Farmers should be reimbursed for fertilizer tariffs

Farmers should be reimbursed for fertilizer tariffs
Jan 03, 2023

Five farm groups in eastern Canada say tariff money for Russian fertilizer should be reimbursed to farmers.

By Andrew Joseph,; Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

When Canadian farmers had to pay some $34 million in tariffs for Russian fertilizer in the Spring of 2022, it severely impacted the day-to-day farm operations.

Five farm groups in eastern Canada—Ontario Bean Growers, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Atlantic Grains Council, and Grain Growers of Quebec—say the Canadian farmers impacted should be reimbursed the $34 million, and not simply a cost they should have to bear.

According to the group: “Farmers can provide information on the tariff monies they paid and can be reimbursed directly.

“We have been working as a coalition for many months to raise awareness of the challenges Canada’s decision to impose tariffs on Russian fertilizer imports has created for Canadian farmers.”

The group certainly understands the ramifications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stands beside the Ukrainian people. But, it noted that Canada is the only G7 country that has its farmers “pay for tariff retaliation that doesn’t hurt Russia.”

The statement from the group added, “The UN is asking countries not to impose barriers to fertilizer trade to avert a global food crisis, yet Canada—a global grain superpower the world needs in a time of crisis—made its farmers pay a significant tariff, which they continue to pay.”

While a direct reimbursement does not seem likely, federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has noted that the government “has already rebated a substantial amount to the industry by making improvements to the Advance Payments Program, which increased the interest-free portion from $100,000 to $250,000.”

She continued: “We estimate that over two years, at the present interest rate, approximately $69 million will be repaid to agricultural producers. I know that is not exactly a rebate to each individual and each business.”

The Minister added that the federal government is looking at other ways to help the farmers—in particular, the eastern Canadian farmers because they were affected the most by the tariffs.

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