GFM Network News


It was a year for the history books, indeed, and certainly filled with major food-related stories.

Comment: The top 10 food stories of 2020

It was an action-packed 12 months for the agriculture and food sector

The year 2020 was as unusual as they get, with no shortage of stories. Some flew under the radar because of the pandemic, but this list is based on how some food-related stories will probably have long-term implications, whether they were related to COVID-19 or not. At number 10, the apparent end of Tim Hortons’




Decisions impact food systems, says UN envoy

Agnes Kalibata, the former Rwandan minister of agriculture, says the global community needs to pull together

As the United Nations Food System’s Summit, planned for next October, approaches warnings are going out that the world is not on track to meet its 2015 sustainable development goals, including the one to end world hunger. “We are off track,” said UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Food System’s Summit Agnes Kalibata during

“COVID-19 has put us on a digital fast track, farmers are going online. They are rapidly innovating, creating ways of selling their products to keep themselves afloat.” – Alison Sunstrum, CNSRV-X.

More technology needed for post-COVID agriculture

A silver lining of the pandemic is that it has jump-started agriculture’s digital evolution, observers say

Experts speaking at the virtual Toronto Global Forum say a meaningful economic recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic should emphasize the need for technology in the agricultural sector. Alison Sunstrum, founder and CEO of CNSRV-X, said she hopes there is a digital response to the pandemic. “COVID-19 has put us on a digital fast track, farmers


COVID-19 has pushed governments to consider food autonomy as a priority and support local supply chains. But buying local produce is easier said than done.

Comment: The local food paradox

Governments are interested in food autonomy but price remains very important

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting supply chains and impacting food purchasing habits, our relationship with food was different. Quite different. The pandemic has pushed governments to consider food autonomy as a priority and look more at local supply chains. Discussions are about producing food in Canada, all year round, while offering products to consumers

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