Published Results-Based Plan 2012-13
Table of Contents
Ministry Vision and Mission Statement
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is committed to achieving a vision of successful and sustainable agri-food and agri-product businesses.
To succeed, the sector needs to continuously evolve and innovate to maintain its competitive edge.
The ministry's vision supports the Ontario government's agenda of meeting its fiscal targets, strengthening the economy, increasing investment and jobs and supporting health care and education.
The ministry's three strategic goals are:
In 2012-2013, the ministry will focus on increasing the consumption of local foods, expanding export opportunities for Ontario's agri-food sector, reshaping the province's risk management programs, investing in industry-driven and focused research and innovation and working with other ministries to strengthen the government's role in rural Ontario.
To deliver the vision and these strategic goals, OMAFRA will transform itself to operate as a modern, responsive and high performance organization focused on delivering results.
Increasing the Competitiveness and Productivity of Ontario's Agri-food and Agri-product Businesses
The Ontario agri-food and agri-product industry contributes to the economic, social and physical health of communities, the province and its people. In 2010, the agri-food industry contributed over $34 billion to the provincial economy, and employed more than 700,000 people.
The sector is working smarter, more efficiently and more environmentally responsibly than ever before and producing safe food, for which it has gained an international reputation. Ontario's agricultural commodities are the foundation for cleaner, greener bio-products and fuels.
In 2012-2013, the ministry will work to further increase the competitiveness and productivity of our agri-food and agri-product businesses. This includes supporting the sector to capitalize on emerging opportunities - in domestic and international markets as well as in new, value-added products and leading-edge technologies.
At the same time, we will focus attention on encouraging richer and more productive relationships among Ontario's producers and retailers, contributing to the further development of value chains.
A thriving agricultural sector is measured, in part, by the success and competitiveness of farmers and farm businesses. To achieve success, the ministry will work with stakeholders and the federal government to transform the way the ministry supports farmers through its business risk management programs.
The ministry also wants to leverage federal contributions and support Ontario's approach to Growing Forward 2 negotiations with the federal government.
Finally, the ministry knows that when rural families, businesses and communities prosper, Ontario's economy grows stronger and all Ontarians benefit. That's why the ministry will work with ministries across government to continue to support and strengthen rural Ontario.
Increasing the Consumption of Local Food in Ontario
In 2012-2013, the ministry plans to build on the success of the Foodland Ontario brand to increase both domestic and international markets for Ontario food.
Work is underway to further promote the consumption of Ontario produced and processed foods, including working with our retailers, the food service sector, operators, food media, the public, and a broad range of stakeholder groups to increase the availability of Ontario food in farmers markets, on-farm markets and the broader public sector.
Greater emphasis will be made on realizing emerging opportunities such as food for health and meeting the needs of Ontario's diverse population.
Bringing an Open-for-Business Approach to Legislative and Regulatory Reform
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) will work with other ministries, other levels of government and stakeholders to achieve an appropriate Open-for-Business legislative and regulatory framework that promotes economic activity, safe food, animal health and a clean environment.
This includes working with stakeholders and ministries to develop a modern dairy food safety framework that meets Open-for-Business principles.
In 2012-2013 the ministry will continue to meet its commitments under the Climate Change Action Plan and Climate Ready: Ontario's Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan. The ministry will also collaborate with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and the Ministry of Energy to continue to examine the potential for agriculture-based biomass.
In partnership with other ministries, the ministry will support and develop initiatives under the government's Water Strategy, including efforts to conserve and protect the Great Lakes and Lake Simcoe.
To support our vision and strategic goals, the ministry will work to ensure that OMAFRA is a modern, responsive, high-performance organization focused on delivering results. The ministry will review its program delivery models with a view to further improve service.
Farm Income Stabilization - Risk Management Program
Since 2003, the ministry has provided more than $2 billion in farm income and stabilization programming.
In 2011 the ministry worked with producer groups to develop and launch Risk Management Programs for the hog, cattle, veal and sheep sectors, in addition to extending existing programs for grains and oilseeds.
At the same time, the ministry launched a self-directed Risk Management program for producers of edible horticulture.
The ministry has invested almost $100 million in programming to support Ontario foods since 2003-2004.
In 2011, consumer awareness of the Foodland Ontario symbol was at 94 per cent, while 82 percent of Ontario's principal grocery shoppers intend to purchase fresh Ontario food.
OMAFRA's programs and services led to $490 million in investments by industry into the food processing sector in 2011-2012, creating or retaining more than 7,300 jobs.
