indigenous Works

“The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is pleased to receive this funding to support our Engaging and Advancing Women in Agriculture project, which will help provide farm organizations across Canada with a framework to help systematically address the barriers women face in getting involved in agriculture and also to celebrate those women who have become leaders in our sector. I believe any person with an interest in a career in agriculture should be openly encouraged and welcomed to contribute to this industry that embodies so much potential and opportunity.”

- Mary Robinson, President, Canadian Federation of Agriculture

“We are very thankful for Minister Bibeau’s commitment to mental health in agriculture and are very excited to be moving forward with our research project through the AgriDiversity Program. While the needle has started to move in regards to talking about and supporting mental health in agriculture, we haven’t specifically looked into what support exists for minority groups within the industry. This research project will identify existing gaps in support and create collaborative next steps for how we, as an industry, move forward.”

- Megz Reynolds, Executive Director, the Do More Agriculture Foundation

Quick facts

  • The AgriDiversity Program is a five year, $5-million program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership which helps under-represented groups in Canadian agriculture, including youth, women, Indigenous Peoples, and persons with disabilities, to fully participate in the sector by helping these groups address the key issues and barriers they often face for sector participation. To date, $3.7 million has been approved for 20 projects.

  • The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector.

  • In 2020, Canada’s farmers generated farm market receipts of $68.7 billion and the country’s food and processing sales totaled $122.1 billion. The sectors employ over 550,000 people.

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Contacts

Marianne Dandurand
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
marianne.dandurand@agr.gc.ca
343-541-9229

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
1-866-345-7972
aafc.mediarelations-relationsmedias.aac@agr.gc.ca
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