GFM Network News


Before the pandemic hit, the food industry’s labour shortages were barely on the public’s radar.

Editorial: Our food security is vulnerable

A common theme that emerges when talking to food-industry observers about the ongoing pandemic is that while Canada’s agriculture and food systems are highly efficient and productive, they lack resilience. Six months into a pandemic that shows no signs of being over any time soon, cracks that were virtually invisible before are now becoming impossible

African farmers disrupted by COVID will benefit from funds from the Canadian government. The Canadian Foodgrains Bank says such help is sorely needed.

Federal funds to help African farmers

The $3-million program will focus on supporting small-scale farmers hit hard by COVID-19 disruptions

New funding from the federal government will support small-scale farmers in Africa, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank announced September 3. “The small-scale farmers we work with in developing countries have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 prevention methods,” said outgoing Foodgrains Bank executive director Jim Cornelius in a news release. “Drastic efforts to reduce the spread of


File photo of 10-pound sacks of potatoes loaded on pallets at a Canadian distribution centre.

Federal surplus food program now taking applications

Qualified NGOs sought to move, distribute perishables to 'populations in need'

A federal program to get food to those who need it, using stockpiles of perishables created by the COVID-19-related shutdown of the dining sector, is now taking applications. The $50 million Surplus Food Rescue Program — which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau telegraphed in a funding announcement May 5 — will take applications from “organizations addressing

Unlike what many analysts have said in the past, the food sector has never been recession-proof. COVID-19, however, may show us that it is in fact immune to deflationary pressures.

Opinion: Better get used to higher food prices

Food inflation is vastly outstripping price advances in other products

Despite a negative inflation rate, recent StatsCan numbers are telling us that we are in for a wild ride at the grocery store. The numbers are also telling. While the general inflation rate sits at -0.2 per cent, the food inflation rate is at 3.4 per cent. In December 2019, Canada’s Food Price Report forecasted

The strength and resilience of Canadian agriculture and our food supply chain is a result of science and research.

Comment: Is science back in style?

There have been some unexpected impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of these is the new celebrity status of our chief medical health officers. A lot of people who just a few short months ago never even knew every province had a chief medical health officer are now hanging on to every word. Does this mean science and respected authority


Federal government offers more measures to help agricultural sector

Latest moves include investment fund, changes to TFW program

The federal government continues to unveil policies and dollars it says will assist the agricultural sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. A $100-million fund, launching in partnership with Calgary-based Forage Capital Inc., will be used “to support proven, viable companies through unexpected business disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.” According to the federal government, Farm Credit

The program was going to look like a British Columbia farmers’ market coupon system since 2007, but changes to the market have required flexibility.

Farmers’ market ‘coupon’ program adapts to new reality

The pilot program will provide community organizations with funds to buy Manitoba food

A pilot project to put locally grown food in the hands of low-income people is adapting to fit markets moving online. “The social aspect of our program, the coming together at a farmers’ market, was incredibly important to us,” said Justin Girard, Direct Farm Manitoba board member. “But in the midst of a pandemic that’s

An employee prepares grocery orders for home deliveries in Montreal May 2.

When a ‘status quo’ food system won’t cut it

The Second World War radically changed the Canadian food system. What can it teach us about what’s to come?

Most Canadians probably never dreamed they’d spend so much time this year in line to get into Costco. As COVID-19 shut down society mid-March, grocery stores became different places. Signage told customers to buy only one pack of toilet paper, bag of rice or jug of milk — if they were even on shelves. Headlines


“We still don’t know what this pandemic will cost, but we do know it’s trillions,” says one rancher. “The next one will cost us even more — maybe everything.”

Comment: Don’t chain me down

Food chains are too unreliable, the coronavirus reveals

For over a month now, nearly anyone who can lift a fork has asked what the “new normal” in agriculture will be. Six weeks later, we now have a pretty good idea that ag’s new normal will look like ag’s old normal. That should give everyone deep concern. If no food supply chain is strong

One in seven Manitoba households experience food insecurity, according to Food Matters Manitoba.

Video series busts hunger myths

The short, educational videos tell individual stories of food insecurity, and offer solutions

A new video series seeks to bust myths about Manitobans facing food insecurity while highlighting causes and solutions. “The release of these videos could not be timelier,” said Rob Moquin, executive director of Food Matters Manitoba in a news release. “Even before the current COVID-19 crisis, food insecurity among Manitoba’s families was on the rise,” he added.