Message from the President and CEO
A look back at 2022-23
FCC has been contributing to the Canadian agriculture and food industry since 1959. And our organization’s focus on helping our customers reach their full potential and enabling this industry to succeed has never been more important.
On June 30, 2022, Michael Hoffort, our President and CEO, retired after leading the organization since 2014. I had the honour to step in as the interim CEO until the appointment of Justine Hendricks, effective January 30, 2023.
Looking back on 2022-23, we accomplished so much and lived into our mandate in many ways – and the details are captured in this annual report. A few highlights include: $8.0 billion in lending for producers, $3.0 billion in lending for agri-food operations and agribusinesses and $64.4 million committed to five new venture capital funds. FCC knowledge and business management content generated over one million online views and upwards of 50 learning events reached an audience of over 16,000 participants. In terms of advisory services, over 800 client engagements were made in support of the industry.
FCC also advanced our efforts to support under-represented groups in agriculture and food. We lent $5.05 billion to young farmers and $401.7 million to women entrepreneurs in 2022-23. We hosted a symbolic Indigenous flag raising ceremony in June at our corporate office in Regina, with several local Indigenous leaders in attendance. We recently completed Phase 2 of our Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) certification process and are working toward Phase 3 in the “Committed” category. And we opened our first FCC field office on Indigenous territory (Millbrook First Nation in Nova Scotia) in January.
We continued to support the industry by offering support programs for customers in 2022-23, which included short-term credit options, deferrals of principal payments and other loan payment schedule amendments to reduce financial pressures on producers affected by challenges such as adverse weather, supply chain disruptions and increased input costs.
Noteworthy environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives in 2022-23 included the publication of our first set of climate-related disclosures, based on the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) standards, in July. We announced three sustainability incentive programs for customers – one for beef producers in partnership with the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, another for McCain-affiliated potato producers, and a third program for Cargill RegenConnectTM crop input users. We gave back $1.5 million to 85 community projects through our AgriSpirit Fund, and through the generosity of 95 industry partners, we helped raise over 40 million meals for food banks and feeding programs nationwide through Drive Away Hunger. We also published a new mental health publication for the industry, Rooted in Resilience, in November.
I am so grateful for our more than 2,300 employees across Canada. Together we demonstrated great resilience and openness to new possibilities this past fiscal year. We accomplished a seamless transition out of the pandemic to our new flexible work environment. In the face of uncertainty, our employees remained committed to our customers, the industry and one another. And with the arrival of our new President and CEO, Justine Hendricks, we anticipate the continued success of FCC and this great industry.
Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer / Interim President and CEO
It is such an honour for me to join this incredible organization in service of the Canadian agriculture and food industry. I have been in the President and CEO role since January 30 and it has been my priority to meet with employees, customers and stakeholders, learning and connecting the dots. It has also been a joy to travel across the country and get to know the people working day in and day out to produce food for our fellow Canadians and consumers around the world.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Ross Topp for his leadership as Interim President and CEO prior to my arrival. By all indications — and as you’ll read in this report — FCC is an exceptionally well-run organization and it’s a privilege for me to continue to lead it into the future.
We are committed to remaining a trusted and stable financial partner to the agriculture and food industry, while also delivering on our mandate commitments to help the sector grow, innovate, pursue new markets and close gaps in research, technology and infrastructure. We are focused on streamlining processes, improving controls, and enhancing technologies to serve customers through their channel of choice and enable employees to provide more value to customers. It’s also in our mandate to support sustainability in the industry, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change.
I mentioned the importance of connecting with customers and stakeholders upon my arrival at FCC. Over the past several months, I have met with producers and food processors from coast to coast. I have been so impressed by the customers and processors and logistics required, so that when we sit down to enjoy a meal at night, the food that is in front of us is safe. I believe Canada is a leader in this regard. Our farmers are great stewards of their land. And the industry overall — whether on the processing side or food perspective — also takes great pride in innovation, efficiency and stewardship of the land. Everyone is playing a longer game.
As we consider what’s at stake — Canada’s ability to feed the world — we come back to the subject of food itself. That’s also what strikes me about our customers and the industry we serve. Home is the industry – when our customers are at home, their work is ever-present, whether it’s the food on their plates, or thoughts of their employees, their animals, their operation. Our customers do not leave “work” at the office. We all rely on food to fuel and power our lives. Our customers and industry truly fuel humanity and power the differences we make each and every day.
Agriculture and food is not what you do. It’s who you are.
FCC exists to help all players in the agriculture and food industry realize their full potential. Not just the potential for their operations or businesses, but their families – their children and their grandchildren. We’re committed to that and we’re playing a longer game too.
I’m still new here and I’m excited. The future of FCC and the Canadian agriculture and food industry is extremely bright, and from my perspective, we’re only getting started.
President and Chief Executive Officer