Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Understanding Agriculture Canada

Along with Agriculture Canada and Agrifoods Canada (AAFC), the organizations within the portfolio support the Minister with advice and guidance relating to their particular sectors. The most relevant agencies under the portfolio of the Minister of Agriculture include:

* Canadian Dairy Commission oversees pricing, policy co-ordination and marketing for the Canadian dairy sector.
* Canadian Food Inspection Agency delivers all federal inspection services related to food, animal health and plant protection.
* Canadian Grain Commission is responsible for grain quality and quantity assurance, research, and producer protection.
* Farm Credit Canada delivers financial services to all sectors of agriculture -- primary producers, value-added businesses and suppliers.
* National Farm Products Council supervises the operations of national marketing agencies or promotion and research agencies established under the Farm Products Agencies Act.

Each of these agencies has their own bureaucracy with most often a direct rapport with the Parliamentary Secretaries of Agriculture. It therefore goes without saying that your lobbying efforts on this front should take into consideration the concerns of the Parliamentary Secretaries an just just the Minister himself. Do your environmental scan and understand where you can most effectively get your message through.

If your lobbying needs are much higher at the top, you would be wise to learn the organization chart of the Minister's office. To get a greater understanding of the Minister's office, click on the image here for an enlarged version:

While each department is different, learning from the example of Agriculture Canada's set up is a good means of getting a grasp on the understanding of Ministerial offices. In coming issues, other departments will be broken down as well.


Mark Buzan is the owner of Action Strategies, a public affairs & marketing communications consultancy. You can subscribe now to his monthly public affairs newsletter by visiting www.action-strategies.ca and dropping down the newsletter menu.

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