National Farmers Union
Organization profile published 1982
Year Published:  1982
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX2603

The NATIONAL FARMERS UNION is a union with a difference: it is a voluntary, direct-dues paying organization with membership held on a family, rather than an individual, basis. Membership is open to producers of any type of agricutural community. Members have direct control over the election of all officers right up the national level. The UNION undertakes research, education of its members and the general public, and lobbies governments on argicultural policy.

The NFU seeks to ensure the maintenance of a strong rural community in Canada as an essential part of our culture. It believes it is the national interest to support the continuation of a system of food production based on the family farm as the baisc unit. It is opposed to the transformation of this system to one characterized by large-scale production by corporate bodies processing market control. The NFU recognizes a common interest with agricultural workers in Third World countries and has expressed solidarity with them.

Since its formation 13 years ago, NFU has been concerned about: foreign and corporate control of farm land; farm size and tenure; urban and industrial encroachment on farm land; trends toward heavy chemical use in production; use of food as a political weapon; occupational health hazards for farm workers; and recognition of the role of woment in this sector of the economy. In December 1980 the NFU initiated a two-year study to document the economic and social contribution of farm women and the specific nature of their labour.

Of particular concern currently is the thrust of federal govenment proposals to restructure Western grain handling and transportation by altering the fixed statutory Crow rate on export grain, which has ensured low shipping costs to producers. In a series of presentations to government, the NFU has argued that such a change would result in a devastating economic loss for farmers and have an adverse effect on the Canadian economy as a whole. A clear statement of their positions with regard to the Crow rate is contained in a March 3, 1981, brief to the federal government, and in a brief to the Western Grain Transporation Office on March 19, 1982, on the subject of Railway Costing and Guarantees. Both are available from NFU offices.

NFU publishes a monthly newspaper, Union Farmer. Subscription rates are $6 for non-members, and $10 for institutions.

This abstract was published in the Connexions Digest in 1982.

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