WEST CARLETON – Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has received an enhancement to its capital allowing for an additional $5 billion in lending capacity, Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced today (March 23).
Minister Bibeau’s announcement follows Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement earlier today outlining more details on the Government of Canada’s plan to support the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. In that announcement, the government made a solid commitment to the agriculture and food industry to ensure producers, agribusinesses and food processors continue to have access to necessary capital at this challenging time.
“Farmers and producers work hard to put food on tables across our country, and they should not have to worry about being able to afford their loan payments or having enough money to support their own families,” the Prime Minister said. “We are taking action now to give them more flexibility to meet the challenges ahead.”
“Like many Canadians, I am truly grateful for our farmers and food business owners and employees, who continue working hard so we all have quality food on our grocery store shelves and kitchen tables. Their continued work is essential to our plan to manage COVID-19,” Bibeau said. “The measures announced today will provide farmers and food producers across the country with important financial flexibility they will need during these challenging times.”
“If you are a producer concerned about having the cash flow required to plant your crop, or you are a food processor feeling the impact of a lost sale due to the financial downturn, FCC is here to support you in these uncertain economic times,” FCC president and CEO Michael Hoffort. “It’s in times like these that we are reminded how important Canadian producers and food processors are to our nation and to feeding the world.”
Hoffort adds FCC will use its resources to find solutions that offer the best chance for recovery going forward so the industry emerges stronger. Initially, the focus will be on assisting the industry in addressing cash flow challenges so that businesses can remain focused on business-critical functions rather than worrying about how to access funds to keep operating through this difficult time.
“Supporting the industry will also take strong collaboration between banks, credit unions, FCC and other financial institutions,” Hoffort said. “FCC has served as a strong and stable industry presence for more than 60 years, and this current situation is no different. We will be working in partnership with other financial providers to offer the solutions needed by the agriculture and food industry to take on the challenges ahead.”
As part of its ongoing support efforts, FCC also is asking existing customers who have cash flow or other financial concerns to contact the organization to discuss alternatives, such as loan payment deferrals and products available to assist with cash flow needs.
“Each business’ financial situation is unique, so there may be a combination of options considered,” Hoffort said. “The bottom line is that FCC is being supported by our shareholder to play a bigger role in supporting the success of the Canadian agriculture and food industry across Canada. The sooner we can discuss potential challenges, the more options we have.”
Customers facing financial pressure are encouraged to contact their FCC relationship manager or the FCC Customer Service Centre at 1-888-332-3301 to discuss their individual situation and options.
FCC is Canada’s leading agriculture and food lender, with a healthy loan portfolio of more than $38 billion. Our employees are dedicated to the future of Canadian agriculture and food. We provide flexible, competitively priced financing, management software, information and knowledge specifically designed for the agriculture and food industries. As a self-sustaining Crown corporation, we provide an appropriate return to our shareholder, and reinvest our profits back into the industries and communities we serve.