The author argues the federal government’s new national food policy is an affront to anyone who considers Canada’s agri-food sector to be the cornerstone of the economy.  |  File photo

Canada’s first food policy is pointless

After more than two years of work and hearing from almost 45,000 Canadians, Agriculture Canada has released its first ever food policy. A total of $134 million will be spent to support this five-year plan that centres around four major pillars: food security, health, environment, and the sustainable growth of the agriculture and food sector. […] Read more

Maple Leaf Foods’ decision to open a new plant in the United States is an example of how an unskilled labour force, capital access deficiencies and poor infrastructure conditions are threatening Canada’s food processing sector.  | REUTERS/Mark Blinch photo

Canada’s food processing needs a lift

Maple Leaf Foods, the largest pork processor in the country, has opted to build its new meatless plant south of the border. The iconic Canadian food company recently announced plans to spend US$310 million on building a 230,000 sq. foot processing plant in Indiana where its Lightlife Burger will be made, along with other products. […] Read more

A report that overwhelmingly favours plant protein over meat has its merits but ultimately ignores our food heritage.  |  File photo

Scientists fixate on plant-based diet

When the prestigious medical journal The Lancet published a 51-page report this month laying out a plan for a sustainable “planetary diet” that transforms how we eat and live, it made a big splash. The group of 37 experts are members of the EAT-Lancet Commission, which was brought together by the Stockholm-based non-profit EAT, dedicated […] Read more

Consumers are gradually walking away from traditional grocery stores.  |  Getty Image

Online groceries change retail business

One after the other, grocers are going online. All of them, at some point over the last 12 months, have announced some sort of commitment to an e-commerce strategy. Costco launched its home delivery pilot in Ontario, while Maxi, Loblaws’ discount stores in Quebec, jumped on the virtual bandwagon with their Click and Collect program. […] Read more

It’s sensationalist to argue that meat should be taxed like tobacco because tobacco is not essential to life and food is.  |  File photo

Meat is not the ‘new tobacco’

The idea of having to pay a sin tax for environmentally detrimental foods is gaining support. For some, eating meat is a sin, and therefore meat products should be taxed like alcohol and tobacco. A new report published recently by a British group called Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return Initiative argues that a tax […] Read more

The price-fixing strategy was not so much about getting more money out of consumers as about managing margins. Sylvain Charlebois calls it inexcusable.  |  File photo

Loblaw, Weston bake the numbers, burn consumers in price-fix scandal

Most Canadians were stunned and dismayed to learn that the country’s leading grocer was caught in a price-fixing scheme with bread-maker George Weston Ltd., which is owned by the same company. The scheme lasted from 2001 to 2015. As a result, Loblaw Companies Ltd. fired several people and gave $25 gift certificates to millions of […] Read more

Federal tax proposals may bring in $250 million annually but the implications for the agrifood sector will be costly.  |  File photo

Tax reforms fail to understand ag sector

Until recently, two things were certain in life: death and taxes. We can now add a third one: botching the promotion of a tax reform for political gains. Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s tax reform has been a communications disaster. Claims about Ottawa’s intentions to revamp our tax system for small corporations have been ridiculous. Some […] Read more

Brazil in mother of all food fraud cases

Brazil, the largest exporter of meat products in the world, faces a food fraud crisis — and it seems federal authorities have been complicit. There’s a lesson here for Canada. Brazilian authorities recently announced they would investigate several companies, including meat packing giants JBS SA and BRF SA. The companies are accused of bribing licensed […] Read more

High inventories and increasing competition among food retailers is pushing down prices and food producers suffer.  |  Getty  photo

Cheap food challenges food industry

Making money in the food business isn’t nearly as simple as it once was. It’s becoming cheaper to buy food in Canada — prices fell in August for the first time in years in every province except Alberta. And the Statistics Canada data may indicate the start of significant ongoing food deflation. But while consumers […] Read more

Anti-Monsanto protests, like this one in Saskatoon in 2013, are indicative of the intense opposition to the company by some members of the public.  |  File photo

Bayer may give GMO new lease on life

Putting Monsanto out of its misery could shift future debates about genetically modified crops to arguments based on fact rather than emotion. Agricultural chemical and seed technology giant Monsanto is arguably the most detested company in the world. But Bayer’s acquisition of St. Louis-based Monsanto will likely mean the latter (or at least its brand) […] Read more