National food policy can play key economic and social roles

But a great deal of work must be done to turn the vision into a reality that serves all Canadians

National food policy can play key economic and social rolesFor the first time, we have a national food policy. That’s good news. The vision is that all people in Canada have access to sufficient safe, nutritious and culturally diverse food. And that Canada’s food system is resilient and innovative, sustains our environment and supports our economy. It’s easy to support such a vision and…

China clearly has Canada’s number when it comes to food safety

China has played Canada in impressive fashion over the last six months and the meat ban is a masterful stroke

China clearly has Canada’s number when it comes to food safetyCanada is losing the food safety optics game against China. While Canada has demonstrated many times that its food safety record is outstanding – in fact, one of the best in the world – none of it matters now. Since Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, was arrested in Vancouver in December 2018 on…

Canada’s first food policy is pointless and underwhelming

The goals are noble, but the budget is small and the policy is painfully short on detail and strategy

Canada’s first food policy is pointless and underwhelmingAfter more than two years of work and hearing from almost 45,000 Canadians, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada released its first food policy this week. A total of $134 million will be spent to support this five-year plan that centres around food security, health, environment, and the sustainable growth of the agriculture and food sector. These…

All the food we eat has been modified by humans

The world of food marketing is full of deception. The truth is there is very little that’s 'natural' about our food, but that doesn't make it dangerous

All the food we eat has been modified by humans“All natural” is a food marketer’s delight. Customers love it, the words generate positive thoughts, and there’s no official definition or standard at all. It means whatever you want it to. That’s why so many food products have the word “natural” somewhere prominent on their labels. The word sells product and represents a free-for-all for…

Senate must finish the job it started to help Canada’s kids

The Senate has delayed for eight months its final vote on restrictions to food marketing to children

Senate must finish the job it started to help Canada’s kidsBy Peter Mansbridge and Yves Savoie “Delay always breeds danger; and to protract a great design is often to ruin it.” Miguel de Cervantes put this astute observation in the mouth of his most famous literary character, Don Quixote. Though written more than 400 years ago, the lesson applies very well right now to the…

Does Canada’s food processing industry face death by regulation?

The trust gap between industry and government has grown, and they’re butting heads more frequently

Does Canada’s food processing industry face death by regulation?Food industries need to be regulated. But the delicate balance between protecting the public and supporting industrial growth may have reached a tipping point in Canada. In the Western world, governments successfully play the anti-business card by implementing regulations so consumers feel someone is looking out for them. But governments are also flirting with populist…

Canada can only lose in a trade war with China

From canola to peas and soybeans, the Chinese are using our commodities as bargaining chips in a diplomatic dispute

Canada can only lose in a trade war with ChinaCanola was first, and now peas and soybeans. It was highly predictable. And given how things have progressed over the last five months, the situation can only escalate. The Canadian government has pledged to help farmers affected by our epic spat with China. But other than offering cash or support to develop new markets for…

The Senate at its best – and worst – in the fight to protect children

How Canada's upper house can work across party lines and stop the marketing of junk food to kids

The Senate at its best – and worst – in the fight to protect childrenBy Tom Warshawski and Yves Savoie The crops grown by Canadian farmers and the livestock they raise are of the highest quality. In many cases, however, when these healthy foods are industrially processed, harmful amounts of salt, sugar and saturated fat are added. Consumption of excessive quantities of these nutrients of concern are known to…

Replacing plastic packaging at the grocery store

Metro plans to let customers bring their own containers to stores in Quebec. You can bet other retailers will follow suit

Replacing plastic packaging at the grocery storeMetro announced recently that it would become the first major grocery store chain in the country to allow customers to bring their own reusable containers for packaging of individual products. It's a significant step forward for the industry, but it comes with risks. The policy, which only applies in Quebec, will take effect on April…

Maple Leaf Foods, U.S.A.?

The iconic Canadian brand is expanding south of the border. The decision makes perfect sense and national dithering is to blame

Maple Leaf Foods, U.S.A.?Maple Leaf Foods, the largest pork processor in the country, has opted to build its new meatless plant south of the border. Unfortunately, the decision makes perfect sense. The iconic Canadian food company recently announced plans to spend US$310 million on a 230,000-square-foot processing plant in Indiana, where its Lightlife Burger and other products will…