Canada lags in food production -

Canada lags in food production

Exports fall while dependency on imports increases


A new report by the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute concludes that Canada is in need of a significant overhaul of its agricultural policy in order to compete in global markets and keep Canadians fed. Canada was once the third largest exporter of food, but has fallen behind countries like Brazil and China after exports fell by 9 per cent and imports rose by 2 percent in 2009. CAPI recommends that Canada double agricultural exports to $75-billion and produce 75 per cent of its own food by 2025. Gaëtan Lussier, former agriculture minister and CAPI’s chair, said “if Canada does not change the way we look at agri-food development, we will be losers for a long time.” Canada’s agriculture industry is a core sector of the economy that generates two million jobs and accounts for 8.2 per cent of GDP.

The Globe and Mail

Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute

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Canada lags in food production

  1. You can blame The West almost entirely for this. While we've been granting break after break to the energy resource harvesters, we've left our farmers to mostly fend for themselves. The myopia of easy, fast oil money has blinded our governments, particularly in Alberta and Saskatchewan, to the longer term costs of our development policies — and I'm not just talking the environmental damage done.

    • Blame the west? Blame subsidies to oil and gas? There are plenty of govt subsidies for farmers and ranchers. Are you aware of the bail out money the Alberta government forked over for the mad cow crisis? Unfortunately all of that went into the pockets of the slaughter houses, which are all American owned. However, to say our Federal and Provincial govts. don't support our food producers is incorrect.

      • Thanks for being a perfect poster-boy for the myopia I speak of.

        Now, this time, rather than being an ignorant, short-sighted reactionary who just sees a couple of key-words and then flails mindlessly, perhaps try actually reading what I wrote.

        You'll note I never mention subsidies. Hell, the only time I mention money is when I speak of what myopics like you in the Alberta Government have gotten.

        Read even closer and you see I mention "development policies" that should be a big clue I'm not talking about money. You know what else is a clue is where I specifically mention I'm not just talking about environmental damage. To most thinking people, that's a big flashing light that points out "This is more than about a single thing.. which happens to include environmental damage.."

        And yet from that, you somehow come to the conclusion that I'm talking about subsidies.

        Obviously you have a mind for the ages..

        ..stone and bronze, evidently.

        • Well Thwim, I have read your entry over several times and I am not sure exactly what you are saying….are you suggesting that the govt should be developing more land for agricultural purposes or that they should be doing more research so that our we get more yield from the land that is now developed or both? Specificity helps define exactly what you are saying for us stone-age people.

  2. The awful weather they had in the prairies they had this past summer also probably didn't help the ratio.

    Global warming is going to wreak havoc on farmers in the coming years.

    • Different parts of the prairies got different amounts of moisture. Some places did okay.

  3. Certainly doesn't help that more and more prime farmland for fruits and vegetables in Southern Ontario is now warehouse space, big-box malls, and pavement every year.

  4. So who do you believe?? Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute is looking for more funding for "research". Countries/provinces need to stop subsidizing (US rice, Quebec dairy/poultry). Of course China and Brazil exports are up – CHEAP labour. You do not even know where you food comes from half the time.

    Canadian farmers optimistic

    Optimism in Canada's agriculture sector is at a four-year high, according to a new survey.

    The Monthly Agriculture Business Barometer compiled by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) shows the improvement in agri-business optimism that started late last year is carrying over into 2011.

    “We are very encouraged to see optimism levels in the agriculture sector at a four year high,” said Virginia Labbie, CFIB's senior policy analyst for Agri-business.

    But governments could still help by reducing red tape, taxes, improving market access for Canadian agricultural products and through more responsive business risk management programs, the CFIB said Tuesday.

  5. Cut all subsidies. Everywhere.

    • Are you saying cut subsidies (welfare) to farmers?

      • Yes, farmers everywhere.

        Oil companies, etc too.

        • Cutting subsidies completely to farmers can be a risky thing to do…if you have a few years of drought you can put many out of business and they do provide the food for not only our country but elsewhere in the world.

  6. We need to bring back the small farms and remove the dangerous, and criminal factory farms.

    Factory farms produce meat full of antibiotics, growth hormones, and genetically modified food.

    This is unfit for animal or human consumption

    I would rather pay more and know my food was safe.

    • Rolland if you are concerned with meat full of antibiotics etc., you might consider bison (buffalo). It tastes almost exactly like beef but is leaner. Canada exports it to Europe where it is in great demand. The bison is vey much a free range animal. They cannot be penned in a feed lot like cattle so no need to use antibiotics. Ranchers tend to butcher them young, just because they get so difficult to handle due to their size. It is really easy to find bison that have been raised only on hay and grass. The only down side is that the meat is more expensive.

  7. Canadian Wheat Board, milk marketing board, egg marketing board – all these boards are designed to keep the wealthy and powerful – wealthy and powerful. And they do that really well. What they don't do is deliver fresh food to Canadians at competitive prices, so of course our productivity is low. Canadians don't mind paying high prices for old food, but why? Throw the bums out!

  8. Most respectfully and with utmost humbleness, I share my deepest concern on food waste in Canada and with this, I submit the following facts and figures with a request to churn out a sustainable national strategy to stop food waste in Canada and contribute to the Freedom from Hunger (FFHC: This year Canada is celebrating as 50th year of FFHC at Campaign as envisioned by Dr.Binay Ranjan Sen, the then Director General of Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy (1956 to 1967).
    (1)During the Second World Food Congress, Dr. Binay Ranjan Sen, declared war on food waste at the The Hague, Netherlands June 16-30, 1970 (Ref Binay Ranjan Sen was the architect of the Freedom From Hunger Campaign (FFHC). In 1960 Dr. Sen announced the Freedom from Hunger campaign, which led to the 1963 World Food Congress in Washington, D.C., attended by representatives from more than 100 countries. (Ref: Wikipedia and Launching of the Freedom From Hunger Campaign (Rome, 1 July 1960). Opening Ceremony. Statement by Dr. B R Sen, D.G. of FAODuration: 9min.27sec.Format: mp3 (4.500 KB) at FAO Audio-online :
    (2)During Canadian Food Summit 2012, Toronto Gaëtan Lussier, Chair, The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute while speaking on “Practical Strategies for Reducing Food Waste” mentioned QUOTE Amid much of the current anguish over how, on a global scale, we will be able to feed everyone, many argue that the elimination of food waste would solve the problem. Last fall, the Value Chain Management Centre of the George Morris Centre, based in Guelph, published the report: Food Waste in Canada. It reported that we waste 40 per cent of our food in Canada at an annual cost of $27 billion. This waste represents two per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product, or more than the combined GDP of the 32 poorest countries in the world.He opined that individuals, organizations, and governments can work together to reduce this waste. UNQUOTE (Ref:–food-waste-an-unappetizing-27b-problem: Food waste: An unappetizing, $27B problem, Toronto Star Published on Fri Jan 14 2011)
    (3) 40 % of our Hospital food is wasted ——–Canada’s prominent Chef Activist and Sustainable hospital food-guru in Canada Joshna Maharaj. Kindly watch Joshna’s YouTube video (Ref: