Empty grocery store shelves are among the factors that some point to when arguing for a wholesale overhaul of the country’s food production.  |  Reuters/Carlos Osorio photo

Will the COVID crisis cause a food revolution?

Innovative technologies are waiting on the shelf, but will they finally be embraced?

There’s been lots of blather about exciting food and agriculture industry technological innovations. “Smart” everything has been talked about for more than a decade. My newspaper has published dozens of stories about the possibilities of blockchain. The “internet of things” is a term buzzing away at every farm and ag conference out there. But it’s […] Read more

As slaughter plants in Canada and the United States reduce line speeds, shifts or effect temporary closures to deal with COVID-19 concerns, analysts say supplies are likely to be affected. | File photo

Will the wild changes in the grocery, food and farming systems survive the pandemic?

What will create lasting changes and what is transitory?

The food, farming and grocery sectors have been shocked by the coronavirus crisis. Packing plants have been temporarily shuttered, creating crises on hog farms and cattle feedlots that can’t move animals they have no space for. Food products that everybody has taken for granted for decades, such as flour and yeast, have become suddenly scarce, […] Read more

A healthcare worker tests people for COVID-19 at a Calgary Rural Primary Care Testing Centre drive-through location at the High River, Alta., Culture Centre. The town is home to Cargill's beef packing facility in Alberta. |  Mike Sturk photo

Cargill closes High River beef plant

The Cargill meat processing plant in High River, Alta., which slaughters 40 percent of the cattle in Canada, announced temporary closure effective April 20. Date of reopening is unknown but the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association said it could mean industry losses of half a billion dollars by June if the closure lasts that long. Halt of […] Read more


Western Producer reporter Ed White sat down with federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau last week while she was in Winnipeg.  |  Supplied photo

A deliberate and unhurried hand at the agricultural policy tiller

Marie-Claude Bibeau isn't likely to shy away from tough areas, or be rushed into "fixing" them

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau isn’t scare of talking about agricultural policy. That’s a good thing, because one thing any Canadian Agriculture Minister must be willing to do is talk about ag policy. And talk and talk and talk. Everybody wants to talk to whoever the ag minister is, and in the agriculture industry that […] Read more

David McInnes is convinced that Canada can become a global powerhouse in agriculture and food if business leaders and policy makers embrace that vision.
 | Getty images

Agri-food sector key to future

Concentration on environment, health and consumer trust could power agri-food forward, says sector official

David McInnes realized around 2010 that Canada’s agri-food industry needed a new vision, one in which the business of food is deeply connected to environmental stewardship and consumer health. Seven years later, he’s convinced that Canada can become a global powerhouse in agriculture and food if business leaders and policy makers embrace that vision. “It’s […] Read more