The federal and provincial governments regulate agricultural activities through legislation and policies covering research, production, food inspection, marketing, rural development, imports and exports, taxation, environmental impacts and numerous other aspects, too many to name here. Complementary to the compulsory regulations are many voluntary programs, some of which may entail financial incentives for eligible farmers.
Marketing boards control supply and production of supply-managed commodities. The 21 marketing boards in Ontario are operated (governed) by producers and have varying roles in the marketing or selling of different commodities. Some allocate quotas and collectively negotiate prices covering a wide spectrum of products. With some minor exceptions, sales through marketing boards are mandatory.
The Canadian on-farm food safety program has been developed to encourage standards. Many small farmers are subscribing to this voluntary program because it helps secure market access. To support this initiative the Advantage Good Agricultural Practices manual has been compiled to help farmers implement food-safety practices for a variety of commodities, such as general production, livestock, poultry and crops. This program is based on the internationally recognized system known as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HAACP).