In 2011, total agri-food exports were $9.9 billion. This is a 5.4 percent increase over 2010.
2011 Ontario Food, Beverage and Agricultural Exports to Non-USA Markets - top 20 Destinations (in Millions $Cdn). Since 2002, Ontario has more than doubled its food, beverage and agricultural exports to non-USA markets.
Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence
For the fifth year, agricultural innovations from across Ontario were celebrated under the annual Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence. This program recognizes innovators who contribute to the success of the agri-food sector.
The ministry continued its commitment to delivering high-speed Internet service to rural areas through its Rural Connections Broadband Program, Building Broadband in Rural and Northern Ontario Program, and Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus regional broadband project.
Food Safety and Traceability
In 2011, through the Traceability Foundations Initiative, the governments of Canada and Ontario committed to support industry-led projects to share information, enhance industry competitiveness and improve the speed at which Ontario responds in the event of a food product recall.
This new program will help make our industry stronger, protect consumers and promote market access for our farmers and processors.
The ministry will continue to engage stakeholders to increase the profile of traceability and continue to work with our federal, provincial and territorial partners to support a national traceability system for livestock and poultry.
OMAFRA is committed to building a robust provincial agri-food premises registry. In 2011, the ministry moved forward on this commitment by completing a competitive procurement process to secure a long-term service provider.
Rural Economic Development (RED) Program Investments
The Rural Economic Development (RED) program supports rural communities to remove barriers to economic development and growth through efforts in revitalizing communities, support for food processing and increasing opportunities for skills development. In 2011-2012, the program committed to 45 projects to help stimulate economic and community development in Ontario's rural communities. This represents a program investment of $14.9 million, generating $101 million in economic activity, and creating or retaining nearly 3,500 jobs.
Wine and Grape Strategy
In 2011, Ontario launched the brand new Ontario Vineyard Improvement Program, which committed $12 million over four years to help support Ontario grape growers with projects that will help grow and build long-term success for their vineyards.
The program is part of Ontario's strategy to help strengthen the province's grape and wine industry by focusing support on VQA wine, improving clarity for consumers and support the industry's long-term viability.
Growing Forward is a five-year commitment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments to support the development of a profitable, innovative agri-food sector able to manage risk and effectively and efficiently respond to market demands.
In 2011-12, over $37.5 million was invested to provide farmers and food processors with access to improved planning and best practices related to environment and climate change, food safety and traceability, biosecurity and business development. Programs were also targeted toward increasing the agri-food sector's awareness of innovation opportunities, applied research and commercialization.
Growing Forward expires on March 31, 2013. Initiatives for Growing Forward 2 in Ontario are under development. Federal-Provincial-Territorial negotiations on the Growing Forward 2 framework will commence in late April, 2012.
The following is a complete list for which the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is responsible:
To better serve the agri-food industry, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs relies on 12 agencies, boards and commissions. Some, such as the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal, have an adjudicative role. Agricorp, an operational enterprise, for example, administers production insurance programs to provide farmers with protection against natural hazards and delivers income stabilization payments. The Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission as a regulatory agency, supervises the province's 20 marketing boards and four representative commodity associations. Other agencies are classified as operational service, trust, or advisory agencies.
The following is a complete list of agencies, boards and commissions as classified under the Agency Establishment and Accountability Directive for which the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is responsible. Only those entities with assets, liabilities, revenues or expenses greater than $50 million, or an annual surplus or deficit or outside revenue source of greater than $10 million, are consolidated in the ministry's results-based plan.
Agricorp (Operational Enterprise)
Agricorp is an Ontario government agency created in 1997 with the mandate of delivering crop insurance and other agricultural business risk management (BRM) programs. The two key programs currently delivered by Agricorp are: AgriStability, to protect producers against declines in margin; and Production Insurance, to protect crop producers from losses caused by adverse weather and other natural perils. Agricorp also delivers the Risk Management Program, the Farm Business Registration (FBR) program and the Grain Financial Protection Program (GFPP) on behalf of the province.
Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal (Adjudicative Agency)
The role of the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal is to provide an independent, accessible avenue of appeal on a variety of agricultural issues and have them heard by an impartial and knowledgeable Tribunal. The Tribunal hears applications and appeals made under approximately 18 statutes including the Drainage Act, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act (for appeals of decisions made under the Milk Act, and the Farm Products Marketing Act), the Crop Insurance Act, the Assessment Act, the Farm Implements Act, and the Food Safety and Quality Act. Most Tribunal members also serve on the Board of Negotiation (BON) established under the Environmental Protection Act.
