We foster a healthy and inclusive society. We strive for equitable practices that support our employees, industry and communities.

Our impact

Enhancing financial inclusion in agriculture

We disbursed $5.54 billion in lending to Indigenous communities and Peoples, women, and young farmers and entrepreneurs.

Working towards reconciliation

We’re on track to move into the certification phase of the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program by 2024 and have developed an approach to promote procurement and supply chain opportunities with Indigenous businesses.

Making diversity a priority

30.8% of our new hires self-declared as members of employment equity groups. We also published our first Accessibility Plan in alignment with the Government of Canada’s Accessible Canada Act.

Tackling food insecurity

With the help of 90 industry partners, the equivalent of over 40 million meals for Canadians in need were collected through the annual Drive Away Hunger program. FCC contributed over 2.5 million meals towards this total.

Supporting mental health

We launched Rooted in Resilience, the second instalment in our mental health series. This series is designed for Canadian producers and highlights tips, resources, and stories to generate awareness and support for the industry.

Our progress

Supporting diversity, equity and inclusion

Our goal is to help the industry and our customers achieve their full potential – and that includes initiatives to support under-represented groups, specifically Indigenous communities and Peoples, women entrepreneurs, and young farmers and entrepreneurs. Barriers to entry exist, such as farmland prices, start-up costs, access to capital or credit, regulatory requirements and agriculture knowledge.

FCC began the PAR certification process in late 2020. The PAR program is administered by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) and is designed to help companies advance their ability to support the social and economic inclusion of Indigenous Peoples. 

The program has four critical drivers to sustain a company’s focus on progressive and positive relations with Indigenous businesses and communities: leadership actions, employment, business development and community relationships. The certification process typically takes companies seven years to complete. In 2022-23, we completed Phase 2 of the three-year “committed” phase and we‘re on track to move into the certification phase by 2024. 

We continue to make progress on our Indigenous lending program with a goal of enabling more Indigenous community participation in the Canadian agriculture and agri-food industry. In 2021-22, FCC began gathering Indigenous declaration information from new and existing customers, which helps us make informed decisions on addressing barriers experienced by Indigenous businesses and communities within the agriculture sector. As of the end of March 2023, 30,496 FCC customers have been surveyed, of which 665 have declared as Indigenous. We believe that this number will continue to grow as more new and existing customers complete the declaration. 

FCC remains committed to empowering women in agriculture and food. Since the launch of the FCC Women Entrepreneur Program in 2019 and as of March 31, 2023, FCC has approved 3,350 Women Entrepreneur Loans totalling over $2.2 billion. Under this loan, FCC waives up to $1,000 in processing fees and encourages borrowers to reinvest those savings into personal and professional development, suiting their individual and growing business needs.

In addition to the capital that women need to grow their business, FCC also provides meaningful skill development opportunities. For example, on International Women’s Day (March 2023), FCC hosted both a French and English FCC Women’s Summit to an in-person and virtual audience. Topics focused on financial health, business transition and mental health.

FCC continues to work towards making the agriculture and food industry more accessible to the next generation of producers and agribusinesses. FCC’s Young Farmer Loan and Young Entrepreneur Loan are aimed at producers under 40; and our FCC Starter Loan is for first-time producers and agribusiness operators between 18 and 25 and is intended to help establish a credit history and build business skills.

Being successful in agriculture is a lifelong journey of learning, adapting and growing to keep up in today’s changing world. In addition to customized financing options, FCC helps our next-generation customers gain the skills and knowledge tied to business management, farm transition, managing people and financial literacy. New in 2022-23 was the launch of agriculture and food FCC peer groups, with a goal of connecting growth-minded individuals to share goals and challenges, and to support each other’s business success.

FCC knows there are many things to consider when transitioning the family business and its assets to the younger generation and the process can look different for every farm. Since 2018, the FCC Advisory Services team has been helping farm families gain clarity, identify goals and determine the next steps in their transition journey. In addition to the Advisory Services team and the FCC Transition Loan, we continue to develop transition content on to educate and grow financial literacy. In 2022-23, we delivered a nine-part webinar series on farm transition.

Diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace

FCC continues to develop a workforce that represents the diversity and strengths of the industry and communities we serve. FCC knows that a work environment that values diverse experiences and perspectives makes us stronger and more innovative. We ensure that our hiring practices are fair and that there is equitable access to employment opportunities.

FCC aims to attract qualified and diverse talent, including members of four designated groups: women, Indigenous, racialized or people of colour, people experiencing disability, and other equity-deserving talent. FCC continues to execute our Indigenous Employment Equity Plan, which focuses on workforce supply, talent and candidate readiness; recruitment, retention, advancement and partnership; and workplace inclusion and accountability.

We focus on retention through engaging employees with lived experience to help us understand if any barriers exist. In 2022-23, FCC created an Indigenous Affinity Group to support Indigenous employees and their allies. The Indigenous Affinity Group is supported by an Enterprise Management Team sponsor to ensure a direct link between Indigenous employees, their allies and leadership. This group, which includes employees from across the country, meets monthly to connect and discuss learning opportunities for the group and for their colleagues. In coming years, FCC plans to expand the affinity group model for other equity-deserving groups.

In 2022-23, FCC published its first Accessibility Plan in alignment with the Government of Canada’s Accessible Canada Act. Our three-year Accessibility Plan outlines gaps in accessibility that FCC has uncovered and steps it will take in the next three years to close those gaps as part of its commitment to making FCC barrier-free by 2040.

Mental Health

In November 2022, Rooted in Resilience, FCC’s new mental health publication, was delivered to 180,000 rural mailboxes across Canada and was made available online. It’s the second and latest mental health publication designed for Canadian producers, authored by mental health experts and created by FCC. The publication focuses on reinforcing resilient mindsets and behaviours by offering clear, practical steps to manage stress, anxiety and depression. It showcases inspirational stories from farm operators and families and professional advice that can help our customers and the industry to grow even stronger and continue to thrive. 

Reducing hunger

Since its founding by FCC in 2004, the annual Drive Away Hunger campaign has been a catalyst for engaging the agriculture and food community in providing food and funds, and engaging in reclamation initiatives to support charitable food security agencies and programs across the country. FCC and our industry partners are proud to support this initiative. Of the 40 million meals collected in 2022, FCC contributed 2.5 million meals towards this year’s campaign, with the remaining meals donated by 90 agriculture and food partners across Canada. FCC also provided $200,000 in funding to school feeding programs at Indigenous and community schools nationwide.

Tackling food waste

FCC knows that food reclamation is an important strategy for reducing food insecurity and combating climate change. If we use more food that’s currently available, we can provide it to those struggling and reduce pressure to produce more. In 2019, FCC donated $150,000 to Canada’s largest charitable food distribution hub, Moisson Montréal, to establish a repackaging line. This line allows them to accept and redistribute large quantities of surplus fruit and vegetables to organizations that feed people in need. In 2022, 349,915 lbs were repackaged on the line and redistributed throughout Quebec and Ontario. Since the line became operational in 2021, 380,599 lbs of food have been saved, with an increase in production of over 10 times year over year.

Responsible supply chain

It’s important the suppliers we work with share FCC values and reflect what we stand for. Our supply chain is typical of a financial institution, primarily IT hardware, software, professional consulting services, leases and leasehold improvements, office supplies, equipment and office furnishings.

FCC is transitioning to a centre-led procurement operating model that focuses on incorporating diversity into the organization’s procurement processes and outcomes, including setting and achieving specific procurement targets created to increase our procurement of goods and services through Indigenous businesses. In 2022-23, FCC leased office space from a First Nation landlord. To celebrate this partnership, an on-site land acknowledgement was delivered at the start of the space’s first official meeting.

In addition to focusing on Indigenous-owned businesses, the procurement program that FCC is developing will also focus on contracting with businesses that have similar values. For example, companies that have programs in place that support truth and reconciliation by means of their own awareness programs and hiring practices.