GFM Network News


China is desperately trying to restore its image with its own population. As a risk manager, Beijing has not always looked good – far from it.

Comment: The Chinese enigma

As the country where coronavirus first occurs shores up its reputation, there is collateral damage for food producers

As the numbers of COVID-19 cases reach new heights these days, China is jubilant. In the country where the pandemic began less than a year ago, there have been 91,000 cases of COVID-19 recorded, with a total of about 4,800 victims. Data from the World Health Organization also tells us that China has conducted more

We are just coming out of an era in which we have been bent on buying the cheapest food products.

Comment: Higher grocery bills a fact of life

Many grocery categories have seen price increases at a rate much higher than general inflation

Every month, Statistics Canada reminds us that life is getting more expensive. But for food, the situation has been unique over the last few decades. Based on numbers released recently, the price of a typical grocery basket has increased by about 240 per cent since 2000. Some will think that such a percentage is expected,


Los Angeles County firefighters patrol the front fire lines Friday night from the Bobcat Fire near Juniper Hills, California on Sept. 18, 2020.

Comment: As California burns, so does our winter lettuce

Canada has always relied on imported fresh fruits and vegetables in the winter months

California is on fire. Although most of the fire-affected territory has nothing to do with agriculture, the smoke is so intense that it could damage many crops. As the fall approaches, the California fires could affect our food supply in Canada for the coming months. Like the labour issues affecting farmers this summer domestically, this

‘Undermining food manufacturing is to deny the agri-food sector its strategic foothold. Innovating and growing an economy, especially in rural communities, becomes more challenging.’ – Sylvain Charlebois.

Comment: Walmart flexes its muscles and food processors suffer

Canadian food manufacturing has lost 12 jobs a day everyday since 2012 and a July announcement by Walmart Canada won’t help

Consumers got a glimpse of how food supply chains work — or don’t — at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now Walmart is giving them a chilling new perspective. During the panic-buying phase in the early spring, few experts in the food industry would have predicted the unprecedented levels of vertical co-ordination and incredible

Comment: Leaving town for the country

With more people able to work from home, many consumers are apparently looking to trade in city living for open space, and the agri-food sector will have to adjust

People seem to want to flee urban centres these days. The real estate market is overheating in regions outside of major cities like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Halifax. Recent real estate reports suggest sales are up 20 per cent in many rural markets and prices have increased by at least five per cent since the


Comment: The Empress, The Player, and the Annoyed

Grocery leaders were summoned to a parliamentary committee recently

Top Canadian grocers testified before a parliamentary standing committee recently, to explain why all COVID-19 incentive programs were cancelled within hours. Most grocery store and distribution center employees were paid extra at the beginning of the pandemic, only to see wages now go back to pre-COVID levels. CEOs who testified were Loblaws’ Sarah Davis, Empire

Most major health authorities have concluded that consuming GMO ingredients in food does not pose either short- or long-term health risks. But most of this doesn’t matter in the eyes of the average consumer.

Comment: Gene editing a risk communication fiasco in the making

There are powerful arguments for this technology, but the industry isn’t making them

We are hearing more about gene-edited foods. It’s an intriguing concept for some but perhaps a scary one for others. We don’t know whether Canadian consumers will want to eat gene-edited food. There’s a lot of excitement in agriculture about the introduction of gene-edited food products into the Canadian food system over the next few

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


Don’t be fooled by the COVID-19 cons

Opinion | Tough times always mean more food fraud and COVID-19 will be no exception

When costs rise, most food companies adjust. Safe, fair, and sustainable business practices are always a priority in this sector. Regrettably though, it is not always the case. Several food science experts believe that an increase in food fraud is inevitable due to COVID-19. The Food Authenticity Network Advisory Board, which includes over 1,500 food

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