Liberal budget sells the farm along with quotas

From supply management to food strategy to rural Internet to food processing to export targets, the government got it all wrong

Liberal budget sells the farm along with quotasMost people expected an electoral budget from the federal government this week and that’s exactly what Canadians got. But for the agri-food sector, the budget was underwhelming at best and provided little hope for the near future. Let’s start with supply management. The Liberal government opted to do exactly what the previous Conservative government did…

Nutrition advice from celebrities trumps new food guide

There are far too many barriers to following Canada’s Food Guide, including the Gwyneth Paltrow effect

Nutrition advice from celebrities trumps new food guideBy Sylvain Charlebois Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and Simon Somogyi University of Guelph Will Canadians use the new version of Canada’s Food Guide and will it cost us more to follow the new recommendations it contains? The guide, introduced a few weeks ago, advocates a diet focused more on plant-based eating and reductions in…

A lonely Canada can pay off for the food industry

The number of households in Canada with just one person has never been higher. And the food industry is taking notice

A lonely Canada can pay off for the food industryThe number of households in Canada with just one person has never been higher. And the food industry is taking notice. More than 28 per cent of Canadian households have just one person. That’s almost four million households. That number could reach five million in few years – a little less than the combined population…

Canada is losing its grip on valuable trade with China

Recent missteps suggest we're run by diplomatic amateurs, casting a shadow on trade. And now a deadly swine disease has hit China

Canada is losing its grip on valuable trade with ChinaRelations between China and Canada have never been more uncertain, particularly because Canada looks like it’s being run by diplomatic amateurs. And the news may get worse for the agri-food community. The Chinese claim Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in December at the request of the United States. The U.S. alleges Meng…

Kraft Heinz mess puts spotlight on shifting food industry

The giant company failed to adapt its products and hacked its marketing budget. Now it’s paying dearly

Kraft Heinz mess puts spotlight on shifting food industryIf anyone was still looking for signs that the power play between food brands and consumers is shifting, they got it last week. Kraft Heinz Co. – the owner of major brands we’ve all bought for years like Oscar Mayer, Jell-O, Kool-Aid and Kraft Dinner – announced that it’s writing off US$15.4 billion worth of…

Lab-grown meat is worthless unless consumers see a benefit

The issues surrounding the technology – and the payoffs – need to be clearly explained to get public support

Lab-grown meat is worthless unless consumers see a benefitCultured meat is an interesting concept that could hit stores soon. But this new science needs to make a case for consumers, not just for the industry.  According to a recent survey by Dalhousie University, fewer than 19 per cent of Canadians would willingly ditch their favourite steak for a lab-grown version. But even if…

Do vegan cheese and fake meat represent food appropriation?

The massive rise in consumption of alternative proteins has put huge pressure on the livestock and dairy industries

Do vegan cheese and fake meat represent food appropriation?The overpowering plant-based narrative is clearly helping lentils, chickpeas and soya win the proteins wars. The livestock and dairy industries feel the pressure. With the publication of the new Canada’s Food Guide, we have officially ended more than 70 years of state-endorsed fascination for animal proteins. Let’s face it, the change was necessary. The guide…

Food-related issues are widening Canada’s rural-urban gap

For years, farmers have tried to tell their stories through social media and elsewhere – and too often failed

Food-related issues are widening Canada’s rural-urban gapFor years, farmers have tried to convey their message and explain the agriculture and rural lifestyle to the broader Canadian populace. They’ve taken to social media with touching stories and countless messages, telling Canadians what things are like on the farm. Some have called this “agvocacy.” But the new Canada’s Food Guide and recent policy…

Roll Up the Rim to Win needs an environmental reboot

Tim Hortons’ iconic campaign has been around for 33 years, an incredible run, but the circular economy has overtaken it

Roll Up the Rim to Win needs an environmental rebootThe entire Roll Up the Rim to Win campaign rests on the physicality of the cup. Almost 300 million cups are produced for the Tim Hortons campaign, which kicked off on Feb. 6 and ends in mid-April. But packaging is on everyone’s mind these days. Some winners have been required to send in the entire cup…

Food inspectors getting tough on olive oil fraud

Food fraud affects many food categories, but stakes are a little higher with olive oil due to potential allergens in substitute ingredients

Food inspectors getting tough on olive oil fraudOlive production in Italy was hard hit last year due to an early frost. The country’s production dropped by 57 per cent. Greece and Portugal suffered similar fates, along with pest issues, and saw their production drop by 35 and 15 per cent, respectively. Short food supplies generate economically-motivated adulteration, that is, adding a inferior…
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