Collaboration and Social Innovation on the Menu for the Future of Canada’s Food System

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montreal, October 6, 2017 –  After extensive consultations with its members, Food Secure Canada submitted its key recommendations for A Food Policy for Canada to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The brief highlights the need for urgent action and an innovative and collaborative approach to ensure that all Canadians have access to healthy and sustainably produced food, and it calls for the creation of a new National Food Policy Council.

Over 40,000 Canadians answered the Government’s online survey on A Food Policy for Canada and thousands more attended in-person or online engagement sessions organized by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada or groups like Food Secure Canada and its partners.

“This unprecedented interest in food policy shows Canadians are invested in the future of their food system,” says Diana Bronson, Executive Director of Food Secure Canada. “We are encouraged by the scope of issues the government is prepared to address and we look forward to an ambitious announcement once they have had a chance to properly review public input.”

Government alone cannot solve the pressing challenges facing our food system - this collaborative approach must extend to meaningful engagement of civil society, industry and academic stakeholders in the implementation and ongoing evaluation of the policy. In particular, nation-to-nation dialogue with Indigenous Peoples is crucial if Canada is to move beyond a painful history where food has been a tool of colonization, to a future where food is a driving force of reconciliation.  

With these sobering statistics, the challenges are clear:

  • over 4 million Canadians experience food insecurity (with highest levels in Northern and Indigenous communities);
  • Canada ranks 37th out of 41 countries when it comes to children’s access to healthy food;
  • diet-related disease is a leading cause of death, costing an estimated $26 billion annually;
  • a quarter of all farmers in Canada have disappeared since 1991, and of those that remain, only 1 in 12 have a succession plan for the future of their farm.  

Over the past several months Food Secure Canada and its members have engaged with Canadians across the country to hear their recipe for a good food system. From these conversations, it is clear that Canadians are ready meet these challenges head-on, developing innovative solutions that improve food access, sustainability and health outcomes. Through the recommendations outlined in Food Secure Canada’s Policy Brief, the government has the opportunity to change the future of food in Canada.

These issues will be discussed at a public forum, Feast of Ideas for Innovation in Food, in Montreal on November 10th.

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For more information:,

Diana Bronson, Executive Director: (514) 629-9236 (cell), director@foodsecurecanada.org

Gabrielle Spenard-Bernier, Communications Coordinator: (514) 271-7352 (office), communications@foodsecurecanada.org

Food Secure Canada is a pan-Canadian alliance of organizations and individuals working together to advance food security and food sovereignty through three inter-locking goals: zero hunger, healthy and safe food, and sustainable food systems.