The writer calls food inflation a hidden, regressive “COVID tax” that  is an issue for people who are struggling financially. | File photo

Grocery buyers paying COVID-19 tax

Canadians’ ballot decisions in the Sept. 20 federal election will likely differ depending on what they care about. But since everyone eats and most of us try to manage a limited food budget, the most important electoral issue will likely be inflation. Or at least it should be. Everything is costing Canadians more, including food. […] Read more

An employee of the urban farming start-up Infarm checks an indoor growing system at the company’s showroom in Berlin, Germany. Sobeys is working with the German company to put greenhouses into its Canadian stores. | REUTERS/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE PHOTO

Farm merges with food retail spaces

Canadians have started to notice that grocers have begun to sell plants in miniature greenhouses. We’ve seen gardens on rooftops, vertical farms close to stores and even some selling gardening equipment to gardeners who are shopping for food. The farm is essentially merging with food retail spaces. We’re slowly witnessing the rise of the “grow-cer.” […] Read more

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency should take a more active role in ensuring cybersecurity in light of the recent attack on JBS’s computer systems, says the writer. | Reuters photo

Food industry must tighten security

Meat processing giant JBS recently paid out a US$11 million ransom following a cyberattack, according to reports. Most of its meat-packing facilities, including the one in Brooks, Alta., remained idle for a few days. Most of us link the concept of cyberattacks with information technology companies, governments and media. But experts have warned the food […] Read more

The federal government is not considering how the carbon tax could put many Canadian families in a state of food insecurity by 2030.  | File photo

Carbon tax poses risk to consumers

COVID-19 has affected Canada’s food industry but, over time, resilience will prevail. However, the federal government’s pre-holiday announcement that it will increase the carbon tax to $170 per tonne by 2030 will have a long-term impact on consumers. Climate change is a real and significant problem. We need to act quickly and the carbon tax […] Read more

Prices for products like beef have gone up by as much as 20 percent since January. Some factors have nothing to do with the pandemic, but COVID-19 unquestionably didn’t make things easier for financially insecure consumers.
 | File photo

Here’s why things will never be the same at the grocery store

More than five months into the pandemic, we can start to see how life will look on the other side. Food is getting more expensive. We expect prices to increase by four percent. Additional costs these days are too much to absorb for farmers, processors and distributors. Financial results were impressive for the first few […] Read more

As regional populations grow and customers need a place to buy groceries, e-commerce comes in handy.  |  Getty Images

Food sector recalibrates as Canadians flee larger cities

Canadians seem to want to flee urban centres. The food industry will need to keep a close eye on the trend. As well, real estate markets are overheating in regions outside of major cities. Recent real estate reports suggest sales are up 20 percent in many rural markets and prices have increased by at least […] Read more

Farmers were naive to expect much help from a government that’s obsessed with city-slicking ideas, says the writer. | Paul Yanko photo

Expecting more from gov’t a mistake

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture really set the bar high with its recent $2.6 billion aid request. When a federal program barely worth $252 million was announced, the disappointment felt throughout the farming community wasn’t surprising. The funds were indeed underwhelming and won’t be enough to get some of those producers to stick around. Many […] Read more

Many consumers are taking to social media to complain about inflated prices at the grocery store, but the writer argues that these accusations are often unfounded. | File photo

Food profiteering unusual in Canada

Even if they really haven’t had good reason, many Canadians have felt food insecure lately. Access to food has been a concern. Affordability is certainly a close second. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, consumers have occasionally taken to social media to report inflated prices by retailers. Even though the accusations were warranted in […] Read more

A new study that questions a blanket ban on red meat consumption is the latest instalment of what has been described as an often-biased approach to the subject.  |  File photo

Red meat debate has been one-sided

For a few years, we’ve been force-fed the notion that red meat and processed meat products threaten our health. But the protein war between the livestock industry and plant-based supporters has taken an interesting twist. In 2015, the World Health Organization went as far as to say that processed meats were carcinogenic, adding them to […] Read more

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