How do we solve the local food paradox?

Most of us want to pay more for locally-grown food and will say so, but few actively look for opportunities to do so

How do we solve the local food paradox?Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting supply chains and impacting purchasing habits, our relationship with food was different. The pandemic has pushed governments to consider food autonomy as a priority and to look more at local supply chains. Discussions are about producing food in Canada, year-round, while offering products to consumers at reasonable prices, especially…

It’s time Canada stopped protecting its dairy industry

Governments tend to forget about consumers when managing supply. Open trade to more cheese and challenge our farmers

It’s time Canada stopped protecting its dairy industryCheese heads – it’s what Canadians are called in many of the United States border regions. It’s because when many Canadians visit their American neighbours, they head straight to the nearest supermarket and buy cheese – and milk and eggs. Dairy and eggs are much more expensive in Canada than in the U.S., even when…

Job rebound sluggish in Canada’s agri-food sector

Job rebound sluggish in Canada’s agri-food sectorStatistics Canada's recent September job market data is reassuring, overall. But for the agri-food sector, the reality is quite different. Overall, employment in the country increased in September, creating 378,000 jobs, the majority of which were full-time. This increase in September brought total employment to 720,000, shy of the level we had before the pandemic.…

As California burns, so does our winter lettuce

Canada depends on imports for fruits and vegetables. We need to think differently about how we feed ourselves during cold months

As California burns, so does our winter lettuceCalifornia is on fire. Although most of the fire-affected territory has nothing to do with agriculture, the smoke is so intense that it could damage many crops. And as fall approaches, the California fires could affect Canada’s food supply for the coming months. Like the labour issues affecting Canadian farmers this summer, this is certainly…

Animal grazing reducing biodiversity around the world

Study of unprecedented scale shows less variety of herbivores and pollinators in grazed areas worldwide

Animal grazing reducing biodiversity around the worldLivestock grazing is reducing the biodiversity of herbivores and pollinators worldwide, according to a new study led by University of Alberta researchers that examined the impact of grazing on a larger scale than ever before. “We looked at the effects of livestock grazing on every continent except Antarctica and what it means for biodiversity,” said Alessandro…

Livestock, dairy industries face pandemic fallout

The continued popularity of meat-fee diets may point to the damaging legacy of COVID-19 for some sectors

Livestock, dairy industries face pandemic falloutBefore COVID-19, the craze for vegetable proteins was palpable. All we heard about were sustainability, animal welfare and Beyond Meat. The health of the planet and well-being of animals became increasingly important factors to a growing number of Canadians, and it showed in the numbers. A few months after the great confinement started, some new…

Four strategies to help avoid the next pandemic

U of A virus expert offers recommendations that would be easier to implement and enforce than other public health measures

Four strategies to help avoid the next pandemicNew viruses emerge every few years that threaten humanity: HIV, swine flu, SARS, Ebola, Zika, MERS and now COVID-19. Unfortunately, the only drugs that can combat a viral pandemic are antiviral therapies – although most antivirals don’t work very well – or vaccines, most of which work incredibly well. Vaccines for newly emerging viral diseases…

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…
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