GFM Network News


Comment: No one ever loves the umpire

As a founder of the rules-based postwar consensus, the U.S. should be leading not pouting

While the coronavirus pandemic was hammering global trade earlier this year, the various bureaucracies devoted to trade barely skipped a beat before returning to their usual grind. For example, the U.S. and the United Kingdom (U.K.) just began talks on a bilateral trade pact prior to the U.K.’s Oct. 31 “Brexit” from the European Union

COVID-19 amplified two challenges restaurant operators were already facing before the pandemic.

Comment: Damnit Jim! Where’s the waiter?

Food-service establishments are poised to go ‘Star Trek’ in the wake of COVID

Canada’s first server-free restaurant opened its doors recently in Toronto. Box’d is a fully automated restaurant designed for life during a global pandemic. An interesting concept indeed, but it does raise the issue of the role humans can, and should play, in the food industry. Being aware of the new risks, we now need to

Going down: the true farm income picture

Farmers have seen their wealth creation scooped up by others for decades

Farm income up in 2019” was the front-page headline in the June 4 Co-operator. Though superficially true, a closer look at the numbers demonstrates the opposite, and reveals a troubling picture. How we measure and report farm income matters. Net cash income, the measure used in the June 4 story, omits depreciation — the value

The desire to “shop local” has moved into the mainstream.

Comment: Canadian food promotions shouldn’t be needed — but they are

Canadians enjoy a secure food system, but still have misgivings

Canadians are realizing in an unprecedented way the value of Canada’s food systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. Friends and family are regularly discussing where their food comes from, at least in my circles. The desire to “shop local” has moved out of urban ‘hipsterville’ and into the mainstream, as folks across the country realize the

As domestic demand for milk and some other dairy products drops, so will the number of farms and processing plants.

Comment: Dairy sector faces uncertain future

The dairy industry is slowly being trampled by a wave of consumers who see it as only one of many options

There’s been a lot of talk recently about meat alternatives but dairy alternatives are also becoming more popular. And when it comes to dairy in Canada, given our quotas and high tariffs, the stakes are significantly higher. Dairy alternatives can be seen everywhere from grocery stores to coffee shops. These products are no longer confined


Comment: U.S. soy exports to China at 16-year lows so far in 2020

With prices very competitive however, lofty total-year sales forecasts may still be attainable

Reuters – U.S. soybean exports had a dismal April performance and possibly an even worse showing in May as shipments to China remain historically low, but corn exports hit a one-year high in April and improved on those volumes last month. Soybean sales were relatively strong in May and that could continue since the U.S.

Laughter is no longer the best medicine

What’s old is periodically new on the well-worn ag policy treadmill

One reason — there were others — for my departure from farm magazine writing was laughter. Let me explain. In the early-1980s, the world, like now, was headed to hell in a hurry and agriculture was leading the parade. Interest rates were a crushing 14 per cent, farmland prices were on their way to plunging

The strength and resilience of Canadian agriculture and our food supply chain is a result of science and research.

Comment: Is science back in style?

There have been some unexpected impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of these is the new celebrity status of our chief medical health officers. A lot of people who just a few short months ago never even knew every province had a chief medical health officer are now hanging on to every word. Does this mean science and respected authority


Comment: Risk management reform possible

A report from a leading accounting firm suggests a path forward on this issue

Among the long list of complaints to government from producers in recent months, their concern over business risk management programs has been the most consistent. Other grievances remain. The carbon tax is an irritant, but the now-futile campaign against it has lost steam throughout the pandemic. Lack of labour and access to foreign trade markets

Comment: Support for farmers will flow through existing programs

The feds are trying to bring provinces on board with mixed results

In how it decided to pay out $252 million in support for farmers and processors, Ottawa is demonstrating it would prefer to lean on existing federal-provincial programming. Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau has consistently pointed to existing tools in the tool box as ways to find pandemic relief for farmers, a message