Will Canada finally get interprovincial alcohol trade?

A private member’s bill in Ottawa is offering Canadians a renewed chance to ‘free the beer’

Will Canada finally get interprovincial alcohol trade?Interprovincial alcohol distribution in Canada has always been a nightmare. For our wineries, breweries and spirit makers, selling alcohol to Americans is easier than selling to consumers outside their own province. Many Canadian alcoholic products like wines, beers and spirits have won international prestigious awards but can’t be sold to most Canadians. It’s simply ridiculous.…

As Canadians flee cities, rural living gets its mojo back

Pandemic has accelerated the flow of people fleeing cities, especially among young people

It’s no secret the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many Canadians to move from cities to the suburbs and even the countryside. According to Statistics Canada, the phenomenon led to a record loss of population in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver in 2020. Vacancy rates are skyrocketing in many urban centres across the country. The same phenomenon…

Eat your fruits and veggies for the sake of your immunity

One of the major pieces to building a strong immunity system is eating more fruits and vegetables

Eat your fruits and veggies for the sake of your immunityAccording to the United Nations, 2021 is the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. Many couldn’t care less about a proclamation from a global agency that has been criticized over the years as being inner-looking and out of touch. Some of this criticism is certainly warranted but depending on the topic, these campaigns can bring…

Why a convenience store giant wants to be a grocer

Couche-Tard has a reputation of generating value by polishing hidden gems in companies like Carrefour

Why a convenience store giant wants to be a grocerWe heard this week that Alimentation Couche-Tard is looking at acquiring European-based Carrefour, the seventh largest food retailer in the world. Buying a grocery chain would be a significant departure from what Couche-Tard is known for. A non-binding, friendly offer of $25 billion was sent to Carrefour. Couche-Tard is all about the convenience store economy.…

Betting on the booming plant protein food market

Many consumers are revisiting their relationship with animal proteins, both at the meat counter and in the dairy products section

Betting on the booming plant protein food marketThink plant protein is just a passing fad? Think again. You likely noticed that the plant-based counter at your favourite grocery store is growing. There’s good reason: people are buying. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the chaos surrounding containment and vaccination rules, consumers are quietly enjoying products made from plant proteins and milk alternatives. According…

Trudeau’s carbon tax short-sighted in so many ways

No thought as to how it could put many Canadian families in a state of food insecurity by 2030

Trudeau’s carbon tax short-sighted in so many waysCOVID-19 has had an impact on Canada’s food industry but, over time, resilience will prevail. However, the federal government’s pre-holiday announcement that it will increase the carbon tax to $170 per tonne by 2030 will have a long-term impact on consumers. Climate change is a real and significant problem. We need to act quickly, and…

The slippery ethics of paying grocery executives bonuses

COVID-19 has made us realize that many people whose jobs are too important to be interrupted are the ones earning the least money

The slippery ethics of paying grocery executives bonusesAlmost everyone agrees that grocery store workers should earn better wages, especially during a pandemic. In Canada, their hourly rate hovers around $15 an hour. New hires get about $13 an hour, while the highest paid earn almost $50,000 annually, or about $25 an hour. In a high-volume, low-margin world, salaries are what they are.…

The new pandemic-induced pet food economy

The pet economy represents tremendous growth potential for the food service industry. Pets are already influencing the market

The new pandemic-induced pet food economyAccording to a recent report by Narrative Research, 18 per cent of Canadians say they got a new pet since the start of the pandemic. That means more than 6.8 million pets were adopted since March. That can be added to the more than 16 million cats and dogs Canadians had in 2019, prior to…

The year’s top food-related stories

From lab-grown meat to grocery store staff bonuses to the food-service crisis to gardening and cooking at home to panic buying

The year’s top food-related storiesThe year 2020 was as unusual as they get, with no shortage of stories. Some flew under the radar because of the pandemic but this list is based on how some food-related stories will probably have long-term implications, whether they were related to COVID-19 or not. At No. 10, the apparent end of Tim Hortons’…

How will Canadian households cope as food prices rise?

The pace of food inflation is unmanageable for many

How will Canadian households cope as food prices rise?Canada’s Food Price Report 2021 brought some disconcerting news to Canadians. We could see food prices rise by as much as five per cent in 2021, according to the recently-released report. That’s the highest increase ever predicted by the report’s authors, a group of 24 scholars from four universities. For a family of four, the…

Synthetic meat is the new frontier of food

If livestock farmers were threatened by the plant-based revolution, they haven’t seen anything yet

Synthetic meat is the new frontier of foodFor thousands of years, humans have had to kill animals to eat meat. This is no longer the case – at least in Singapore. Cultured meat is now legal in the city-state. The Singapore Food Agency has approved chicken nuggets from a San Francisco-based company called Eat Just, which is known for its cultured meat.…

$2 billion(!) payment to dairy farmers all about politics

The Trudeau government is raiding our Covid-19 starved pockets to send $36 from each of us to rich dairy farmers

$2 billion(!) payment to dairy farmers all about politicsAgriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau chose a Saturday, hours before a long-awaited federal economic update, to offer more non-COVID-19-related compensation to Canada’s supply-managed farmers. Eighty-one per cent of dairy farmers are located in Quebec and Ontario. Compensation was expected but how it was done was a little strange. Few in the industry knew what…

Eliminating humans from the food supply chain

Loblaws will be able to move food from automated picking facilities multiple times a day to support its online grocery service

Eliminating humans from the food supply chainLoblaws is partnering with Gatik, an autonomous vehicle provider from the United States, to launch the first autonomous food delivery fleet. This is a solution to the ‘middle mile,’ assuring links between distribution centres and stores. Consumers won’t see autonomous vehicles drive up to their homes yet but that day will surely come soon. These…

Food industry keeps adapting to changing times

The food industry is in a much better position going into a second phase of lockdowns. But some risks remain

Food industry keeps adapting to changing timesMany Canadian regions will likely go through a second COVID-19 lockdown soon. And questions about the resiliency of our food supply chain are emerging again. With potentially 60,000 new COVID-19 national cases a day within weeks, it seems inevitable. Further lockdowns could well include even the Atlantic bubble. The COVID-19 virus knows no borders and…