National | Media Release

National Food Policy must be seen as a base for further action

(St-André-Avellin) – The National Farmers Union (NFU) welcomes the June 17, 2019 announcement of a new Food Policy for Canada. The federal government’s commitment to invest in local food infrastructure will provide a way to bridge gaps that currently prevent Canadian farmers from serving local consumers who want to buy what they produce. This is an important step towards aligning our food system with the Food Policy for Canada’s vision, which is: All people in Canada are able to access a sufficient amount of safe, nutritious and culturally diverse food. Canada’s food system is resilient and innovative, sustains our environment, and supports our economy.

“The NFU has advocated for local food infrastructure from the beginning stages of the National Food Policy process,” said Stuart Oke, NFU Youth President. “We welcome the funding announcement to provide $50 million over 5 years to support local food infrastructure, and look forward to hearing more details of the policy’s implementation. We hope the government will continue to honour the recommendations of the House Standing Committee on Agriculture by providing public investment to support the next generation of farmers.”

The NFU is also encouraged by the government’s plan to set up a Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council made up of diverse civil society members with expertise in the food system. The NFU is ready to bring our 50 year-track record of democratic policy advocacy supporting Canadian farm families into the Advisory Council’s conversation.

“To bring value to the National Food Policy, the advisory council must have representation from diverse groups throughout Canadian society, including a strong voice for farmers that is independent of agribusiness influence,” added Oke.

“We look at the Food Policy for Canada as a first step towards bringing food, farmers and the people of Canada who eat the food we produce, into the forefront of Canada’s agriculture policy priorities,” said NFU President, Katie Ward. “We look forward to building upon this initial policy to create a food system that is more diverse, complex and resilient, and help Canada navigate the challenges and stresses due to the inevitable economic and climate uncertainties that lie ahead.”

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For more information:
Katie Ward, NFU President: 613-797-0601
Stuart Oke, NFU Youth President: 819-593-0626

NFU Brief to House of Commons: A Food Policy for Canada