Food Policy for Canada

Everyone at the table

Food connects us all. It brings us together.

Canadian-made foods are recognized worldwide for the highest standards of quality and food safety. Responsible for 1 in 8 jobs across the country, our food sector is a powerhouse of the economy, particularly in our rural communities.

However, 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 we are wasting more than 11 million metric tons of food every year – worth nearly $50 billion.

We can do better. The first-ever Food Policy for Canada is a roadmap for a healthier and more sustainable food system for Canada.

Food policy

Food policy is developed to help guide public, private, and non-profit sectors on food-related decisions and actions that can improve people’s lives, their health, and the health of the environment and the economy.

It can help these sectors work together better, and help individual Canadians understand the impacts and the opportunities for change within our food system.

Food systems

Food systems include the way food is produced, processed, distributed, consumed, and disposed of, and they have direct impacts on the lives of Canadians. Food systems are interconnected and are integral to the well-being of communities.

Our vision

All people in Canada are able to access a sufficient amount of safe, nutritious, and culturally diverse food. Canada’s food system is resilient and innovative, sustains our environment and supports our economy.

The Government is investing $134.4M in new funding over five years to help make this vision a reality:

Help Canadian communities access healthy food

The food we eat plays a huge role in our overall health.

  • Local Food Infrastructure Fund: $50M
    to strengthen food systems to be resilient, integrated and sustainable, and to facilitate access to safe and nutritious food for at-risk populations.
    The Local Food Infrastructure Fund will include two streams.

    The first stream, entitled Infrastructure and Equipment Improvement Projects, aims to enable small community-based organizations to improve their infrastructure and purchase equipment that is directly related to the accessibility of healthy, nutritious, and ideally local foods within their community. Applicants will be eligible for up to $25,000 in non-repayable funding. Applications under this first stream will be accepted between August 15 and November 1, 2019.

    The second stream of the program, entitled Projects to Strengthen Local Food Systems, will target groups of community, municipal, private, academic and other organizations that collectively have the mission to reduce food insecurity in a sustainable manner by strengthening or establishing a local food system. Applicants may receive up to $250,000 in non-repayable financial assistance for capital and food equipment.

  • Tackling Food Fraud: $24.4M
    cracking down on mislabeling and misrepresentation of food products, helping to protect consumers from deception and companies from unfair competition.
  • National School Food Program
    taking the first consultative steps alongside provinces, territories, and not-for-profit organizations towards the creation of a National School Food Program, to help improve the health of our children as they learn, leading to better futures for them, and ultimately for our country.
Make Canadian food the top choice at home and abroad

A strong agriculture and agri-food sector contributes to economic growth, better nutrition and improved lives for families.

  • Buy Canadian Promotion Campaign: $25M
    to promote Canadian agricultural products thanks to a new Canada Brand, as well as through online and in-store Buy Canadian marketing campaigns. This will help increase consumer pride and confidence in our food.
Support food security in Northern and Indigenous communities

These communities face higher food prices and significant challenges in accessing healthy food.

  • Northern Isolated Community Initiatives Fund: $15M
    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.
Reduce food waste

Reducing food waste can combat greenhouse gas emissions, help the bottom line, and reduce grocery bills: $26.3M

  • working with experts to launch 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. 

The Government will also establish a Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council with expertise and diversity needed to sustain momentum and dialogue on food-related issues that matter to Canadians.

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.


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