Finding Common Ground – Collaborating to help shape a National Food Strategy for Canada
In May 2017, the federal government unveiled a new consultation to explore options for developing a national food policy. CFA is actively participating in these discussions and has launched its own activities with a range of organizations to generate more public interest and conversations on why we need such a policy, what it could look like, how it could be implemented.
Our conversations through special events, ongoing engagement with CFA members, and continued inter-sectoral outreach will lead to an updated set of recommendations that will feed into the government’s policy making process.
CFA convened a meeting on June 5, 2017, with participants from across industry, civil society, indigenous groups, academia, and a number of government departments to share their thoughts on the four key policy themes outlined that were identified by Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay in last month’s announcement of national consultations:
- increasing access to affordable food
- improving health and food safety
- conserving our soil, water, and air
- growing more high-quality food.
Background on the National Food Strategy
In 2011, CFA published Toward a National Food Strategy (NFS), a discussion paper focused on the long-term. The NFS recognizes that short-term, band-aid solutions are not enough for the lasting and evolving challenges we face today. The industry has taken steps in moving towards finding broader solutions for the value-chain, taking into account everything from promoting the Canadian brand and healthy lifestyles to sustaining economic growth and ecosystems. The NFS was developed by the agriculture and agri-food industry to ensure a more holistic and strategic approach to food and agriculture to meet the needs of the food system and future generations, as well as the global community.
The NFS is meant to help guide policy development and is built around nine strategic objectives that the food system must meet to feed our growing population – domestic and abroad – and to manage our food system sustainably.
NFS Objectives and Outcomes:
- Canadian grown, fresh and processed products are the first choice of Canadians
- Canadian grown, fresh and processed products are the preferred choice of international markets
- Consumers choose foods and healthy eating patterns that promote optimal health
- Consumers always have access to safe and nutritious food
- The Canadian food chain is driven by its diverse, sustainable, innovative and profitable farm and food supply sectors
- Canada’s food chain capacity meets future demand in a sustainable manner
- Canada has a secure infrastructure to support the production, processing, distribution and sale of food in Canada and abroad
- Canada grows and provides green energy and other renewable products in balance with our food requirements
- Canada is a global leader in ensuring international agreements impacting food are based on science, sustainability, fairness, consistency and enforceability