International - Factory Farming Beyond Canada

Factory farming in Canada is influenced by international trade agreements, the policies and economies of importing and exporting nations, and Canada’s own agricultural policies concerning trade and export of livestock and meat.

Factory farming in Canada can affect other countries as the situation here can impact importing nations, notably their domestic livestock production system and the ability of their farmers to earn a livelihood.

As citizens in Canada, the USA, and Europe make it more difficult for companies to off-load production costs onto rural communities, the environment, and future generations, the global factory farming industry will turn toward countries with weaker regulations such as Russia, Poland, Brazil and Mexico.

Beyond Factory Farming supports the pursuit of food sovereignty. Food sovereignty is the right of communities, peoples, and countries (including regional groups of countries) to determine their own agricultural and food policies, including the protection and regulation of domestic agricultural production and trade in order to meet sustainable development objectives. Food sovereignty is therefore incompatible with international trade agreements such as the Doha Round of the WTO, NAFTA, and the FTAA, which support the economic liberalization of the South and penalize nations who protect their own food systems.

Canada’s Role on the World Stage

The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) was approved by 54 governments in Johannesburg in early 2008. It depicts “a sobering account of the failure of industrial farming. It calls for a fundamental change in the way we do farming, to better address soaring food prices, hunger, social inequities and environmental disasters.”

However, Canada Australia, the United Kingdom and the US have been reluctant to support this groundbreaking report which offers a blueprint that may save our global food systems.

Trade Agreements

The implications of trade agreements such as the WTO, NAFTA, the FTAA, and others are significant for livestock production.