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.
FCC’s public policy role is the foundation of everything we do to advance the business of agriculture across Canada. Our priorities reflect the federal government’s mandate to support the agriculture sector in a way that allows this vibrant industry to be a leader in job creation and innovation.
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. We lend money to all agriculture sectors, including primary producers, agri-food operations and agribusinesses that provide inputs or add value to agriculture.
Access to capital allows producers and agribusinesses to adopt innovative practices and business models that enable them to expand, lower their production costs, develop new products and compete in global markets.
Healthy marketplace competition and a choice of financing are necessary for Canadian producers and agribusinesses to be successful through all economic cycles. FCC works with credit unions to address market and policy issues of mutual interest and identify opportunities for partnership. We partner with Canadian banks to provide financing for agriculture operations and agribusinesses. We also offer venture capital financing to Canadian agriculture through Avrio Capital, a private entity that manages a series of investment funds on behalf of FCC and other investment partners. This capital helps innovative firms grow into strong businesses in Canada.
FCC continued to be self-sustaining and profitable in 2016-17. Our ongoing strength and stability allows us to serve agriculture through all cycles. 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 advance the business of agriculture
We believe sound financial management is key to successful agriculture operations. To help advance producers’ business management skills and knowledge, FCC continued to offer a wide range of learning events, publications and other resources to our customers and the industry in 2016-17. Producers of all ages and in all sectors can access our in-person and online resources, free of charge. In addition, FCC offers accounting and farm management software tools that enhance our customers’ ability to manage their businesses. We also ensure our employees have the appropriate knowledge and tools to provide solid insight and expertise to our customers to help them achieve their goals.
Young farmers are very important to the agriculture industry. FCC proudly supports them by offering products and services such as the Transition Loan, Young Farmer Loan and Young Entrepreneur Loan, assisting with intergenerational transfers of operations and helping young people enter the industry and grow their businesses.
FCC continues to champion Agriculture More Than Ever, an industry-driven cause made up of hundreds of partners and thousands of industry champions, called agvocates, from across the country, all committed to improving perceptions, dispelling myths and creating positive dialogue about Canadian agriculture. Agriculture More Than Ever provides resources and a forum for agvocates to tell the real, positive story of Canadian agriculture.
We support government policy through collaboration with other government agencies
FCC collaborates with Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada to support innovation and access to international markets for Canadian agribusinesses. 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 industry and are committed to its long-term success. Our strong financial position enables us to create innovative products and services that are tailored to the dynamic needs of the industry and ensure producers and agribusiness operators have choices 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 operators. We support our customers through highs and lows. Our customer support program allows customers to restructure the terms of their loans to help manage through difficult times. The FCC Ag Crisis Fund also provides modest financial support to customers experiencing a traumatic life event.
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 excellent financial performance and ability to serve agriculture in the years to come.
We operate our business in a sustainable manner
Our corporate social responsibility framework focuses on agriculture and food, community, customers, employees and the environment. To support our commitment, we offer financing for environmental solutions to our customers, hire and develop employees who are passionate and knowledgeable about agriculture, give back to the communities where our customers and employees live and work, and continually work to reduce our environmental footprint.
FCC exercises all reasonable care to safeguard the environment and protect the value of real property taken as lending security.
To protect the environment and mitigate identified risks, FCC conducts environmental assessments of all properties used by customers to secure financing. The lending decision process also requires customers to provide written declarations that their properties are free from contamination.
As a federal Crown corporation, FCC is also a federal authority with accountabilities under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). We don’t provide financing to projects or activities that will cause significant adverse environmental effects.
The CEAA 2012 (sections 67 to 69) states that federal authorities must not carry out or permit projects to be carried out on federally owned lands or outside Canada, unless the federal authority determines the project isn’t likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects or the Governor in Council decides that the effects are justified under the circumstances. FCC must report any environmental assessments regarding projects on federally owned lands or outside Canada.