Manitoba Beef Producers pleased with farm fuel exemption in provincial climate plan

Posted October 30, 2017

WINNIPEG – Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is pleased with Friday’s announcement that fuel used on their farms will be exempt from a carbon tax in the provincial government’s Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan.

 The exemption was one of the key points in MBP’s Carbon Pricing Policy, which was released in March. President Ben Fox said the association appreciates that the Oct. 27 announcement by the provincial government recognizes the realities of on-farm economics.

“As Premier Pallister has noted, and as we have stressed for months, agricultural producers are pure price takers,” Fox said. “We do not have the ability to pass along any price increases or carbon taxes and are vulnerable to having other industries pass those costs down to the farm. Today’s announcement prevents a piling on of costs that would stretch our already slim margins into losses.”

Fox added that the provincial government’s decision not to target agricultural emissions for direct sector reductions via the carbon price or other elements of the plan is also important.

MBP will study the plan to see what other aspects might impact the industry, such as the possible creation of a Centre for Sustainable Agriculture that could do research related to adaptation and resilience, as well as ways to reduce emissions from agricultural production. MBP had called for investments in research in these areas as part of its Carbon Pricing Policy. Fox said MBP will be active in consulting the government on the plan and lobbying on behalf of members.

“The exemption for on-farm fuel is certainly a positive development. However, we recognize that the industry will still feel some impact from the plan,” Fox said. “Our role, as the voice of the province’s beef industry, is to make sure that impact is as little as possible.

“We will also continue to identify to the provincial government the valuable ecological goods and services provided by beef producers in managing privately-owned and agricultural Crown lands, including helping to sequester carbon, preserving wetlands and providing valuable habitat for a wide variety of species,” added Fox. “We believe it is important that these ecosystem services are recognized.”

Manitoba Beef Producers is the exclusive voice of the province’s beef industry. Our role and mission is to represent our beef producers through communication, research, advocacy and education. Manitoba Beef Producers represents 6,500 beef producers across the province.