Comment on the Outcome of the Federal Provincial Territorial Agriculture Ministers’ meeting

July 21, 2016 - Food Secure Canada is delighted to see that the newly proposed national food policy was discussed by agriculture ministers from across the country at their meeting in Calgary today. Food Secure Canada, along with thousands of Canadians, has been advocating for such a policy dialogue for many years. We are pleased to see the inclusion not only of healthy food but also of food security.

Farmers are a vital part of our food system. So too are fishers, health professionals, teachers, businesses, cities and many others. Food Secure Canada therefore sees a need for collaboration between a number of governmental departments, including Agriculture and Agri-Food; Health; Employment and Social Development; Fisheries and Oceans; Global Affairs; Indigenous and Northern Affairs; Environment and Climate Change; the Canadian Food Inspection Agency; and the Public Health Agency. We look forward to a whole-of-government approach to the development of a national food policy.

“Food accounts for one in eight jobs in this country and is a critical determinant of health care costs and essential to meeting our climate change goals. Yet an adequate, healthy diet is out of reach for an estimated four million Canadians due to lack of income,” said Food Secure Canada Executive Director Diana Bronson. “A national food policy, led by the federal government but building on the excellent work at the provincial and municipal levels, can help the federal government create a healthy and sustainable Canada, with a diminishing carbon footprint and bright opportunities for youth.”

In 2011, Food Secure Canada published Resetting the Table: A People’s Food Policy for Canada. This document contains many of the ideas and principles that we would like to see in the new national food policy.

Over the coming months, Food Secure Canada and its members will be looking carefully at the Calgary Statement and participating in the consultations around Growing Forward 3. We welcome the government’s commitment to seek the ideas of Canadians and stakeholders about the scope and directions of food policy.

See the full communiqué here and the section on food policy below:

Food Policy:

  • Ministers discussed the development of a national food policy that includes promotion of healthy living and safe food, and food security. Minister MacAulay encouraged the continued FPT sharing of ideas about food policy.
  • The federal government plans to seek the ideas of Canadians and stakeholders about the scope and directions of a food policy.
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