AGRICULTURE AND FOOD

1. Local food production and family farms

The necessity of healthy food makes the promotion and protection of local agricultural production particularly important for local self-reliance and resilience. A Green government would:

  • introduce incentives to encourage consumption of locally produced and organically- produced food;
  • develop standards and processes to facilitate direct marketing through farmers markets or at the farm gate. Permit unlimited production without undue financial burdens to small farms which sell to directly to the consumer;
  • allow the sale of raw milk from inspected premises;
  • promote adequate shelf space in grocery chains for products from local farms and local food processors to encourage and support the consumption of locally-grown food;
  • support the establishment of food production, processing and distribution enterprises intended to serve local and domestic markets through investment in local food systems and regional processing facilities to reduce food miles and transportation costs;
  • establish programs and extension services to support the development of local markets, distribution systems to support small scale producers;
  • require that all provincial institutions, departments and events adopt a “New Brunswick first” food purchasing policy whereby provincial sources are sought before purchasing from outside distributors;
  • establish an organic farming transition fund to assist farmers in moving from conventional to organic production systems;
  • advocate for changes in federal farm support programs to make them farm-based rather than production-based;
  • give farmers economic power in the marketplace. Economic power, not efficiency, predicts business success. Invest in cooperatives, collective marketing, single desk initiatives and Supply Management systems to mitigate the market power of increasingly consolidated processors, wholesalers and retailers;
  • shift away from commodity exports as the rising Canadian dollar and low commodity prices undermine the export economy. Refocus agriculture on the domestic Canadian market, allowing our farmers to profit from the quality, safety, health, environmental and labour standards Canadians demand;
  • end ethanol production from food crops. Focus biofuel research onto the conversion of waste into fuel;
  • provide incentives for on-farm alternative energy production, such as biodiesel production from oilseeds, methane digesters, wind or solar energy;
  • expand direct research into sustainable food production systems including climate change mitigation and on-farm energy efficiency;
  • protect remaining arable land for agriculture purposes either by compensating non-farming landowners for maintaining it, or establishing a provincial arable land trust which would purchase or receive donations of arable land to be held in perpetuity. Agricultural land in trust could be leased tax-free for farming; and
  • facilitate the establishment of community land trusts using municipal and other public lands, donated lands, or lands purchased for purpose of establishing land trusts, making it available for community agriculture.

 

2. Sustaining Biodiversity and Building Resilience through Agriculture

A Green government would:

  • establish a program to conserve and enhance New Brunswick’s crop and animal genetic resources. Promote heritage seed use and seed exchange programs;
  • establish programs that reimburse farmers for the public benefits of the ecological services they provide such as protect biodiversity, habitat and pollinators, sequester carbon and protect water;
  • protect the right of farmers to save their own seed;
  • phase out the use of genetically modified seed and crops in New Brunswick and ensure that developers of genetically engineered seeds are liable for any contamination of non-GM and especially organic crops;
  • expand Environmental Farm Plan programs to include initiatives to expand species diversity, protect wildlife habitat areas and marginal lands, improve soil quality, control erosion, improve riparian area management, grassland-management, protect water quality in streams, lakes and aquifers, retain water levels, and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions;
  • establish provincial goals for the gradual reduction of total pesticides and chemical fertilizers applied to farmland annually; and
  • establish an organic transition/production extension service within the Department of Agriculture and re-orient conventional extension services to promote biological pest management and fertilization techniques first, with synthetic chemicals and fertilizers as the last resort.

3. Healthy Food

A Green government would:

  • establish a “School Food Reform” program as a means of kick-starting local sustainable food chains, with attention to addressing the infrastructure, transportation, land use and public education elements of rebuilding local food production to serve local markets; and
  • minimize the occurrence of animal disease by eliminating the crowded conditions of intensive livestock operations, increasing the space required per animal and requiring seasonal access to sunlight and fresh air.

4. Food Labeling

A Green government would:

  • create a local food labelling program for New Brunswick produce and processed foods which will ensure consumers can clearly identify certified New Brunswick food; and
  • support federal mandatory labeling of all GE foods and food ingredients.

Leader's Video Blog

Our Principles

> Non-Violence

A culture of cooperation, caring and understanding is essential to ending violence in our society. Rehabilitation rather than vengeance must be the goal of our justice system.

> Self-Determination and Citizenship

We must have the opportunity and the responsibility as citizens to contribute to the common good, which requires that all have the capacity to participate in community life.

> Social Justice and Equality

Everyone must have equal access to the necessities of life and be treated with dignity and respect. Treaties with First Nations must be honoured.

> Participatory Democracy

We must be able to participate in decisions that affect our lives and be guaranteed that our votes are reflected in the make-up of the Legislative Assembly.

> Local Self-Reliance

Our communities should be in control of their own destinies, supported by strong local economies, and sustained by local sources of food and renewable energy.

> Living within Our Ecological Means

We must live within the ecological limits of the Earth, while meeting our needs without threatening our children's future or the survival of other species.

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