The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is pleased to see a clear commitment by the federal government toward developing a food policy for Canada, as this addresses a long-standing priority for farm groups.
Consultations on creating a national policy for food will spark important conversations among Canadians. These conversations will help inform an overarching vision and drive a more co-ordinated, cross-departmental approach to food-related issues.
CFA is encouraged to learn that 16 departments and agencies will be involved in the food policy’s development, particularly central agencies like Finance Canada and the Privy Council Office, as they will be instrumental in ensuring a whole-of-government mandate.
CFA is also pleased to see that the food policy consultation website is linked to previous initiatives, from both governmental and non-governmental groups, such as the Towards a National Food Strategy document published in 2011 by CFA. This allows participants an opportunity to build on the great work that’s already been done in pursuing this complex policy objective. Farm leaders saw the need for a widely co-ordinated approach several years ago, and are looking forward to actively participating as the consultation moves forward.
While much of the detail is still to be determined, CFA commends the Government of Canada for reaching out to stakeholders and setting the direction to see this longtime request put into place.
CFA will contribute to both the online survey and discussions at the Food Summit on June 22 and 23. In addition, CFA will undertake several other activities to find common ground with the many organizations exploring a food policy in Canada.
On June 5, CFA was to host a gathering of diverse stakeholders from civil society, the agri-food industry, indigenous groups, academia, and government for a collaborative discussion. Attendees would explore some of the challenges and opportunities that must be confronted in developing a food strategy, and seek consensus on some of the measures and actions that would lead to a successful policy implementation.