NDP food strategy a welcome contribution to democratic policy process, says NFU

(June 13, 2014 - St. Marys, ON)- The National Farmers Union welcomes the release of Everybody Eats, the pan-Canadian food strategy launched by the New Democratic Party in early June. "We need a national discussion that brings together those who produce and process food and those who eat it to talk about issues such as what type of food and agriculture policies we need to ensure the survival of Canada's family farms, how to ensure all Canadians have adequate, nutritious and culturally appropriate food and the protection ofour natural environments in farming regionsn,"said Ann Slater, National Farmers Union (NFU) Vice-President, Policy.

The NFU is committed to advocating for food and agricultural policies based on the principles of food sovereignty, whichis definedinResetting the Table: A People's Food Policy for Canada as “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agricultural systems.”

"The democratic process and the right of citizens to determine their own food and farming systems is a key component of food sovereignty,” said Joan Brady, NFU Women’s President. “We appreciate the efforts of the NDP to reach out to a broad cross-section of Canadian society in the creation of Everybody Eats. In the final version, it is clear their vision reflects and integrates comments and input provided by many during this democratic process."

Slater noted that food sovereignty also aims to rebuild relationshipsbetween people and the land and between those who grow and harvest food and those who eat it. “Everybody Eats includes policy recommendations that would strengthen and rebuild those relationships, such as supporting efforts to develop local and regional markets,implementing inspection systemsthat are sensitive to scale and processing speed,and providing consumers with clear and transparent information about where the food comes fromand how it is produced,"she noted.

In conclusion, Brady said, "As the NDP vision says – Everybody Eats. Everyone has a stake and an interest in how our food is produced and in ensuring that all Canadians have sufficient, healthy and culturally appropriate food. The NDP's food strategy will lead to more and deeper conversations about Canada’s food and farm policies. The NFU will continue to participate in similar conversations with all political parties, with farmers and with those who eat the food we produce."

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For more information:

Ann Slater, NFU Vice President, Policy: (519) 349-2448 or email: aslater@quadro.net

Joan Brady, NFU Women’s President: (519) 237-3108 or (226) 237-3108