Government of Canada helps Canada's fresh produce industry transition to more environmentally-friendly packaging

News release

April 6, 2022 – Montreal, Quebec – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The effects of climate change are everywhere and they are a constant reminder of the need to act now. The Government of Canada is supporting industry efforts to find sustainable solutions to agricultural challenges, which contributes to the economy while helping to protect the environment for future generations.

Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of up to $376,200 for the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), under the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP), to support the transition towards more sustainable food and produce packaging.

Packaging serves many useful and essential functions in the food system, such as protecting food from contamination, preserving food and facilitating transportation. With the funds received under CASPP, the CPMA is undertaking a national pilot project that explores effective ways for industry to migrate to using sustainable packaging design and material options that enhance recyclability or compostability. The funds are being used to develop a strategy and enable steps towards the migration.

The project will help industry better understand and characterize the food and produce packaging system in Canada, assess the impacts of various packaging options and create a deployment plan. Key stakeholders including manufacturers, packaging producers, retailers and recycling facilities will be engaged in the development of viable sustainable packaging options.

Today, during remarks at CPMA's Annual Convention and Trade Show, which brings together thousands of participants from all segments of the produce supply chain, Minister Bibeau thanked the industry for their continued efforts to transition to sustainable packaging and reduce waste, while highlighting federal investments to support agricultural clean technologies and practices.

By taking action to reduce packaging waste and increase sustainability for food and produce packaging, the Government of Canada is helping to build a cleaner and more prosperous future.

Quotes

"Climate change is a great threat to our economy, our communities and our future. For this reason, our government is investing in research and innovation to help the industry transition to more eco-friendly food packaging for products such as fruits and vegetables. Consumers in Canada and around the world want more sustainable options, and we are committed to providing them."

- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"Plastics packaging is a major enabler of affordable, safe and high-quality foods in Canada. This project looks to promote systems thinking and innovation that will help shape food and produce packaging pathways which enable the migration to fully sustainable food and produce packaging in Canada. The benefits are beyond environmental sustainability, and include the development of a new packaging circular economy, leverage composting systems across Canada, and enhance industry alignment with leading sustainable packaging in food and produce."

- Ron Lemaire, President, Canadian Produce Marketing Association

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is provided through the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP), a $50.3 million, five-year investment to help the agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive.

  • The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) is a not-for-profit organization that represents companies that are active in the marketing of fresh fruits and fresh vegetables in Canada. CPMA's vision is to enable and lead the produce industry by enhancing the market and facilitating trade of fresh fruits and vegetables for its members, which include all segments of the fresh produce supply chain.

Associated links

Contacts

Marianne Dandurand
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
marianne.dandurand@agr.gc.ca
343-541-9229

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
1-866-345-7972
aafc.mediarelations-relationsmedias.aac@agr.gc.ca
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