Board of Negotiation (Adjudicative Agency)
Established under the authority of the Environmental Protection Act, the role of the Board of Negotiation (BON) is to negotiate a settlement of a claim where a contaminant is causing or has caused injury or damage to livestock or to crops, trees or other vegetation. Where a claimant has requested an investigation by the Minister of the Environment and a report is filed, and where the claimant and the person responsible for the injury or damage are not able to reach a settlement of the claim, either party may refer the matter to the BON for settlement. Settlements negotiated by the BON are non-binding. (Consolidated into the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal as of December 1999).
Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO) (Operational Service)
The primary role of ARIO is to provide strategic advice to the minister regarding research priorities and resource allocation in order to deliver high quality agriculture, food and rural research. This advice is an integral component of the ministry's research priority-setting and decision-making processes in allocating research funding. In addition, in 2007, ownership and management of the province's agri-food research infrastructure (14 provincial research stations and three agricultural colleges), critical to the future success of Ontario's agri-food and rural sectors and a key component of overall provincial economic growth, was transferred from the government to ARIO. ARIO has recently completed an extensive review of the existing agri-food research infrastructure portfolio and Ontario's future agri-food research platform needs. This review forms the basis of ARIO's Infrastructure Re-investment Strategy recommendations to the Minister.
Boards Under the Farm Products Payments Act
Under the Farm Products Payments Act, funds and boards are established to: protect producers from non-payment by dealers; investigate claims; grant or refuse payment of claims; and determine the amounts and manner of payment. Boards administering funds under the Farm Products Payment Act are the Grain Financial Protection Board and Livestock Financial Protection Board. Both boards under this Act are "trust agencies."
Livestock Medicines Advisory Committee (Advisory Agency)
This committee reviews all legislation and regulations pertaining to livestock medicines; inquires into and reports to the Minister on any matter referred to the committee by the Minister; advises the Minister on matters relating to the control and regulation of livestock medicines; evaluates and recommends procedures relating to the sale of livestock medicines and proper standards for maintenance, handling and storage of livestock medicines; and makes recommendations with respect to the description of drugs, or classes of drugs, as livestock medicines and the designation of livestock medicines for sale under a licence or any class of licence.
Normal Farm Practices Protection Board (Adjudicative Agency)
The Normal Farm Practices Protection Board hears appeals which arise under the Farming and Food Production Protection Act, 1998. The Act protects 'normal farm practices' from nuisance complaints and municipal bylaws.
Ontario AgriStability Review Committee (Advisory Agency)
The AgriStability program, delivered by Agricorp, was established to provide producers with effective tools to manage business risks. A program participant may submit a review request in the case of disagreement with how AgriStability program rules were applied to the participant's application. The Ontario AgriStability Review Committee is responsible for hearing review requests of Agricorp decisions in relation to program applications and making non-binding recommendations to Agricorp.
Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission (Regulatory Agency)
The Commission supervises Ontario's 20 marketing boards and four representative commodity associations created under the Farm Products Marketing Act and the Milk Act; develops, recommends and implements policy with respect to regulated marketing in Ontario in consultation with the Minister; provides education programs to Ontario's marketing boards and industry stakeholders to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the regulated marketing system; and provides leadership to marketing boards and representative associations. The Commission is also responsible for the enactment of milk and milk product quality regulations under the Milk Act which are then enforced by the director named under the Milk Act.
Ontario Food Terminal Board (Operational Enterprise)
The Ontario Food Terminal is the largest wholesale fruit and produce distribution center in Canada. It was established in 1954 to provide a convenient, efficient and low cost receiving and shipping facility for wholesalers of fruit and produce, and now serves all of Eastern Canada and some of the Northern States.
All operational aspects of the Ontario Food Terminal are overseen by the Ontario Food Terminal Board. The Board, consisting of seven members, acts like a landlord for the Terminal. Its mandate is to acquire, construct, equip and operate a wholesale fruit and produce market. The Ontario Food Terminal consists of warehouse tenants and farmer's market tenants.
Warehouse tenants market imported and domestic grown fruits and vegetables, whereas farmer's market tenants provide only Ontario and Canadian grown.
