A National Food Policy for Canada

On June 17th, the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced a long-awaited national food policy for Canada. The policy includes the creation of a multi-stakeholder Canadian Food Policy Council and development of a National School Food Program. It also includes financial support for food infrastructure, work on Northern food insecurity and food waste reduction programs, as well as a pilot project towards permanent residency for immigrant farm workers.

Here are some of the details:

– A $50 million local food infrastructure fund to support community-led projects such as greenhouses, food banks, and farmer’s markets
– $15 million toward addressing food insecurity in Northern and isolated communities
– $25 million to create a “buy Canada” promotional campaign
– $26 million to fund innovative food waste reduction proposals
– $24 million on tackling food fraud and the mislabelling of food products
– Taking steps to create a National School Food Program to improve the overall health of children

The pan-Canadian food alliance, Food Secure Canada (FSC), welcomed the announcement. FSC’s Executive Director, Gisele Yasmeen said:

“Canada needs a more healthy, just and sustainable food system that ensures everyone’s right to food. The very establishment of a federal food policy, with associated budget lines, is an important first step in realizing that vision.” Food Secure Canada has been calling for government leaders to develop a joined-up national food policy since our founding in 2001, and we are encouraged that the new Policy takes and integrated approach.”

Melana Roberts, Chair of FSC’s Board of Directors added, “This Policy is an important step in the right direction, yet we recognize it will not fundamentally transform our food system. Building a better food future will continue to require Food Secure Canada, along with our partners and allies, to push for policies, programs, and targets that truly raise the bar – creating a more just, healthy and sustainable food system for all.”

Food leaders and government officials at the announcement: Minister Bibeau (third from right), FSC Executive Director Gisele Yasmeen (fifth from right)

Read the News Release

More Information on Canada’s Food Policy

Read Food Secure Canada’s News Release