The long-awaited ‘Food Policy for Canada: Everyone at the Table’ food policy for Canada report was on June 17th, 2019 by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau.
Guided by an ambitious vision, the policy includes the creation of a multi-stakeholder Canadian Food Policy Council, the development of a National School Food Program (involving the not-for profit sector as well as provinces and territories), financial support for local food infrastructure, communities tackling Northern food insecurity, food waste reduction programs, and a pilot project towards permanent residency for immigrant farm workers, among other elements.
These initiatives begin to address key issues identified by the food movement as reflected in the Peoples’ Food Policy for Canada, and echoed by Canadians across the country in the What We Heard food policy consultation report. The associated budget does not yet have the scale required to bring four million Canadians out of food insecurity, or to address the role of the current industrial food system in diet-related disease and the climate crisis – nor does the announcement recognize or work to strengthen food sovereignty, particularly with respect to Indigenous Peoples – but it is a place to start.
Food Secure Canada has been working actively with others in support of a Canadian Food Policy Council, and welcomes this morning’s announcement of its creation. It will bring stakeholders from across the food system together for policy and program development, as well as definition and monitoring of results. Nominations will be solicited from across Canada in the coming months.