Latest articles

Comment: Death, taxes, and food

Getting taxation right for the agriculture and food sectors will require something other than one-size-fits-all thinking

Up until recently there were two things certain in life: death and taxes. We can now add a third one: Botching the promotion of a tax reform for political gains. Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s tax reform has been a communication disaster. Various claims made about Ottawa’s intentions to revamp our tax system for small corporations […] Read more

Close up of a pile of marijuana bud

Weeding out what is missing

Ontario’s approach to marijuana distribution is full of unknowns and ambiguity

Ontario has become the first province to define how it intends to sell non-medicinal marijuana to the public. Around 150 stores across the province will open and will be operated by a division of the province’s liquor board, the LCBO. Marijuana won’t be sold alongside wine or liquor, but in separate, independent stores, as was […] Read more

Are days numbered for supply management?

If they are it will be because of NAFTA 2.0 and Donald Trump

Canada’s supply management system is a textbook case for food sovereignty. But the social contract the system represents may need to be redrafted as we head toward North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations. Supply management is a social contract between farmers and consumers. Canada’s heavily criticized quota regime for the dairy, egg and poultry […] Read more

Amazon set to take a bite out of the food industry

Given its ability to fuse efficient distribution and strategic market insight, 
the e-commerce giant could well become the leading food retailer in North America

Amazon is intent on becoming the world’s most powerful retailer, with the help of food sales. Amazon’s US$13-billion takeover of Whole Foods isn’t shocking. It’s been rumoured for months. Now the mammoth Amazon, with its large revenues and small profits, has confirmed those rumours by making the biggest deal in its history. And acquiring troubled […] Read more

Serving up an unpalatable minimum wage

The effects of artificial intelligence and the rise of the digital world will force us to rethink 
how we produce, process and distribute food

Governments jumping on the $15-an-hour bandwagon are missing an opportunity to look at how the next technological revolution will affect our food systems. And that’s a shame. The minimum wage is rising in many parts of the country. Recently, Ontario announced it would raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour, to match Alberta. In […] Read more

Woman in supermarket shopping groceries

Multinationals face new pressures in grocery stores

Consumers increasingly want fresh, unprocessed food. The middle of the store now sees less traffic and that’s clearly affecting sales for most grocery products

Skippy peanut butter and Dad’s chocolate chip cookies are gone from the Canadian marketplace. If you feel sad about seeing these iconic brands go, brace yourselves. It’s just the beginning. Within days, two major U.S.-based food multinationals pulled well-known brands from the Canadian market. Mondelez International discontinued the iconic Dad’s cookies and Hormel Foods pulled […] Read more

From farm to fork, brought to you by artificial intelligence

With AI, yields can be improved and grocers can understand consumers — and predict 
their behaviour — better than consumers know themselves

Many Canadian consumers have noticed that lettuce and celery prices have skyrocketed recently. Such fluctuations happen all the time. But artificial intelligence is about to change that. AI has us on the cusp of a revolution in how we make decisions and how we manage virtually every aspect of our daily lives. The agri-food sector […] Read more

Comment: Trump’s milk shake

Our dairy producers are now facing change, forced upon them by outside forces

For the first time U.S. President Donald Trump has acknowledged that he knows of the existence of supply management, also known by the global community as Canada’s milk cartel. For years dairy farmers in Canada have been resistant to any change or reform to their policies. With NAFTA 2.0 on its way, Canadian dairy farmers […] Read more

Hand going through the field

Growing pains for Canada’s agri-food sector

The federal budget injects some new life into Canada’s agricultural industries, but not enough funding or clarity

Canada’s agri-food sector has underachieved for too long. The new federal budget gives the sector the opportunity to reimagine its potential. Finally, Ottawa wants to make the agri-food sector a place to invest and foster innovation. The Liberal government aims to increase Canada’s agri-food exports to at least $75 billion annually by 2025 (from $56 […] Read more

Brazil and the mother of all food fraud cases

As one of Brazil’s main livestock industry competitors Canada will likely gain from this scandal

Brazil, the largest exporter of meat products in the world, faces a food fraud crisis — and it seems federal authorities have been complicit. There’s a lesson here for Canada. Brazilian authorities recently announced they would investigate several companies, including meat-packing giants JBS SA and BRF SA. The companies are accused of bribing licensed inspectors […] Read more