Rural Economic Development Advisory Panel (Advisory Agency)
The Rural Economic Development Advisory Panel (REDAP) is a volunteer panel appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs who have expertise in rural economic development. The REDAP meets on an "as needed" basis but at least quarterly. Panel members review project applications for various rural economic development programs and make recommendations for funding to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Ministry Allocation of 2012-13 Base Spending ($Millions)*
*Reflects ministry expense to be voted
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs - Operating and Capital Summary by Vote
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is advancing its strategic, long-term vision of "Successful and sustainable agri-food and agri-product businesses". To realize this vision, OMAFRA is focusing on the following goals: increasing the competitiveness and productivity of Ontario's agri-food and agri-product businesses; increasing the consumption of local food in Ontario; and bringing an Open for Business approach to legislative and regulatory reform, while focusing on the public interest in health and the environment.
* Estimates for the previous fiscal year are re-stated to reflect any changes in ministry organization and/or program structure. Interim actuals reflect the numbers presented in the 2012 Ontario Budget.
Ministry Activities and Results 2010-2011
In 2011-2012, the ministry's key activities fell under the three priorities of:
Thriving Agriculture and Food Sectors
Since 2003-2004, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has invested almost $100 million in programming to support Ontario foods. These efforts are paying off, with half of shoppers surveyed reporting that they are now buying more fresh Ontario foods.
Under the Ontario Market Investment Fund (OMIF), the ministry partnered with agri-food industry groups and local food networks to help jump start or maintain momentum for local food initiatives. The province invested almost $10 million through OMIF in 197 regional and local food projects and initiatives.
Through the Broader Public Sector Fund, the Ontario government invested $4.3 million in 38 projects, which assisted farm operations and food distributors with working together to bring more local food into the food-value chain, leading to increases in Ontario food purchased at institutions across the province and new jobs within the sector.
Revenue from Ontario's food, beverage and tobacco manufacturing sector totals more than $35 billion, making it the second-largest goods manufacturing sector in the province. There are about 3,000 establishments that employ approximately 95,000 people.
Our farmers depend on a robust food manufacturing base in this province. Food and beverage processors are our farmers' largest customer, purchasing almost 65 per cent of Ontario's food-related farm products.
OMAFRA's programs and services led to $490 million investment in the food processing sector in 2011-2012, creating or retaining over 7,300 jobs.
In 2011-12, the ministry continued working with the food processing sector as a priority under the Rural Economic Development program. Some recent examples of projects that are increasing business competitiveness and creating jobs in food processing, include:
In 2011, Ontario's total agri-food exports were $9.9 billion. This is a 5.4 percent increase over 2010.
In 2011-12, over $37.5 million was invested through Growing Forward to provide farmers and food processors with access to improved planning and best practices related to environment and climate change, food safety and traceability, biosecurity and business development.
Some results of these Growing Forward initiatives include:
Programs were also targeted toward increasing the agri-food sector's awareness of innovation opportunities, applied research and commercialization:
Since 2003, the ministry has provided more than $2 billion in farm income and stabilization programming.
In 2011, building on the momentum of the ministry's efforts in recent years to support farmers with resources and programs, the ministry developed and launched Risk Management Programs (RMP) for the hog, cattle, veal and sheep sectors; extended the existing grains and oilseeds RMP; and launched a self-directed Risk Management program for producers of edible horticulture.
The new Wildlife Damage Compensation Program was also launched in June 2011, expanding the list of affected wildlife species and livestock for which farmers can receive compensation, as well as increasing maximum compensation levels.
In 2011-2012, more than $2 million in funding was provided for more than 3,600 claims.
Strong Rural Communities
In 2011-2012, the ministry continued to deliver significant infrastructure initiatives on behalf of the Ontario government, particularly the stimulus component of the Building Canada Fund - Communities Component and the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, to ensure that projects were completed prior to the program completion date of October 31, 2011. Under these programs, nearly 1,500 projects were completed, creating sustainable, quality infrastructure and thousands of new jobs in communities across Ontario.
The Ontario Small Waterworks Assistance Program (OSWAP) provides funding over four years so small communities can improve water conservation and efficiency in their water and wastewater systems. In 2011-2012, the Ontario government invested more than $40 million in 85 projects under the third phase of the program (OSWAP-3).
Since 2007, the ministry has committed up to $127 million to four broadband funding programs to get rural Ontario plugged into the information highway.
This includes the $170 million Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus regional broadband project. The province and the federal government each committed $55 million to the project.
The Rural Economic Development (RED) program helps rural communities remove barriers to economic development and growth through efforts in revitalizing communities, support for food processing and increasing opportunities for skills development. In 2011-2012, the RED program committed to funding 45 projects. This represents a program investment of $14.9 million, generating $101 million in economic activity and creating or retaining nearly 3,500 jobs.
