Setting the table for a homegrown value-added food sector

As foreign food processors pull out of Canada, taking jobs with them, it’s essential to the economy that we fill the gap

Setting the table for a homegrown value-added food sectorThe bloodbath in foreign-owned, large-scale food manufacturing in Canada continues. Canadian value-added food producers need to fill the gap. In the past few days, we’ve learned that two foreign-owned plants, employing almost 600 highly-paid workers altogether, are closing: Dr. Oetker in Grand Falls, N.B., and Campbell Soup Co. in Toronto. Canada may have lost 30,000…

TPP2 death knell for supply management, and that’s a good thing

The new Trans-Pacific deal will boost agri-food industries. But it’s a nail in the coffin for Canada's protectionist supply-management sectors

TPP2 death knell for supply management, and that’s a good thingCanada is making its trade intentions crystal clear and that's good news for most agri-food industries, although our supply-management sectors face big challenges. Even as the North American Free Trade Agreement talks continue, we've learned that the Trans-Pacific Partnership isn’t dead after all, although the trade deal among Pacific Rim countries has a new name:…

Tim Hortons: the killing another of Canadian icon

Parent company RBI’s international expansion plans may well be behind the heartless Tim Hortons policies in Canada

Tim Hortons: the killing another of Canadian iconDestroying Canadian business icons seems to be a trend. In 2017, it was Sears. While employees were losing their pensions because of poor management, lawyers and consultants were receiving millions as the business was shutting down. Several Canadian retail icons have crumbled due to weak managerial strategies, from Eaton’s to Sears. Most closures, though, have…

The genius of Loblaws’ $25 gift card campaign

This PR masterstroke by Loblaws has allowed the company to take control of the narrative and dodge, for now, consumer mistrust

The genius of Loblaws’ $25 gift card campaignLoblaws’ gift of $25 to all Canadians is really just part of a smoke-and-mirrors campaign. In December, Loblaws confessed to running a price-fixing scheme on bread with supplier Weston Bakeries, a sister company. As of Jan. 8, anyone can go online and register for a $25 gift card, to be redeemed at any Loblaw Companies Ltd.-owned stores.…

Just who’s the bully when it comes to minimum wage hikes?

Government generally has little or no understanding of franchising, how food distribution forces play out or even simply how small businesses operate

Just who’s the bully when it comes to minimum wage hikes?Dramatically increasing minimum wages in the food industry is irresponsible and even reckless. On Jan. 1, Ontario’s minimum wage increased by 22 per cent, to $14 an hour. It will go to $15 on Jan. 1, 2019. That’s almost a 32 per cent increase in 12 months. Other provinces, such as Alberta and B.C., will follow…

Taxing meat is an unpalatable proposition

Arguing that meat is the new tobacco is sensationalist nonsense, since tobacco is not essential to life and food is. Let the market evolve

Taxing meat is an unpalatable propositionImposing a sin tax on foods that are deemed environmentally detrimental seems to be gaining support. But little can be accomplished by taxing meat. For some, eating meat is considered a sin and therefore meat products should be taxed, like alcohol and tobacco. A new report published recently by a group called Farm Animal Investment Risk…

Loblaw, Weston bake the numbers, burn consumers

As shocking as it was, most of us will eventually forget Loblaw‘s admission of price-fixing. Let’s hope the industry doesn’t

Loblaw, Weston bake the numbers, burn consumersMost Canadians were stunned and dismayed to learn that the country’s leading grocer was caught up in a price-fixing scheme with bread-maker George Weston Ltd., which is owned by the same company. The scheme lasted from 2001 to 2015. As a result, Loblaw Companies Ltd. fired several people and gave $25 gift certificates to millions…

How blockchain can revolutionize the foodchain

Blockchain would enhance agri-food transparency, productivity, competitiveness and sustainability

How blockchain can revolutionize the foodchainThe cryptocurrency revolution has introduced some interesting technology, notably the blockchain concept, which holds great potential for the agri-food sector. Blockchain is a way of storing and sharing information across a network of users in an open virtual space. The technology allows users to look at all transactions simultaneously and in real-time. In the food industry,…

Grocers seek to restock the industry with innovation

Recent Canadian grocery sector layoffs are about redefining business models more than trimming costs

Grocers seek to restock the industry with innovationDownsizing is never easy. And just weeks before the festive season, reducing staff is bad for morale. But industry changes are forcing Canada’s grocers to rethink store structures, including staffing. Metro let 250 people go recently. Loblaws announced 500 layoffs. Then Sobeys said it was cutting 800 employees – about two per cent of parent…

Amazon and the slow death of the traditional grocery store

The Amazon effect has Loblaws and others reimagining their businesses. Consumers will have greater choice and convenience – from their homes

Amazon and the slow death of the traditional grocery storeThe bricks-and-mortar food retailing model is losing its lustre in Canada. The signs are everywhere. Loblaws is the latest grocer to commit to home delivery. Starting in December, the leading food retailer in Canada has an ambitious plan to deliver food for a fee from coast to coast. The company has spent millions to make…