Could this group better inform the Canadian government about food security and help create a more sustainable future?
The federal government of Canada has promised to address the growing concerns of Canadians on the issue of food security by developing what they call their Food Policy for Canada. This policy will incorporate various factors of the food system including social, environmental, and economic issues into one cohesive policy framework.
According to a Food Secure Canada joint press release, “A Food Policy for Canada is expected to support Canada’s ambitious agri-food economic growth targets while integrating critical food security, health and safety, and environmental sustainability requirements.” However, Food Secure Canada believes the policy will still need help to face challenges within the food system, to engage those working within it, and with its implementation. “Some of these challenges include four million Canadians living in food insecurity, high levels of diet-related disease, and climate change mitigation and adaptation,” reads the press release.
Since the proposal of this plan, a collective of over 50 food industry representatives, civil society representatives, and farming groups have allied themselves to help support the development and follow-through of the government’s policy. The group is requesting that the federal government create a National Food Policy Council.
The advisory council would be comprised of key stakeholders in the food system who could collaborate with the government on their policy.
The group is comprised of members such as Maple Leaf Foods, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the McConnell Foundation, Food Secure Canada, and more. This brings together big businesses, academics and researchers, Canadian farmers, the non-profit sector, and others, meaning that a diverse array of members of the food system are contributing to the conversation.
According to Food Secure Canada, over 40,000 Canadians responded to an online conversation about A Food Policy for Canada, proving the strong interest that Canadians have in the sustainability of our food systems. The group of allies hopes that a National Food Policy Council would create a platform for this conversation to continue.
The group stated their case in a letter sent to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Lawrence MacAulay in December 2018, and in their report, A Case for A National Food Policy Council.