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…

Bold action needed to repair Canada’s economy

In the post-COVID-19 era, government needs to invest in game-changing projects. Here are some good places to start

Bold action needed to repair Canada’s economyThe clamour to reopen the economy has reached a crescendo in many parts of North America. But the global economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be far-reaching for years to come. Canadian historians list 1935 as the year the worst of the Great Depression was over. But the nation really didn’t begin to return…

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…

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 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…

Brexit could boost Canada’s ag industry by billions

The EU’s tough quality assurance rules mean CETA hasn’t delivered for Canadian farmers. Brexit could be the answer

Brexit could boost Canada’s ag industry by billionsBritain has officially left the European Union and faces the challenge of negotiating a new trading relationship with the bloc before the end of the transition period on Dec. 31, 2020. As a net importer of most food products, the United Kingdom faces a choice of making concessions to the European Union to maintain access…

Canada’s dairy sector faces uncertain future

The dairy industry is slowly being trampled by a wave of consumers who see it as one of many options, for a variety of reasons

Canada’s dairy sector faces uncertain futureThere’s been a lot of talk recently about meat alternatives but dairy alternatives are also becoming more popular. And when it comes to dairy in Canada, given our quotas and high tariffs, the stakes are significantly higher. Dairy alternatives can be seen everywhere from grocery stores to coffee shops. These products are no longer confined…

Consumer trust in agriculture is waning

Organized, well-funded groups condemning farming practices on social media are winning the consumer trust battle

Consumer trust in agriculture is waningThe public uses social media every day to express concerns about farming practices. And it’s getting worse. Farmers are criticized for a variety of reasons – for example their environmental stewardship and their ethical behaviour in how they treat livestock. In survey after survey, Canadians generally say they trust farmers, regardless of headlines, social media…

Gene edited foods could be our next risk communication fiasco

Gene-edited crops can help produce safe and affordable food and energy. But proponents need to make a legitimate case to consumers

Gene edited foods could be our next risk communication fiascoWill Canadian consumers want to eat gene-edited food? There's a lot of excitement in agriculture about the introduction of gene-edited food products into the Canadian food system over the next few years. But there’s also a great deal of apprehension. Gene editing is about tweaking a plant’s genome by turning off certain genetic traits. By…

Feds’ Buy Canadian food campaign could be a disaster

The feds want to spend $25 million to get you to buy Canadian. This is a great idea that could easily turn into a marketing disaster

Feds’ Buy Canadian food campaign could be a disasterAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada is going into marketing. It wants you to buy Canadian. The federal government intends to spend $25 million over five years starting this summer to promote Canadian food products and instill pride in what our country can bring to our tables. This is a great idea. But promoting Canadian products may…

Plant health a decidedly human issue

Climate change knows no borders and neither should science. And when it comes to plant science, Canada is a force to be reckoned with

Plant health a decidedly human issueEvery year, the United Nations promotes something that it believes warrants attention and it has declared 2020 the International Year of Plant Health. Celebrating plant health and bringing more awareness to the issue is well worth pursuing. Plants represent about 80 per cent of everything we eat. And animals raised on farms, of course, eat…

The art – and science – of rescuing food

Half of Canadians intend to reduce food waste as much as possible in 2020. The industry is offering solutions, as are other organizations

The art – and science – of rescuing foodCanada generates more food waste per capita than any other country in the world. Every year, close to 60 per cent of food produced in Canada is wasted. That’s more than 35 million metric tonnes of food is lost and wasted annually in Canada. Considering the energy and resources required to produce this food, the…
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