Canadian food strategy: A recipe for change

Conference Board to establish Canadian Food Observatory

TORONTO, March 18, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Food Strategy, launched today by The  Conference Board of Canada, stresses that change is essential both to meet the food needs of Canadians and to enable industry to take advantage of growing export opportunities.

Released today at the 3rd Canadian Food Summit: From Strategy to Action, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the Canadian Food Strategy contains five key elements: industry prosperity, healthy food, food safety, household food security, and environmental sustainability. Each element is represented in the Strategy through one or more high-level goals—eight in total.

  • The Canadian Food Strategy is a blueprint for change that encompasses industry prosperity, health, food safety, household security and environmental sustainability.
  • Change in Canada's food system is essential to meet the food needs of Canadians, while also taking advantage of opportunities for export growth.
  • The strategy is the product of four years of research and dialogue through the Conference Board's Centre for Food in Canada.

"The Strategy's broad scope is essential. It reflects the widely held view of Canadians that our food system encompasses more than the food industries. It also includes multiple economic, social, and environmental dimensions. This is a blueprint for change," said Michael Bloom, Vice-President, Industry and Business Strategy.

"Canadians want food that is safe, nutritious, available to everyone and produced in ways that are environmentally sustainable. We can achieve these goals and, at the same time, capitalize on abundant opportunities to export food to the rest of the world."

The Canadian Food Strategy, the product of four years of research and dialogue by the Conference Board's Centre for Food in Canada, brings together all of these elements.

The complete food production chain needs to be viable and prosperous to ensure that an adequate food supply is available to Canadians -- that means local producers, processors and operators of all sizes.

The report outlines how industry success is an engine that can help fuel progress on the other elements of the Strategy that are vital to Canada's interests and Canadians' well-being and quality of life.

The Strategy sets out eight goals and more than 60 desired outcomes, and provides 110 action strategies that can help to achieve them.

To encourage implementation efforts and to track progress, the Conference Board's Centre for Food in Canada intends to continue its work on promoting the Canadian Food Strategy through three initiatives:

  • establish the Canadian Food Observatory to monitor progress in the food sector and measure progress in achieving the goals of the Strategy.
  • produce an Annual Report Card: Food in Canada— Performance and Potential summarizing the progress made in the previous year, using metrics established by the Observatory.
  • undertake further research on new and emerging issues.

The Summit continues Wednesday with further sessions on implementation actions of the Canadian Food Strategy.  

SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada

For further information:

Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221

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