We need to change our mindset on agriculture, says the Green Party of Canada

(Shaun Haney/RealAgriculture)

We know the Green Party of Canada is very concerned about the climate — that’s not a surprise.

Historically, despite farmers being good stewards of the land, this doesn’t necessarily mean agriculture and the Green Party of Canada are always aligned when it comes to policy.

Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada, was at the Canadian Federation of Agriculture‘s (CFA) AGM held at Ottawa, Ont., to discuss how we can be concerned about the climate and reducing emissions, but also not take away the productivity of agriculture.

“When you’re looking for solutions to the climate crisis, farmers provide a lot of the solutions,” she explains. “We should be paying farmers for the carbon they sequester in the soil. We should be paying farmers when they keep a hedgerow, so you’re painting your watersheds, and you’re painting your biodiversity. These are all things that farmers should not pay for out of their own pocket, when the benefit is to all of society.”

Parties and groups outside of agriculture need to change their mindset of agriculture, says May, and recognize that yes, okay, some things need to change, but there has been a lot of good done already. As well, we need to recognize that we will never not need food security.

“The pandemic woke us up to something called supply chains. So the more that we have local food production that is consumed locally, that benefits local farm families, and we’re all better off. But that’s not the way our mindset has been,” she explains. “We’ve been very much focused on a large scale kind of industrial agriculture, primarily focused on exports. I’m not against exports, but we have to make sure our domestic food security is job one, and we also have to make sure that we’re doing on the farm [what we can] to protect the environment.”

Check out the full conversation below on farmers being in the cross-hairs of the climate emergency, fertilizer tariffs, and more:

See more from political leaders from the CFA AGM:

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