Everyone at the Table: A National Food Policy for Canada

August 2019

By Maggie Mills

On June 17, 2019, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced the first-ever national food policy for Canada in Montreal, Quebec. FLEdGE researcher, Patricia Ballamingie, was one of roughly 50 in attendance for the announcement, in which Bibeau framed the policy in the context of working towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which seek to end hunger, promote good health, cut food waste and encourage a sustainable food system. The policy comes after years of extensive engagement with the public and other stakeholders.

Six priority areas for the next five years were discussed at the press release, including:

  • New Local Food Infrastructure Fund which will provide $50 million in funding to greenhouses, urban gardens, community kitchens, projects at food banks and farmers’ markets.
  • Northern Isolated Community Initiative Fund which will provide $15 million to provide community freezers, greenhouses, skills training and support to Indigenous food systems.
  • Buy Canadian Promotion Campaign which will seek to encourage local and international purchase of Canadian foods using $25 million in funding.
  • Tackling Food Fraud which will use $24.4 million in funding to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to address fraudulent foods in commodities such as fish, honey, olive oil and spices.
  • Reducing Food Waste which will provide $26.6 million to fund innovative practices to reduce food waste in processing, grocery retail and food service sectors.
  • National School Food Program which will launch the first consultative steps towards achieving a National School Food Program in collaboration with

Guidance for the new policy will come from the Canada Food Policy Advisory Council, which will be composed of a diversity of experts, health professionals, academics, and community organization representatives. They will ensure that the policy is as effective as possible.

Opportunities to apply for funding will be released in the coming months.

For the complete Food Policy for Canada, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/campaign/food-policy/thefoodpolicy.html

Food policy FLEdGE resources:

Mapping the Food Policy Landscape in Canada

From Local Food Actions to Systems Change: Experiments in Social Movement Governance Through the National Food Policy in Canada

Andrée, P., M. Coulas, & P. Ballamingie (2018, September) Governance recommendations from forty years of national food policy development in Canada and beyond. Canadian Food Studies, 5(3): 6-27. Available at: http://canadianfoodstudies.uwaterloo.ca/index.php/cfs/article/view/283 DOI: 10.15353/cfs-rcea.v5i3.283