Food Freedom Day

What’s the story behind your grocery bill?

Food Freedom Day 2017

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) has calculated that on February 8, 2017, a Canadian of average income will have earned enough income to pay for their grocery bill for the entire year.

Canadians are expected to have spent 10.7% of their disposable income on food in 2016, compared to 11% in 2015. This year, Food Freedom Day falls one day prior to last year’s date.

We are fortunate in Canada to have access to an abundant and affordable food supply. Relative to populations around the world, Canadians benefit from lower food costs, consistently ranking in the world’s top five for lowest food costs.

Food Freedom Day serves as an opportunity to consider our individual role and the impact we all have on the Canadian food system, whether that be as a consumer, farmer, processor or retailer.

“There are plenty of reasons why we encourage consumers to buy Canadian,” explains CFA President Ron Bonnett. “Domestically produced food does not face the same exchange rate increase we have been seeing with imported products. By understanding what is available each season in Canada, consumers can contribute to Canadian food security while also keeping their family’s food bill down.”

Choosing Canadian products at the grocery store is an incredibly important role Canadian consumers have in supporting farmers and our food system here at home. The grocery store purchases of consumers provide market data for retailers, who then determine what they will stock their shelves with. This produces a ripple effect that is felt right down to the farm level.

“There is also a notable difference with the Canadian brand when it comes to animal welfare standards and the quality and safety of our products – and it is one to be proud of,” Bonnett added. “We ask that consumers place their ‘grocery store vote’ for Canadian farmers and invest in a stable domestic food supply.”

How we calculate the date for Food Freedom Day

Food Freedom Day is calculated by taking Canadians’ total expenditure on food and beverages and dividing it by the total Canadian household disposable income to create a percentage. CFA then determines what this percentage of the year is, by day. Canadians spent 10.7% of their disposable income on food and beverages in 2015, which equates to 39 days, or February 8th.

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM TABLE 380-0072 and 380-0067