Federal surplus food program now taking applications

Qualified NGOs sought to move, distribute perishables to 'populations in need'

Reading Time: 3 minutes A federal program to get food to those who need it, using stockpiles of perishables created by the COVID-19-related shutdown of the dining sector, is now taking applications. The $50 million Surplus Food Rescue Program — which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau telegraphed in a funding announcement May 5 — will take applications from “organizations addressing […] Read more

Comment: How well are farmers handling their pandemic fame?

Some efforts to reach out to consumers are proving controversial

Reading Time: 3 minutes Farmers often lament that as each generation becomes further removed from the farm, the ability of urbanites to understand and appreciate what it takes to grow food has declined. Even though agriculture is fundamental to the health, wealth and security of any nation, Canadian producers now make up less than two per cent of the […] Read more

Panelists at the recent Canadian Club of Toronto event included Cathy Lennon, top left, general manager of Ontario Federation of Agriculture; Garnet Lasby, bottom left, president of Massily North America; Danielle Barran, president of McCain Foods Canada, top right. The event was moderated by Sylvain Charlebois, professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University.

Panelists say COVID-19 outlines shortfalls in agriculture industry

More help from government and more local production could assist with recovery from the pandemic

Reading Time: 4 minutes In just a couple of months, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the food system drastically for producers and consumers. Panelists on a recent video seminar hosted by the Canadian Club of Toronto say the food service industry shut down was the biggest impact on the agri-food sector and has made clear shortfalls and opportunities within […] Read more

Logistics prove to be a bigger challenge than food supply in terms of resilience, says a report.

New report identifies challenges of COVID-19

Supply isn’t a concern, but processing and moving food have proved to be a challenge

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute has identified short- and long-term issues affecting the food system’s resilience. Why it matters: By identifying key obstacles affecting food production and distribution systems, government and industry can draw up action plans to meet the challenges. In a report resulting from discussion with 40 stakeholders, the Ottawa-based […] Read more

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture hopes support comes in the form of financial backing.

CFA calls for emergency federal funding

The national organization warns of a “tipping point” for agriculture

Reading Time: 2 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) wants the federal government to immediately prioritize food production by creating an emergency fund or financial backstop for farmers as part of its response to COVID-19. “We must ensure Canada’s domestic food supply is secure, not only for the duration of this battle, but long into […] Read more

Opinion: The changing conversation around food

Stating that food security is critical during the COVID-19 crisis means farm issues won’t be sidelined

Reading Time: 3 minutes On one hand, the federal government stated the obvious when it identified the food system as one of the 10 critical infrastructures supporting Canadians during the pandemic crisis. After all, who can survive without food? Nevertheless, the guidance document issued by Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair sent an important signal, one that […] Read more

Burnett on Markets: Global grain stocks offer false sense of food security

In event of production shortfall, 60 per cent of available stocks would never be available to market

Reading Time: 2 minutes The economic parallels from the COVID-19 epidemic are quickly changing from comparisons to the recent financial crisis in 2008-09 to the Great Depression. My parents and grandparents lived through the Depression and it did have many impacts on their everyday lives. The main symbol of the Depression-era mentality was the two enormous chest freezers in […] Read more

Resettled farmer Stanford Mandizha holds a maize cob grown on his six hectare farm near Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe, July 26, 2017.

Satellite data brings farming advice to remote areas of Zimbabwe

When roads are bad and extension agents few, technology can help get farmers the information they need

Reading Time: 4 minutes Thomson Reuters Foundation – Deep in rural western Zimbabwe, where paved roads are nonexistent, Japhet Ngwenya used to spend every season worrying that the people who advise him on how to protect his crops from dry spells and pest invasions would not be able to reach him. Ngwenya’s farm — in Ntabazinduna, 40 km north […] Read more

Maple Leaf lands ‘sustainability-linked’ credit

Reading Time: 2 minutes Canadian food processor Maple Leaf Foods is taking its recently-established sustainability cred to the bank. The Toronto food firm announced Wednesday it’s the first Canadian company to secure “sustainability-linked terms” for its credit facilities. Specifically, the company has picked up an unsecured committed revolving line of credit and two unsecured committed term facilities for a […] Read more

The line between consumer sentiment of what is safe and healthy is too often blurred with the science of what is safe and healthy.

Opinion: Conversations around agri-food shows progress

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – The not so easy task of figuring out the best policy to sustain Canada’s food systems on a domestic and international scale recently took a step forward in Ottawa. In gathering more than 200 people involved in every aspect of the agri-food industry — producers, processors, manufacturers, policy makers — Canada 2020’s […] Read more