Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, has announced the membership of the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council, a central component of the Food Policy for Canada. Minister Bibeau made the announcement as part of the virtual Food Systems Summit Dialogue convened by the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph, where she delivered a speech.
The Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council’s 23 members bring together diverse expertise and perspectives from across the food system, including the agriculture and food sector, health professionals, academics, and non-profit organizations. Members also represent Canada’s geographic and demographic diversity.
“Everyone at the Table” is the slogan for the Food Policy for Canada, and reflects the need for actors across our food system to work together on solutions to systemic issues.
The Council will advise the Minister on current and emerging food-related issues that matter to Canadians. This advice will reflect the integrated and complex nature of Canada’s food system, and support improved and sustainable health, social, environmental and economic outcomes.
The Council’s first meeting will be held virtually on March 4, 2021. Media will be invited to a breakout scrum following the meeting with the Minister and the Council’s co-chairs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of a strong and resilient food system in Canada. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting a healthier and more sustainable food sector, and to ensuring that all people in Canada are able to access a sufficient amount of safe, nutritious, and culturally diverse food.
More information on the Council, including brief biographies of the members, can be found on the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council web page.
“Whether it’s food insecurity, food fraud, food waste, or promoting the good stories of our agricultural producers, collaboration is the key. This Advisory Council is a first-of-its kind in Canada, and reflects our vision for a sustainable food system in Canada built on an inclusive approach. Each of these members has a unique set of experiences and knowledge that will help improve the way Government programs are developed and implemented. I can’t wait for our first discussion!”
– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“We cannot build a just, competitive and sustainable food system without active dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders. The Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council is designed to meet exactly this need and I am extremely excited to be working with Co-chair, Sylvie Cloutier, the Honourable Minister Bibeau, and the rest of the Council to help foster dialogue for positive change, position Canada as a global leader, and promote greater awareness among Canadians about the importance of food in all of our lives.”
– Evan Fraser, Co-chair, Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council
“I am honoured to serve alongside Mr. Evan Fraser from the Arrell Food Institute as Co-chair of the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council. I am convinced that our diverse group of Council members representing a broad range of stakeholders will dutifully and collaboratively come together to fulfill the important responsibilities entrusted to us by Minister Bibeau. Our food system is as complex as it is critical to Canada’s security, economic development and health of all Canadians.”
– Sylvie Cloutier, Co-chair, Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council
- The Food Policy for Canada is a roadmap for a healthier and more sustainable food system in Canada – one that builds on the Government’s ambitious agenda to support the growth of Canada’s farmers and food businesses, as well as key federal initiatives like the Healthy Eating Strategy, Canada’s Food Guide, and the Poverty Reduction Strategy. The Food Policy also supports work on food fraud, food labelling, and food loss and waste, among other initiatives.
- More than 45,000 Canadians shared their ideas on the development of the Food Policy through a national online survey, regional engagement sessions, a Food Policy Summit, town halls hosted by Members of Parliament, and other community-led engagement events held across the country.
- The Council will support progress towards achieving the Food Policy’s vision: that all people in Canada are able to access a sufficient amount of safe, nutritious, and culturally diverse food, and that Canada’s food system is resilient and innovative, sustains our environment and supports our economy.
- Food Policy for Canada initiatives are currently underway, including the Food Waste Reduction Challenge. This $20 million initiative will grant awards for innovations that prevent or divert food waste at any point from farm-to-plate.
- In addition, the Local Food Infrastructure Fund has funded more than 360 projects to date, to increase accessibility of healthy, nutritious, and ideally, local foods in communities across Canada.
- The Government has also made strides to identify and mitigate risks in the food supply chain so that Canadians are protected from food misrepresentation, which is a common form of food fraud. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s food fraud program recently published its honey authenticity surveillance results.
SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada