Farm groups ask for $34 million refund of Russian fertilizer tarriff

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Farm groups are asking the federal government to make sure farmers who paid tarriffs on Russian fertilizer get their money back.

Grain Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Bean Growers Association, Ontario Canola Growers, the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, Atlantic Grains Council, and Québec Grain Farmers have been meeting with Members of Parliament to outline the impact the tariffs are having on the Canadian food system and the importance of refunding this money back to farmers.

In a news release, the Grain Farmers of Ontario say Statistics Canada estimates $34 million in tarriffs have been collected since the federal government placed a tarriff on all Russian goods when Vladimir Putin’s first tank rolled into Ukraine.

But many farmers, including Kevin Marriott of Enniskillen, bought fertilizer for his Lambton County farm long before the Feb. 24th invasion. He purchased 40 metric tonnes of fertilizer for $41,400 in November and then got the $7,000 tarriff bill in May.

“We need the government to return the money collected directly back to farmers who paid the tariffs on fertilizer,” said Brendan Byrne, Chair of the Grain Farmers of Ontario in a news release Friday. “Over the past two months, we have met with over a dozen Members of Parliament who have been very supportive of finding a resolution to this matter. We want to ensure decision-makers follow through to see this money is returned to farmers.”

“Forcing farmers to pay a tariff on a global product such as fertilizer just penalizes the farmer and adds additional costs at a time when input costs are already at an all-time high,” said Ryan Koeslag of the Ontario Bean Growers Association.

“Farmers continue to take the brunt of yearly rising input costs,  and now with a new tariff added on top of that for a global product,  such as fertilizer, is simply ridiculous,” added Thomas Tavani, General Manager of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario.