Students call for "real cost" food pricing: report

LONDON, ON, April 13 /CNW/ - A report released by Canadian undergraduate student leaders urges the food systems sector to institute "real cost" pricing for food.

Entitled "The New Normal: Sustainable Practices your Future Employees will Demand," the report was compiled by the Network for Business Sustainability and captures dozens of recommendations from student participants of IMPACT! The Co-operators Youth Conference for Sustainability Leadership.

"We want to see food prices more accurately reflect their full economic, environmental, and social costs," said Environmental Life Sciences graduate student Alison McDonald of Trent University. "This would result in carbon emissions being internalized and farmers receiving fair prices for their products."

The students proposed the following practices for organizations in the Food Systems sector:

        -  Educate and empower the public through better labelling.
        -  Increase biosphere conservation.
        -  Develop stronger local food systems.
        -  Calculate and transmit the "real cost" of food to reflect the full
           economic, environmental, and social impacts.

"I was very impressed by the students' passion, progressive thinking and commitment to creating a better and sustainable world," said Roger Eacock, President, SunOpta Inc. "As Canada's largest organic and natural food company, I am pleased to say that SunOpta embraces many of these recommendations, which ultimately provide a fair return to organic growers who are at the leading edge of sustainable food production."

The full report is available on the Network website: and the IMPACT! website:

IMPACT! The Co-operators Youth Conference for Sustainability Leadership was a partnership of The Co-operators, the Network for Business Sustainability of the Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, the University of Guelph, the University of Saskatchewan's Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, Wilfred Laurier University, The Natural Step Canada, The David Suzuki Foundation and AIESEC.


For further information: For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators, 1-877-795-7272, ext. 2707; Tom Ewart, Network for Business Sustainability, (519) 661-2111 ext. 80094

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