Message from the CEO
Serving Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry is an important calling, and FCC is proud to contribute to this vibrant, diverse and responsible industry.
As Canada’s largest lender to agriculture, FCC is part of something bigger than ourselves. Our work helps our customers reach their greatest potential and enables FCC to be a catalyst for continuing growth and progress in the industry.
Feeding the world
Canada is the fifth-largest agriculture exporter in the world and we have a well-earned reputation for producing safe, high-quality food. Agriculture has its share of challenges, as every industry does, but on balance, these are good days for Canadian agriculture. Our producers, agribusinesses and agri-food operators have tremendous opportunities in a global marketplace where Canada is one of the few countries capable of meeting the growing demand.
Agriculture continues to be a vital part of the Canadian economy, employing 2.2 million people and contributing more than $100 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product every year. And while fewer Canadians are connected directly to the land, we’re seeing more and more interest from consumers about where their food comes from, which is creating opportunities for important conversations moving forward.
Offering value and stability to our customers and partners
FCC has a unique role among Canada’s financial institutions – agriculture is all we do. This gives us a focus, and a depth of expertise, that is second to none in the industry.
We’ve designed a variety of flexible products and services for customers across the agriculture value chain. We have a team of knowledgeable, committed employees who come together across Canada to deliver great customer experiences. We work to add value beyond the loan transaction by offering innovative learning programs and resources free of charge to thousands of customers and non-customers every year. From flagship events like our annual FCC Forums to online webinars, videos and newsletters, we provide knowledge and insights on a range of topics related to agriculture.
As a prudent lender with 23 consecutive years of growth and a $28 billion portfolio, we contribute strength and stability to the industry. We know the ups and downs of agriculture and we’ve had an unwavering commitment to the industry through all cycles since we opened our doors in 1959. Our ability to deliver on that commitment for generations of farmers – past, present and future – requires us to manage every aspect of our business with diligence and care, from our lending practices and risk management principles to our business objectives and public policy mandate.
Like other industries, agriculture has been affected by recent economic instability, including a declining Canadian dollar, oil priced in the neighbourhood of $30 a barrel and weaker growth in major economies like China. FCC remains a stable partner in changing times, and it’s inspiring to see the growth and innovations that are occurring as the industry pursues new opportunities.
Our business results for 2015-16 reflect another year of growth in Canadian agriculture. We loaned a total of $9.1 billion across all sectors, including $2.6 billion to young farmers across Canada. Our agribusiness and agri-food lending is helping more companies add the processing value here at home before export.
Partnerships have always been important in agriculture, and they’re becoming even more significant as businesses work together to create value and opportunity. At FCC, we value our relationships with other lenders and it’s a priority for us to work effectively with all financial institutions, especially credit unions, to ensure access to capital in all sectors.
Making a difference in our communities
Our employees are at the heart of everything we accomplish as a company and I’m very proud of our team. Together, we’re making a difference in the lives of our customers and in the communities where we live and work.
FCC is a proactive champion of agriculture safety. Through our support of Canadian Agricultural Safety Week and Progressive Ag Safety day camps, we enable thousands of people each year to receive knowledge and training on safe agriculture practices. Our Back to Ag partnership with the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association and the Rick Hansen Foundation helps cover the cost of adaptive technology for farmers or agricultural workers who have experienced a traumatic injury, to get them back working in agriculture. In 2015-16, we pledged a $500,000 contribution over five years to STARS air ambulance to provide life-saving transportation to patients in rural Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and eastern B.C., including those injured on family farms.
Our commitment to communities also includes our sponsorship of programs such as 4-H and Agriculture in the Classroom, and our annual food bank initiative, FCC Drive Away Hunger. This year, we provided more than 5.2 million meals for food banks nationwide through the efforts of our partners, participating schools and volunteers across the country.
For more information about the work we’re doing to advance our commitment to corporate social responsibility, I invite you to read our CSR report online at www.fcc.ca/CSRReport.
The future of Canadian agriculture is bright – and more and more people know about it thanks to the efforts of Agriculture More than Ever, an industry-wide cause that is helping us create a national dialogue about the value of agriculture.
In my first two years as CEO, some of my most memorable moments have been the conversations I’ve had with customers, stakeholders, industry partners, FCC Board members and employees where we’ve talked about our shared commitment to agriculture, the work we’re doing to move forward and the opportunities that lie ahead.
FCC serves the industry that feeds the world and we couldn’t be more proud to support Canada’s farmers, agribusinesses and agri-food operators and the work they do.