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Family farms vital for strong rural communities

Today, local Green Party of Canada candidate Patrick Larkin called for a new Canadian agriculture policy emphasizing organic, local food production.

“A healthy agricultural sector is a key element of a smarter economy,” Larkin said, citing the Green Party’s election platform.

“Keeping food production local ensures our food is safe and high quality, it ensures our communities are supported, and it ensures a stable and secure food supply,” said GPC leader Elizabeth May. “Independent family farms are the bedrock of our agricultural system and should be supported with programs structured to encourage more farms and more farmers instead of promoting corporate concentration.

“Tomorrow’s markets will have an even greater demand for local, organic products. The Green Party would provide funding for farmers making the transition to organic farming to take advantage of this rapidly growing market,” continued Ms. May.

The Greens are also advocating a move away from subsidizing costly agro-chemicals, industrial food production and genetically modified (GMO) crops. The Green Party would cut all federal biotech funding to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and ten percent of funding (the amount going to GMO biotech) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the National Research Council (NRC).

Patrick Larkin believes the Green vision for agriculture is particularly suited to the needs of this riding. “Here in Prince Edward–Hastings, agriculture and agri-business play a key role in our local economy and community. If we are to preserve our rural identity, we need a fresh, sustainable vision for our agriculture sector – a Green vision,” said Larkin.

The Green Party believes that Canadians have the right to safe, nutritious and locally-produced food, with an inspection system that they can trust. The party favours a sustainable farm economy that rewards production of quality food, supports local marketing, protects the domestic food supply and respects the soil, water and air on which our economy and our health depend.

“These are real people doing real jobs that matter,” Ms. May commented. “Without our farmers, we don’t eat. It is that basic,” she concluded.

Patrick Larkin,Green  Candidate

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