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Early-pandemic calls to localize supply chains unfounded

With a year's worth of data, three agriculture economists revisit early-pandemic predictions on the food supply chain

With a year's worth of data, three agriculture economists revisit early-pandemic predictions on the food supply chain

A year of data shows early-pandemic calls for radical changes to food systems and risk management programs were unfounded, say some economists. Particularly in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, food supply chains struggled to adapt to changing consumption patterns and processors shut down due to virus outbreaks. “Into that void of uncertainty came

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

Beyond the human-health issues associated with the pandemic, there are several concerns that transcend Canadian food and agricultural markets.

Food and agricultural markets during a pandemic: Insights from economists

The global spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is an unprecedented event that will affect Canadians’ lives in many ways. The effects of the pandemic are difficult to predict, but there are serious concerns about the effects of the pandemic on Canada’s economy. This has included concerns about food production, distribution, and food security (for example

Plenty CEO and co-founder Matt Barnard (right) says his company is now competitive with organic 
competitors but critics say vertical farms are simply too expensive to run.

Are vertical farms ready for prime time?

Indoor farm companies say they're scaling up, but many question their business model

INNOVATION Indoor farm companies say they’re scaling up, 
but many question their business model

Reuters — Leafy salad greens grown under banks of LED lights, with mist or drips of water are having their day in the sun. Several top U.S. indoor farms say they are boosting production to a level where they can now supply hundreds of grocery stores. Plenty, Bowery, Aerofarms and 80 Acres Farms are among young companies that see a future

Canadian dairy and poultry farmers aren’t eligible for many government financial supports.

Government support for Canadian farms well below global average

OECD remains critical of Canada’s supply management system

Canada remains the perennial Boy Scout of international agriculture policy. Canadian farmers receive less government support than producers in many other countries, according to the latest report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. However, the organization remains critical of supply management in the dairy and poultry sector. With the introduction of business risk

canada flag

Editor’s Take: Canada at a crossroads

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada remains either a leader or laggard in the realm of support for its agriculture sector, depending on how one approaches the problem. A free market idealist who favours letting the invisible hand sort it all out might think less support to producers is a

“Risk management will become an even more significant component of success,” says J. P. Gervais with Farm Credit Canada.

Farm income: a dip and now holding

Canadian farm income fell on market volatility, but export growth is still likely, says FCC

Final figures aren’t available yet but all signs suggest farm income in 2018 was clipped by several factors and will likely stay at that level through this year, says J.P. Gervais, chief agricultural economist with Farm Credit Canada. “Price volatility, higher input costs and weather-related challenges in many parts of the country over the past

The United States Capitol Building

Comment: Tell me if you’ve heard this before

Because agriculture policy-makers can’t remember history, farmers may be doomed to repeat it

Truisms don’t need to be completely true to be a truism. For example, “If you live long enough, you’ll see everything” doesn’t mean you will see everything if you live a long life. You may see a great deal, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll see “everything.” Simone de Beauvoir, a French novelist and existentialist, turned

People will soon have to decide which direction they want to take their farms, says one agricultural industry leader.

The missing middle

Small farms will focus on domestic markets while the bigger ones will be eyeing foreign sales and mid-size ones will disappear

It’s a tale of two kinds of farms in Canada, without much in between. The well-established trend to fewer farms will continue in the coming years as smaller operations focus on supplying local markets and the larger ones concentrate on export sales, says Ron Bonnett, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. Small farms will

Rising farmland prices puts agriculture at risk

That’s what the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry says in a recent report

Higher farmland prices make it harder for young farmers to get into farming and or expand, but they have options, says J.P. Gervais, Farm Credit Canada’s vice-president and chief agricultural economist. “I do believe now there are more options for young producers in terms of getting involved in different supply chains that don’t necessarily require