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Green paper for an agri-food policy: the consumer has a role to play, sure, but it's up to the government to lead the way

The agri-food policy paper tabled yesterday by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) wants to give the consumer a bigger role in shaping the future of agriculture. But Equiterre believes that for the shift to sustainable agriculture to succeed, Quebec must lead the way, by implementing the necessary steps to transform our food system. 

The Provonost report also advised the government to assume a leadership role in this transition, as Europe has done over recent years. "We are lagging behind Europe, where governments have responded to the new societal demand for a more sustainable food system by encouraging producers to make changes, by rewarding practices that benefit society as a whole, such as protecting sources of drinking water," explains Sidney Ribaux, executive director of Equiterre.

"In his announcement today, Minister Corbeil mentioned several interesting measures including the attachment of environmental conditions to government support policies, and the optimization of the environment and the agricultural land base in Quebec. It remains to be seen if these ideas will make it into reality and take us into a greener future," says Nadine Bachand of Equiterre.

Equiterre continues to remind the government that our first agricultural policy must promote:

  • multifunctionality: farms have a value beyond the food that they produce
  • dynamic occupation of the territory, i.e., economic development with social benefits
  • one primary goal: feed the people of Quebec
  • plurality and diversification
  • the next generation of farmers
  • sustainable development
  • small growers

Equiterre will be a close observer and active participant in the consultations to come. 

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Eveline Trudel-Fugère