Welcome to the gluten-free, sushi-less Olympic Games

As with every aspect of the pandemic-postponed Olympics, the virus will cast a long shadow on how people are fed

Welcome to the gluten-free, sushi-less Olympic GamesThe Tokyo Olympic Games are finally upon us. Most of the attention will be given to the athletes, the sports, the empty stands and, of course, COVID-19. But every Olympics brings the gigantic task of feeding an entire village of high-performing humans from all over the world. In Tokyo, that means organizers need to feed…

The farm is merging with food retail spaces

Grocers are bringing the farm to the store so consumers can have both the farming and the retail experience at once

The farm is merging with food retail spacesCanadians have started to notice that grocers have begun to sell plants in miniature greenhouses. We’ve seen gardens on rooftops, vertical farms close to stores and even some selling gardening equipment to gardeners who are shopping for food. The farm is essentially merging with the food retail spaces we roam as consumers. It’s quite interesting.…

The kids are not all right when it comes to what they eat

It’s time for Canada to regulate marketing food to kids. But regulating marketing is no cakewalk

The kids are not all right when it comes to what they eatMost people would agree that protecting children should be our country’s utmost priority. Protecting children from unhealthy food products and fast-food chains has been the subject of many conversations. Ads for sugary food products geared towards children have been contested for years and some countries have opted to ban them, one way or another. The…

Grocers face dramatic changes in wake of pandemic

Nobody really knows how the economy will look as a return to normalcy progresses

Grocers face dramatic changes in wake of pandemicGrocers racked up millions of dollars in profits as they increased revenues during the first year of the pandemic. But numbers this year tell us tougher economic times await them. And the economy is just one part of the story. Nobody really knows how the economy will look this fall and winter as a return…

Bright future for cannabis as perspectives shift

It will be interesting to see how the market evolves and how Canadians will (or won’t) embrace cannabis in a post-pandemic economy

Bright future for cannabis as perspectives shiftIn 2019, the cannabis sector in Canada had its bubble burst. But its comeback appears promising. Players in the field are slowly getting their footing back and settling into a North American market that’s different from its pre-pandemic predecessor. More mergers and acquisitions are pointing to a more mature marketplace. But with cannabis, Canada and…

Food industry must tighten security in face of cyber attacks

What was once purely academic has become a reality

Food industry must tighten security in face of cyber attacksMeat processing giant JBS recently paid out a US$11 million ransom following a cyber attack, according to reports. Most of its meatpacking facilities, including the one in Alberta, remained idle for a few days. Most of us link the concept of cyber attacks with information technology companies, governments and media. But experts have warned the…

Jumping on the regenerative agriculture bandwagon

But what does that mean for consumers and suppliers?

Jumping on the regenerative agriculture bandwagonRegenerative agriculture is making some noise of late – so much so that some companies are making it a priority. Foods, the world’s largest producer of french fries, just committed to limiting its climate footprint, saying all its french fries will come from farms using regenerative agriculture by 2030. For consumers, this is supposed to…

Sugar-coating a sugar tax won’t make it any more palatable

If Newfoundland and Labrador pursues a sugar tax, it’s certainly not to get its people to lead healthier lives. It’s about paying bills

Sugar-coating a sugar tax won’t make it any more palatableIn its recent budget, the Newfoundland and Labrador government announced it will introduce a tax of 20 cents per litre on sugary drinks, starting on April 1, 2022. This a first in Canada. So far we know very little about how the tax would work, which products would be affected and how revenues from the…

Food industry code of conduct finally gains traction

Recognizes that manufacturing - including farmers - are the anchor to the entire food supply chain

Food industry code of conduct finally gains tractionA new coalition led by the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has presented a roadmap to peace within the food industry. It’s a positive step forward for the food production industry and consumers. For years, grocers have unilaterally imposed fees on their suppliers, with questionable excuses. While grocers maintained a hard line to protect margins,…

Are self-checkouts winning the machine-versus-human battle?

The pandemic is changing our unease when using self-checkout counters

Are self-checkouts winning the machine-versus-human battle?Only a few years ago, self-checkouts were seen as job killers by many Canadians. Grocers just didn’t know what to think of self-checkouts. And consumers had a love-hate relationship with them. Some saw them as job killers, replacing humans who desperately needed employment. Others quietly used them, either preferring a speedy exit or simply avoiding…

Reviving food service sector key to economic recovery

Living in fear is terrible and restaurants offer a great escape when Canadians can go out again, while taking proper precautions

Reviving food service sector key to economic recoveryAs we inch toward a more normalized economy, the focus will be on how we can make people feel more comfortable about going out and about again. Our economy needs it and our food service sector desperately needs it – but it’s not going to be easy. In a survey conducted in mid-May by the…

Canada’s food security depends on significant policy shifts

Food manufacturing lacks investment, suffers from thin margins, faces additional grocers’ fees and must deal with aging facilities

Canada’s food security depends on significant policy shiftsBy Sylvain Charlebois and Amy Hill Dalhousie University Canadian food and beverage manufacturing plays a key role in supporting farmers and the rest of the food supply chain. The second largest manufacturing sector, food and beverage, contributed $26.5 billion to Canadian gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020. Just 10 manufacturing sectors –  including food manufacturing…

Weaponizing science to justify protein choices a dangerous game

Suggesting humanity got it wrong by eating meat is unsupported by scientific evidence

Weaponizing science to justify protein choices a dangerous gameProtein wars have taken a back seat to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. Most of the attention was obviously given to the virus, variants, vaccines and how to keep safe. That makes sense. But since we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, proteins appear to be back in the spotlight. Just…

Surprise! Food prices are on their way up

Prices will go up by as much as five per cent this year, or almost $700 more for groceries for the year for an average Canadian family

Surprise! Food prices are on their way upWhat was purely an academic supposition a few months ago is now actually happening. Along with higher interest rates, inflation is likely to become one of this year’s biggest business stories. And food prices won’t be immune. Many agricultural commodity prices have skyrocketed over last year. Corn is up 84 per cent, soybeans are up…

Food sector gets budget help but there are gaps

Food sector gets budget help but there are gapsSpend, spend, spend – that’s the strategy. And green is the colour of choice. The environment is front, left and centre in the latest federal budget. Everybody is getting something to get more environmentally focused – well, almost everybody. While taxpayers won’t get a break any time soon, the federal government’s footprint in our economy…
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