A White Paper on Animal Agriculture in Canada and its Regions
CAPI undertook this White Paper initiative to provide a better understanding of the effects of animal agriculture, from the broadest of perspectives, so that an audience involved in the policy dialogue – but not necessarily ensconced in animal agriculture – could identify and understand the essential strategic elements in a holistic manner, and so that a database and accompanying analyses could allow the industry to formulate proactive strategy more easily.
To facilitate this, CAPI developed an extensive framework with sufficient breadth and a balance sheet-type of structure that accounts for stocks and flows, as well as multiple dimensions through which to evaluate outcomes: environmental, human health, economic, and social. It allows the capital stocks deployed in animal agriculture to connect with flows of outputs – farm products and wastes – which may then be organized into supply chain discussions.
The resulting White Paper report involves a literature review, data analysis and visualization, and interpretation, leading to a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). In so doing, this document attempts to strike a balance between the granular detail of original research and specific mechanisms and relationships with high-level overview and strategic perspective.
- Animal agriculture in Canada is a complex and interconnected system, and while there are differences, many challenges and opportunities are shared. Its value and impact cannot be measured with simple metrics and requires a comprehensive approach.
- Improving economic, environmental, and social sustainability across animal agriculture requires common solutions, including growth-oriented policies, investments in research and innovation and in transportation and infrastructure, and an enhanced data framework.
- Risks facing animal agriculture, such as disease, loss of grassland, markets, and extreme weather, are increasing and require greater focus and innovative policy solutions.
- Export-oriented and domestically focused value chains both have growth opportunities, but each faces unique barriers. A constructive, strategic dialogue is needed on how to unlock each value chain’s full potential.
- Canadian animal agriculture has among the lowest emissions intensities in the world. Policies that integrate sustainability, food security and growth can help meet climate targets and SDGs, and build Canada’s comparative advantage.
CAPI would like to thank Grand River Agricultural Society, UFA Co-operative, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Canadian Cattle Association, and the Livestock Research and Innovation Corporation for their financial support of this project.
CAPI also benefitted from the engagement of a steering committee, three rounds of consultations with a broader audience in the development of the accompanying white paper, and a focussed dialogue to discuss an earlier draft of this report.
Download the white paper below, or click here to view the synthesis document.