Business Risk Management Program Renewal
Business Risk Management (BRM) programs include: AgriStability, AgriInsurance, AgriInvest and AgriRecovery.
AgriStability, a program meant to help producers manage significant risks and protect their operations from income declines that are beyond their control (ie. trade disputes and weather). Changes to the program have reduced its effectiveness and has resulted in low enrollment across the province.
The Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, was tasked in 2019 with carrying forward an earlier mandate to undertake a review of risk management programs, in conjunction with provinces and territories, with a special focus on AgriStability.
The Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions, together with Team Alberta, have been aligned with the agricultural industry across Canada in advocating for specific changes to AgriStability as a bridge to a new sustainable coverage model for the next policy framework (March 2023). The primary focus of our advocacy includes;
a) Permeant removal of the Reference Margin Limiting (RML) and;
b) A return to the 85% AgriStability coverage.
The commissions, in conjunction with Team Alberta have emphasized the need to remove the RML immediately. When it was introduced under the current program framework it created inequity within the AgriStability program amongst varied farm structures in the sector. The grains and oilseed sector, as well as other agricultural sub-sectors, are disadvantaged by these changes with respect to the calculation of allowable expenses.
In the long-term we support the need for meaningful change to the Business Risk Management (BRM) programs that will improve the: predictability, timeliness, bankability and equity of the programs.