Inside Scoop #7 - Your Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes News

Welcome to the Inside Scoop, where we share the latest news about the process and politics of getting to Canada’s first national food policy (NFP). Available exclusively to FSC’s members and supporters, the contents are not for citation or publication. Please do not forward beyond your own staff. Be inside or miss out!



Front of Label packaging

On February 9th, Health Canada announced online consumer consultations for Front-of-Package (FOP) labelling (link is external), one of the pillars of its Healthy Eating Strategy (link is external). This is a welcome step to encourage Canadians to choose healthier foods, to reduce sodium, sugar and saturated fat consumption, and to incentivize companies to formulate healthier processed foods (and thus avoid front-of-packaging labels)...

Read the full article


What our members are saying about FOP labelling

Front-of-package nutrition symbol will put health front and center - Heart and Stroke Foundation

Front of package labelling will help food choices and encourage healthier product innovations - Dietitians of Canada


What We Heard (and what we haven’t...) about a Food Policy for Canada

We were expecting to hear what the federal government heard during last summer’s food policy consultations back in November. Then the deadline for the “What we Heard” report was the end of the year, then January, and still, mid-February, we have not heard what the government heard during the Food Summit in June, the regional meetings across the country, or the on-line survey which over 40,000 Canadians participated in, or the events organized by MPs. What’s taking so long? We have no proof but we suspect there is intense scrutiny from senior levels of government, some political stickhandling and perhaps resistance from different departments to the narrative AAFC is adopting. These delays have also hindered our ability to publish our own report on the community engagement activities we held across the country with our partners through the summer and early fall of 2017. More than 850 Canadians participated in What’s Your Recipe For A Better Food System? Events. The coordination of these events was subsidized by AAFC, and they are still awaiting “internal approval” of our report.

In December, the parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food released its report on A Food Policy for Canada, with FSC analysing and grading those recommendations here. But, we are still waiting for the What We Heard feedback report from the government’s consultations on A Food Policy for Canada in 2017, originally expected in December, then January.


Lobbying webinar

More than 170 people joined Julie Dabrusin, MP and Libby Davies, activist and former MP, on FSC’s webinar about effective lobbying in early February. It was extremely useful to hear directly from these allies about what works, and what doesn’t, when lobbying the government, and parliamentarians in power and in opposition.

With 2018 shaping up to be a banner year for food, agriculture and healthy eating policies, if you missed the event you can catch up with the full webinar recording here or read a summary of key lessons.


New Ombudsperson and multi-stakeholder Advisory Body

In January, the government followed through on a campaign promise and established an independent Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) to investigate human rights abuses by Canadian companies operating overseas, initially in the extractive industries and the garment sector. A multi-stakeholder Advisory Body will be established to advise the Government and the CORE on responsible business conduct abroad.

Why is this relevant to food policy? Firstly, there is scope to expand the Ombudsperson’s mandate to cover the activities of Canadian agriculture and agri-food companies overseas. For instance, what would “responsible business conduct” look like in terms of farmers and farm workers rights, the right to food, land-grabbing, access to genetic materials and environmental impact? Secondly, this announcement comes 11 years after a government-convened, joint business and human rights groups report recommended just such an Ombudsperson and Advisory Body. Diana Bronson, then with Rights & Democracy, was one of the authors! Let’s hope the National Food Policy Council we have recommended, jointly with industry groups, will not take quite so long to come into being…



The Great Big Crunch  |  On March 1st, join Food Secure Canada, the Coalition for Healthy School Food and FoodShare Toronto in a Great Big Crunch, making noise for a national school food program!

Resetting the Table 2018 | Food Secure Canada’s 10th Assembly will convene at Concordia University in Montreal, 1 - 4 November 2018. Interested in partnering with us? Read our new Partnership Opportunities sponsorship guide.