Public Policy Role
FCC’s mandate is described in the Farm Credit Canada Act as follows:
The purpose of the corporation is to enhance rural Canada by providing specialized and personalized business and financial services and products to farming operations, including family farms, and to those businesses in rural Canada, including small and medium-sized businesses, that are businesses related to farming. The primary focus of the activities of the corporation shall be on farming operations, including family farms.
Our priorities reflect the federal government’s mandate to support agriculture and agri-food in a way that allows this vibrant industry to be a leader in job creation and innovation. Government priorities for the industry include support for agri-food exports, under-represented groups in Canadian agriculture and agri-food, products to facilitate intergenerational transfers and assist young and new farmers entering the industry, and climate and sustainability goals.
FCC’s pandemic support program, bolstered by the Government of Canada’s capital commitment, has allowed FCC to maintain a steady presence in the industry and support our customers through the pandemic. The support program has included the option to defer interest and principal payments as well as provide access to additional credit line and term lending products. FCC is ready to support Canada’s economic recovery in a post-pandemic environment.
The pandemic was not the only external challenge that Canada’s agriculture industry has faced this past year. FCC launched customer support programs throughout 2021 to support operators managing through the drought, extreme heat and flooding in Western Canada, to customers in parts of Eastern Canada who could be facing financial hardship due to reduced maple syrup yields this year and to potato producers in Prince Edward Island who have been affected by trade challenges in the export of fresh and seed potatoes following the identification of potato wart in select fields.
FCC is evolving to support changing customer preferences. We continue to enhance our digital offerings, enabling customers to manage more transactions remotely. We are engaging with customers and partners to develop new and enhanced digital processes that are simple and secure. In addition, we are working to simplify internal processes, leading to an increased speed of service to our customers.
FCC is well positioned to support our customers and Canadian agriculture and agri-food through whatever lies ahead, including support for the health and mental well-being of our employees and customers. We continue to work collaboratively with the Government of Canada through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to evolve our strategies to support shareholder priorities and the needs of the agriculture and agri-food industry.
We provide access to capital
FCC provides access to capital by delivering a wide range of financial and business products and services tailored to the industry’s unique needs. Access to capital allows primary producers and agribusiness and agri-food operators to adopt innovative practices and business models that enable them to expand, lower their production costs, develop new products, compete in global markets and take advantage of trade opportunities.
Canadian producers and agribusinesses benefit from a choice of financing options. We partner with Canadian financial institutions to provide financing for larger agriculture operations and agribusinesses. We also offer venture capital financing to the industry through investment in external funds managed by independent third-party investment professionals.This commitment to venture capital ensures financing and business expertise are available to help innovative firms grow into strong businesses in Canada.
FCC continued to be self-sustaining and profitable in 2021-22. Our ongoing strength and stability allow us to serve agriculture through all cycles, as evidenced by our steady support through the pandemic. We continue to reinvest FCC’s profits into agriculture through increased lending to customers and by developing knowledge, products and services to meet our customers’ needs.
We help customers dream, grow and thrive
We believe sound financial management is key to successful agriculture and agri-food operations. To help advance producers’ business management capabilities, FCC offered a wide range of virtual learning events, multimedia tools, publications and other resources to our customers and the industry in 2021-22. Producers of all ages and in all sectors can access our resources, free of charge. AgExpert, our accounting and farm management software, includes cloud-based tools that enhance our customers’ ability to manage their businesses, meet consumer demands and digitize their farm records. Our employees have the appropriate knowledge and tools to provide solid insight and expertise to our customers to help them achieve their goals. In addition, FCC provides mental health publications and resources through our website to help customers, employees and the public take care of their families and themselves.
The next generation is important to the ongoing growth and success of Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry. FCC proudly supports these enthusiastic, hardworking people by offering products and services such as the Starter Loan, Transition Loan, Young Farmer Loan and Young Entrepreneur Loan. Our aim is to help young people enter the industry, assist them with intergenerational transfers of operations, provide them with valuable knowledge and help grow their businesses. In December 2021, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced expanded financing opportunities through FCC for young farmers and young food business owners to help unleash the ideas, passion and energy of Canadian youth in the industry. Both the Young Farmer and Young Entrepreneur Loans had their lifetime maximum increased to $1.5 million.
We support government policy through collaboration with other government agencies
FCC partners with Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada to support innovation and access to international markets for Canadian agribusiness and agri-food operators. Our employees and their counterparts at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada connect on a range of topics important to the agriculture industry, including farmland values, commodity prices and interest rates.
We’re dedicated to agriculture and take a long-term view
We support the agriculture and agri-food industry and are committed to its long-term success. Our strong financial position enables us to provide innovative, industry-focused products and services and ensure producers and agribusiness and agri-food operators have choice in the marketplace.
Our loan products reflect that agriculture is a cyclical industry and that it takes time for business operations to flourish. Unpredictable weather and market conditions can negatively affect producers and agribusiness and agri-food operators. We support our customers through all economic cycles. Our customer support programs allow customers to restructure the terms of their loans to help manage through difficult times.
Our employees attend events and meetings hosted by industry, stakeholder and producer groups, and we share knowledge and solicit input and feedback on issues facing agriculture. We also lead Canada’s largest agriculture-focused research panel, called FCC Vision. FCC Vision enables its members to share their ideas and opinions about Canadian agriculture and how FCC can best serve this exciting, growing industry.
FCC carefully balances the resources needed to support a growing enterprise while controlling costs and increasing efficiencies. This allows us to deliver on our public policy objectives and sustain our strong financial performance and ability to serve agriculture and agri-food in the years to come.
We operate our business in a sustainable manner
FCC is committed to agriculture in all cycles, and our work helps our customers reach their full potential and enables us to support continued growth, progress and innovation in the industry. We strive to support sustainability in the industry we serve and have already made great strides toward operating sustainably and supporting the industry to do the same – we have a strong community investment program, we are steadfast with our support and promotion of the industry, we offer an unwavering focus on our customers, we provide an exceptional employee experience and we continue to focus on reducing our environmental footprint.
FCC exercises all reasonable care to safeguard the environment and protect the value of real property taken as lending security.
We take into account gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) considerations for the entire sector, including women in agriculture, young people in agriculture, Indigenous agriculture operators, mental health and diversity. FCC will continue to explore new opportunities to fulfil our mandate while addressing the unique needs of diverse groups in the industry we serve. We believe our activities are consistent with the Government of Canada’s commitment to securing greater social and economic inclusion for women, Indigenous Peoples and people of diverse backgrounds and age.
Results and delivery
As a federal Crown corporation, FCC is committed to making a difference in the lives of Canadians by supporting a strong, vibrant and sustainable Canadian agriculture and agri-food industry, which in turn supports a strong, food-secure and sustainable Canada.
By achieving our mandate through the provision of specialized products, services, knowledge and support to Canadian producers and agribusiness and agri-food operators, FCC serves as a trusted partner. We enable the industry to continue to create good jobs and opportunities in rural communities across the country, and to drive the Canadian economy, including supporting the industry through the economic impacts of the pandemic and adverse weather events.