Thank you, Mr. Chair.
It is a pleasure to see you again after only about 10 days.
I am joined today by the associate deputy minister, Annette Gibbons, and Colleen Barnes, from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
I want to begin by thanking the committee for its good work and its dedication to the agricultural sector.
I also thank you for starting the dialogue on our poultry and egg producers, who are all working very hard, as well as on the supply management system.
The government has clearly shown its full support for poultry, egg and dairy producers by announcing the compensation payment of $2.7 billion to offset the impact of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP.
For dairy producers, that includes the $345 million they already received in direct payments last year, as well as the $250 million in assistance through the dairy farm investment program.
We are now preparing to distribute an additional $1.4 billion over the next three years in direct payments to Canadian dairy producers, based on their quota allocations. So we are talking about $468 million by March 31, 2021, $469 million in 2021-2022 and $468 million in 2022-2023.
For example, an average farm with 80 dairy cows will receive an annual direct payment of about $38,000 over the next three years.
The compensation package we announced also includes $691 million for poultry and egg producers to offset the CPTPP's impact. Together, hatching egg producers, table egg producers, and poultry and turkey producers support more than 140,000 jobs in Canada. We promised to compensate those industries fully and fairly for the losses arising from those agreements, and that is what we are doing.
Two weeks ago, we kept our promise to the 4,800 poultry and egg producers in Canada. On November 28, I joined industry leaders to announce a $691-million investments. That investment will be used to launch various programs that respond to the priorities identified by the poultry and egg working group.
We will focus on business innovation and growth. Program development will come after consultations with industry. We will do everything we can to launch those programs as quickly as possible.
In our discussions with the different poultry and egg sectors, producers told us that programs should focus on investment in capital projects to improve the efficiency of operations, as well as marketing support. Mr. Chair, this announcement was welcomed by the poultry and egg sectors.
We know there's still work to do. Our government remains committed to engaging the sectors on full and fair compensation for the new NAFTA. We also remain committed to supporting our processors of dairy, poultry and egg products for their market impacts. We have already invested $100 million to help Canadian dairy processors invest in new technologies to stay on the cutting edge. Today, 92 dairy producers across Canada have been approved for projects on new automated production and packaging equipment, new products and specialized training.
Dairy, poultry and other processors are also benefiting from the $77.5-million emergency processing fund to implement changes to safeguard the health and safety of workers and their families, and improve, automate and modernize facilities needed to increase Canada's food supply capacity.
As well, for producer-members of dairy, poultry and other co-operatives, in the fall economic statement we extended the tax-deferred co-operative share program for an additional five years. This measure allows farmer-members to defer taxes owed on the patronage dividends that they receive from the co-operative in the form of shares. This benefits both producers and co-operatives, which are such a vital part of our agricultural landscape in rural Canada.
Mr. Chair, our support for our dairy, poultry and egg producers is part of our overall ambition for a strong and prosperous agriculture industry. We know that strong farm businesses mean a strong economy, and that's why we're very focused on strong business risk management programs. Two weeks ago, ministers from across the country met to discuss a number of key priorities for the sector, including meaningful reforms to the BRM programs. Building on all the emergency supports we have rolled out this year to support farmers, our government stands ready to step up with improvements to the BRM programs.
We're aiming for a 50% increase to the amount paid out to farmers through the AgriStability program. As a starting point, our government is looking to remove the reference margin limit, and we are prepared to look at further immediate enhancements to AgriStability that would apply retroactively to the 2020 year and ongoing. As well, I am hoping to find consensus on an increase of the AgriStability compensation rate from 70% to 80%. Taken together, these changes would increase the overall amount AgriStability pays out to farmers by 50%. While we have not yet found a national consensus on these changes, I hope we can find a path forward soon.
At the meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers, we also discussed the fees charged by some retailers and their repercussions on processors and consumers.
We created a working group that engages in discussions with industry to find solutions that benefit all supply chain stakeholders. We asked them to suggest concrete measures by our meeting in July.
I thank the committee for focusing on poultry and egg producers. Now more than ever, Canadians are choosing high-quality chicken, turkey and eggs produced on Canadian farms. I know industry has ambitious plans for the future, and it has our government's full support.
I look forward to your questions.