Dear AAC stakeholders,
By now you’ve no doubt heard that the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has decided to transfer the administration of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) for Ontario organizations and collaborations from the AAC to OMAFRA.
To say this is a shock is an understatement. AAC is extremely disappointed by this OMAFRA decision, which disrupts a long-running, productive and beneficial relationship that the AAC has had with the provincial government.
We believe in a funding model where decisions are made by the industry for the industry and there is no doubt that the decision to abandon this successful approach is a blow to the Ontario agriculture and agri-food industry.
As you know, funding decisions are based on expert knowledge, through an industry-elected 16-member board of directors who are actively engaged across the sector. AAC is widely recognized as a success story, functioning for the last 23 years as an industry-led, arms-length delivery partner that has responded quickly, appropriately, and efficiently to the needs and priorities of the industry.
Since its inception, AAC has committed approximately $300 million in support of over 3,800 projects for the Ontario agriculture and agri-food industry.
Since CAP was launched in March 2018, AAC has continued to build on our strong track record of efficient and effective customer service and accountability to our applicants, our funding partners at OMAFRA and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the broader industry.
Every person in Ontario believes finding economic efficiencies is a good thing, and every sector and every Ontarian is trying to do more with less. The AAC is part of the solution as our program delivery is and has always been efficient, effective and timely.
What happens now?
We await further information from the province about next steps related to the CAP transition, but please be assured that we will do our utmost to continue to deliver the high quality and professional service that you have come to expect from the AAC team. We will keep our applicants informed as we learn more.
This decision by OMAFRA will not impact our ability to honour our commitments with other industry partners. As an organization, we are committed to finding other sources of funding to continue the work of making those in the Ontario agriculture and agri-food industry more prosperous and successful.
We are extremely appreciative of the widespread support we have received from our stakeholders and member organizations – thank you for continuing to support our work on behalf of the entire agriculture and agri-food sector.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Terry Thompson, AAC Executive Director at 519-822-7554 ext. 624 or firstname.lastname@example.org.