Food Policy for Canada

Backgrounder

The Food Policy for Canada is a roadmap for a healthier and more sustainable food system in Canada – one that builds on the Government’s ambitious agenda to support the growth of Canada’s farmers and food businesses, as well as key federal initiatives like the Heathy Eating Strategy, Canada’s Food Guide, and the Poverty Reduction Strategy, as well as work on food fraud, food labelling, and food loss and waste, among others.

In addition, foods from Canada are recognized worldwide for the highest standards of quality and food safety.

Responsible for one in eight jobs across the country, Canada’s food sector is a powerhouse of the economy, particularly in rural communities.

But more needs to be done to improve our food system. Too many Canadians aren’t able to reliably access sufficient amounts of healthy food. Too many children at school are trying to learn on empty stomachs.

And more than 11 million metric tons of food are wasted every year – worth nearly $50 billion.

The issues are complex. The Food Policy is a whole-of-government approach with the collaboration of many different groups to tackle the food issues that matter to Canadians.

Food Policy Investments and Initiatives

The Government of Canada is investing $134.4 million in a Food Policy that will shape a healthier and more prosperous future for Canadian families and communities:

  • Local Food Infrastructure Fund - $50 million
    To support a wide range of community-led projects that aim to improve access to safe, healthy, and culturally diverse food.

  • Northern Isolated Community Initiatives Fund - $15 million
    To support community-led projects like greenhouses, community freezers, and skills training to strengthen Indigenous food systems, and combat significant challenges in accessing healthy food in Canada’s North.

  • Buy Canadian Promotion Campaign - $25 million
    To promote Canadian agricultural products thanks to a new Canada Brand, and through online and in-store Buy Canadian marketing campaigns, in order to increase consumer pride and confidence in Canadian food.

  • Reducing Food Waste - $26.3 million
    Working with experts to develop a challenge to fund the most innovative food waste reduction proposals in food processing, grocery retail, and food service – as well as leadership by the federal government to cut its own food waste.

  • Tackling Food Fraud - $24.4 million
    Cracking down on mislabeling and misrepresentation of food products, helping to protect consumers from deception and companies from unfair competition.

  • National School Food Program
    We are taking the first steps alongside provinces and not-for profit organizations towards the creation of a National School Food Program, to help improve the overall health of our children as they learn, leading to better futures for them, and ultimately for our country.

  • Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council
    Establishing an advisory body with the expertise and diversity needed to sustain momentum and dialogue on food-related issues that matter to Canadians. The Advisory Council will bring stakeholders and experts together to better understand diverse perspectives, work toward a common understanding of food issues, and facilitate collaborative action.

    Letters of Nomination for the Advisory Council will be solicited from organizations across Canada. The Council will likely include a diversity of members from the agriculture and food industry, health professionals, academia, non-profit organizations, Indigenous organizations, and will be open to provincial and territorial participation. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food will provide final approval of the members on the Council. More information will be available in the coming months.

  • The Food Policy will help Canada meet its commitments under the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including to end hunger, promote good health, cut food waste and encourage a sustainable food system.

  • New and improved federal programs such as the Canada Child Benefit and the top-up to the Guaranteed Income Supplement, are helping the most vulnerable Canadians access healthy food.

    Since 2015, 825,000 Canadians have been lifted out of poverty, and the Government has met its target of reducing poverty by 20% - a full three years ahead of schedule.

Food Policy Consultations

  • In 2017, more than 45,000 Canadians across the country shared their ideas and perspectives on how to improve our food system through a series of engagement activities.
  • Thousands of Canadians responded to an online survey, with hundreds more attending regional engagement sessions, a National Food Policy Summit, town halls hosted by Members of Parliament, and other community-led engagement events held across the country.
  • Consultations were held with organizations representing farmers, fishers, and the food industry; civil society groups with interests in food security, health, and the environment; academics; officials from provincial, territorial, and local governments; and Indigenous organizations and communities.

Related products

News release - “Everyone at the Table!” Government of Canada announces the first-ever Food Policy for Canada


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