By Keith Currie President, OFA
Ontario farmers put a high priority on protecting data and proprietary information related to their farm businesses. The threat of disclosing that type of information poses a significant risk to the health, safety, and security of farms, families, and operations across the province. The recent freedom-of-information (FOI) request submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) to release a list of names of all businesses with a Farm Business Registration (FBR) has the potential to jeopardize the privacy and security of that information.
Although the request impacts Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) members that are FBR registrants, it does not pertain to OFA’s membership database or any related information. The individual who filed the FOI request is seeking FBR information from OMAFRA’s records.
The release of this information would affect all Farm Business Registrants across the province, and not solely OFA members. The concern surrounding the potential disclosure of information is shared by all three general farm organizations in Ontario.