The Ontario government also partners with rural businesses to provide summer jobs for students in rural communities throughout the province. Since 2003, the Rural Summer Jobs Service program has provided a wage subsidy to more than 10,500 employers for the placement of more than 40,000 students.
Safe Food, Healthy Animals, Healthy Environment
The ministry recognizes the importance of being able to track the movement of food products from farm to fork - it makes for good business and emergency preparedness.
That is why more than $30.2 million has been invested in traceability projects and improvements. Since 2009, more than $16 million has been provided to more than 1,200 applicants to fund facility projects under the Food Safety and Traceability initiative.
In 2011, through the brand new Traceability Foundations Initiative, the governments of Canada and Ontario committed to support projects led by the agri-food industry to share information, enhance industry competitiveness and improve the speed in which Ontario responds in the event of a food product recall.
To date, 23 projects have been approved and are underway, representing a total government commitment of nearly $8 million. This new program will help make our industry stronger, protect consumers and ensure market access for our farmers and food processors.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources, OMAFRA has helped to implement the Endangered Species Act by providing technical support and advice on issues related to species-at-risk protection in agricultural landscapes.
OMAFRA also supported the Bobolink Round Table appointed by the Minister of Natural Resources to provide advice on long-term solutions that balance Bobolink protection with agricultural operations.
In 2011-2012, the ministry worked with the ministries of the Environment and Natural Resources on the stewardship of Ontario's water resources by:
Working with the Ministry of the Environment, OMAFRA continued to help implement Ontario's Water Strategy, a multi-ministry effort to encourage the creation and export of innovative clean water technologies, promote water conservation, attract economic development and create jobs.
In 2011-2012, the ministry worked to deliver on actions identified in Climate Ready: Ontario's Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan, including:
It is important for producers and farmers to adopt effective biosecurity measures to reduce the breakout of diseases.
Over the last year the ministry has partnered with industry, the federal government and other provinces to raise awareness of biosecurity issues, as well as develop and implement a set of national standards and best practices for major commodities.
High Performance Ministry
In 2011, the ministry worked on several initiatives that have helped us deliver on our priorities and develop as a high-performance ministry.
In May 2011, the Ontario's and Quebec's agriculture ministers, as part of the Quebec-Ontario Trade and Cooperation Agreement, committed to working with the dairy industry on areas of common interest, and confirmed the ongoing importance of supporting Canada's supply management systems in international trade agreements.
In 2011-2012, the ministry continued to use our diversity strategy; Rooted in Diversity: A Place for Everyone to identify opportunities to integrate diversity and inclusion into the ministry's human resources and business practices.
OMAFRA has also continued to deliver on its commitments outlined in its 2010 green plan, which aligned with the OPS Green Transformation Strategy. In 2011-12, the ministry, led by the cross-ministry "green team" has met several of its targets for the year and continues to be one of the leading green OPS ministries. Accomplishments include reducing fuel consumption and greening the ministry's fleet vehicles, as well as continuing to move forward with green business practices.
As part of its Open-for-Business commitments, the ministry has successfully met and exceeded its regulatory burden reduction target. Examples of how the ministry has worked to reduce regulatory burden in the agri-food industry include:
Research and innovation is important for everyone. It produces safer, higher quality food; protects our environment; produces bio-products and renewable fuels; achieves growth and profitability and builds stronger rural communities.
The ministry continues to focus its efforts on agri-food research and innovation, fostering partnerships with a wide variety of research institutions and industry stakeholders across the value chain.
This includes support for commercialization and innovation through ongoing funding of the Agri-Technology Commercialization Centre (ATCC), the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (VRIC), the Farm Innovation Program, and the development of intellectual property, including patents and licenses, through the OMAFRA and University of Guelph partnership.
OMAFRA effectively administers research and innovation programming through the OMAFRA and University of Guelph Partnership, which are fully aligned with government and stakeholder priorities. Projects funded under seven diverse areas provide new technologies and solutions to challenges facing the agri-food sector and rural communities.
The ministry has worked with the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO) to develop an agri-food research infrastructure Reinvestment Strategy that includes establishing up to five industry-driven research centres. Work is already underway to develop a horticultural-focused centre at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, as well as a new livestock research centre at the Elora Research Station.
Innovation Forums are opportunities for decision makers from industry, academia and government to discuss specific challenges or opportunities in a sector. Four Innovation Forums have taken place to date, which have focused on Water for Food Processors; Food Innovation; Biogas and the Bioeconomy.
* Interim actuals reflect the numbers presented in the 2012 Ontario Budget.