A row of Holstein cows

What You Didn't Know About Farms Today

Topics affecting farms

Many of the same topics that matter to consumers are important for farmers as well. Food safety is a key concern for all farmers, and they take care every day to make sure that their products are safe for people to eat. Food waste is another topic that touches farms, as well as consumers. Farmers work hard to produce their food products and waste represents lost resources of many kinds (e.g. money, natural or environmental, human or work).

While many similarities exist between consumers and farmers, there are also unique challenges and changes present for people within the agri-food system. Changing climate, increasing production costs and an aging farming population are the biggest trends in the changing farm scene in Canada.

Source: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/95-640-x/2012002/figs/desc/longdescfig3-eng.htm

There are fewer farms overall...

One of the most notable changes in the agri-food sector is the decrease in the number of farms nationwide. According to the 2011 Census, there were 205,730 farms in Canada, which represents a decrease of 10.3 per cent or 23,643 fewer farms since the previous census.56 The total land used for farming is 160,155,748 acres, which is down 4.1 per cent from 2006.57

... but farms are getting larger

Although the number of farms and amount of farm land has decreased, many farms are becoming larger and more specialized. Between 2006 and 2011, the average size of a Canadian farm increased 6.9 per cent from 728 acres to 778 acres.58

Regardless of size, 98 per cent of Canadian farms are family owned and operated.

Organic Farms

The number of certified organic farms increased 4.4 per cent between 2006 and 2012. Most of these organic farms are in the $50,000 to $99,999 and $100,000 to $249,000 gross farm receipt classes.60 Certified organic farms currently represent 1.8 per cent of all farms in Canada, compared to 1.5 per cent in 2006, and 0.9 per cent in 2001.61

Source: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/95-640-x/2012002/figs/desc/longdescfig2-eng.htm