Food-chain cracks exposed by COVID-19

Don’t blame farmers for euthanizing animals and dumping milk. The entire food industry is to blame – and we get what we deserve

Food-chain cracks exposed by COVID-19Millions of litres of milk are being thrown away, more than two million eggs are eliminated from the food chain, and pigs and chickens are being euthanized. There’s horror in the countryside. Throwing away good food when more than four million Canadians have lost their jobs is morally reprehensible. Farmers would be the first to…

Dairy renaissance could follow COVID-19

Providing comfort and good health, dairy products will be found in the middle of pandemic-driven consumer changes

Dairy renaissance could follow COVID-19Before COVID-19, the Canadian dairy industry was struggling with its image and its focus. For a growing number of consumers, it had become old and boring, and more people were hesitant to trust what was happening in the dairy sector. Farming communities were clearly not ready for the new attitudes and values shared by many…

Pet shops have a better chance of survival than farmers

Farmers were naive to expect much help from a government that’s obsessed with city-slicking ideas

Pet shops have a better chance of survival than farmersThe Canadian Federation of Agriculture really set the bar high with its $2.6-billion aid request last week. When a federal program barely worth $252 million was announced, the disappointment felt throughout the farming community wasn’t surprising. The funds were indeed underwhelming and won’t be enough to get some of those producers to stick around. Many…

Canadian farmers need real help now

COVID-19 makes it painfully obvious that agriculture is largely misunderstood by the urban-centric Trudeau government

Canadian farmers need real help nowWe always needed farmers. Now, with COVID-19, they need us. Farming needs real help, right now. Plenty of attention has been given to the foreign workers program in recent weeks. The federal government and the provinces have done the best they could to mitigate the situation. But that was just the beginning. For farmers, the…

The meat of the matter: don’t expect shortages

Packing plant closures can be disruptive and, for farming, disastrous. But they can be necessary to protect the public

The meat of the matter: don’t expect shortagesAs COVID-19 ravages communities across North America, many analysts believe meatpacking plants, where employees work close to each other, are the next focal point of the spread of the virus. We’re likely in the worst of it now. More than a dozen North American meatpacking plants have closed over the last two weeks, with at…

Serving fearful customers a big challenge for grocers

Serving fearful customers a big challenge for grocersRestaurants are hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Many won’t recover and some are already closed for good. And grocers, despite the influx of millions of new dollars, are managing unprecedented pressure points. Grocers are in a high-volume, low-margin business. The $80 billion shifting over from the decimated food service industry may have been a…

Cracking down on COVID-19 profiteers

While artificially inflated retail food prices are possible in Canada at any time, it’s highly unusual – even now

Cracking down on COVID-19 profiteersEven if they really haven’t had good reason, many Canadians have felt food insecure lately. Access to food has been a concern. Affordability is certainly a close second. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, consumers have occasionally taken to social media to report inflated prices by retailers. Even though the accusations were warranted in…

No food shortage yet, but …

We’re entering a crucial period in the pandemic. So far, governments have kept trade borders open. Cooler heads must prevail

No food shortage yet, but …Access to food during the COVID-19 crisis has been a source of anxiety everywhere in the West. But the worst of the pandemic is yet to come, which means that anything can still happen. Panic buying by people in confinement has already demonstrated the fragility of supply chains, as supermarket shelves were emptying in many…

COVID-19 teaching hard lessons about supply chains

The B.C. government is taking over control of supply chains for delivering essential goods and services in the province. We should all be concerned

COVID-19 teaching hard lessons about supply chainsCanadians have likely never heard more about supply chains than during the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussions about logistics and how food gets to restaurants, grocery stores and kitchens abound. Canadians aren’t just genuinely interested in supply chains, they’re also commending the people involved in making our food systems work, from farm to fork. That’s outstanding. But…

COVID-19 will change how we buy food, forever

Convenience now has a different meaning. It’s less about saving time and more about survival and safety

COVID-19 will change how we buy food, foreverCOVID-19 will redefine grocery shopping and food service. Convenience now has a different meaning. It’s less about saving time and more about survival and safety. Before the crisis, barely anyone ordered online and many Canadians wondered why someone would ever order food in that fashion. But many things are changing – rapidly. The in-store shopping…

With COVID-19, home cooking may get its mojo back

Strange days are upon us. But something positive can come from this: Canadians will spend more time in their kitchens

With COVID-19, home cooking may get its mojo backThese are unprecedented times for all of us. And frankly, we’re all trying to figure out how to deal with our new lives, even if we know it will only last for a while. These strange days mean normalcy is not an option, for the safety of us all. Public health officials and political leaders…

Will a pandemic and an oil price war bring cheaper food?

The global economy is being hammered. The good news is consumers may see cheaper food prices but there’s a big, dark cloud on the horizon

Will a pandemic and an oil price war bring cheaper food?Most analysts agree that the oil price war is only beginning. Abundant cheap oil will impact the entire agri-food market, from farm gate to plate. And the coronavirus pandemic is compounding what’s already a fragile global economy. The pandemic and the oil price war caused a massive sell-off in equity and crude oil markets this…

What’s in a name? Plenty, if it’s a disease

To suggest the disease naming process of an international agency may have affected sales of a beer carrying a similar name tells us something about our risk-averse society

What’s in a name? Plenty, if it’s a diseaseA survey this week suggested that 38 per cent of Americans aren’t drinking Corona beer due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, formerly known as the coronavirus. There’s obviously no link between the beer and the virus, but the survey suggests a mental association between the product and the disease may be too much to bear…

Tim Hortons adds to its disastrous marketing decisions

Tim Hortons desperately needs to make its Roll Up The Rim campaign work. But the chain may have again missed the mark

Tim Hortons adds to its disastrous marketing decisionsAfter a disastrous campaign last year, Tim Hortons finally got the message and opted to change its 35-year-old Roll Up The Rim campaign. But its new approach is not that simple. The iconic contest is now much shorter and incredibly more complicated. Given its last quarter financial results showed same-store-sales dropping by more than four…
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