GFM Network News


Comment: The need to grow, in Canada

One of Canada’s best-run food companies just gave vertical farming a boost

We learned recently that McCain Foods has upped the ante in TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture and its wholly owned subsidiary GoodLeaf Farms, Canada’s largest commercial vertical farming operation. McCain has invested $65 million in GoodLeaf, making it the single largest shareholder in the venture. The idea is to create a national network of sustainable vertical farms

There may be a reason why your butter is harder at room temperature.

Comment: ‘Hard’ truths about butter

Palm oil in feed is thought to be the culprit and consumers will be disappointed

For months now, thousands of Canadians have taken to social media saying that they have noticed that butter sold in Canada is harder and does not get softer at room temperature. Not all butter is harder, but most of it is. Some people blame winter and the colder weather. The truth is more troubling than


During the pandemic, a good number of younger Canadians have left cities for the suburbs, or in some cases, the countryside.

Comment: The end of cities?

The work-from-home revolution could lead to a rural renaissance

It is no secret the pandemic has caused many Canadians to move from cities to the suburbs and even the countryside. According to Statistics Canada, the phenomenon led to a record loss of population in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver in 2020. Vacancy rates are skyrocketing in many urban centres across the country. The same phenomenon

China is effectively playing the fear card. Some call it propaganda.

Comment: Food safety nationalism

China appears to be using the pandemic as a tool to make its people afraid of food imports

Many are talking about vaccine nationalism these days, with concerns that some nations are involved in a race to access as many vaccines as possible. Disappointing of course, but highly predictable. Vaccines are seen by the entire western world as our collective portal towards some sort of normalcy. The World Health Organization has rightly registered

In Canada, about $350 million to $400 million worth of alcohol was sold online in 2020, up 75 per cent from the previous year.

Comment: Can we ‘free the beer,’ online?

Many alcohol products that have won international acclaim, ironically, can't be sold to most Canadians

Interprovincial alcohol distribution in Canada has always been a nightmare. In fact, for our wineries, breweries, and spirit makers, selling alcohol to Americans is easier than selling to consumers outside their own province. Many Canadian alcoholic products like wines, beers, and spirits that have won international prestigious awards cannot be sold to most Canadians. It


Many consumers are revisiting their relationship with animal proteins, both at the meat counter and in the dairy products section.

Comment: Plant based still a thing despite COVID-19

Sales are still growing quickly in this relatively new market space

Think plant protein is just a passing fad? Think again. People are buying. Despite the pandemic and the chaos surrounding containment and vaccination rules, consumers are quietly enjoying the products made from plant proteins and milk alternatives. According to recent data offered by Nielsen, since the start of 2020 sales of vegetable protein products have

Comment: Underpaid ‘heroes’

As grocery companies pay executives millions in bonuses their lowest-paid staff are at high risk

Almost everyone agrees that grocery store workers should earn better wages, especially during a pandemic. In Canada, their hourly rate hovers around $15 an hour. New hires get about $13 an hour, while the highest paid earn almost $50,000 annually, or about $25 an hour. In a high-volume, low-margin world, salaries are what they are,

It was a year for the history books, indeed, and certainly filled with major food-related stories.

Comment: The top 10 food stories of 2020

It was an action-packed 12 months for the agriculture and food sector

The year 2020 was as unusual as they get, with no shortage of stories. Some flew under the radar because of the pandemic, but this list is based on how some food-related stories will probably have long-term implications, whether they were related to COVID-19 or not. At number 10, the apparent end of Tim Hortons’


Taxes and food rarely mix well together. If it doesn’t hurt those who provide us with food, it will eventually hit consumers, one way or another.

Comment: Households are getting sandwiched

Many Canadians are stuck between rising food prices and stagnant-at-best wages

Canada’s Food Price Report 2021 was released recently and brought some disconcerting news to Canadians. We could see food prices go up by as much as five per cent in 2021, the highest increase ever predicted by the authors, a group of 24 scholars from four different universities. For a family of four, the food bill could go

Dairy farmers have a marketing budget exceeding $130 million a year. It is a monster of an organization, and very few Canadians can appreciate this.

Comment: Santa Claus loves milk, especially Canadian milk

Trade compensation given quickly with few strings attached will be an expensive and wasteful exit strategy

In haste, Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau chose a Saturday, hours before a long-awaited economic update, to offer more non-COVID-related compensations to supply-managed farmers. Compensations were expected, but how it was done was a little strange. Few in the industry knew what was going on before the announcement. When giving money away, governments would want as much