Two national campaigns launched for food supply chains

It's good, one campaign says, but could the sector have done better, another asks

Ottawa — The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity is launching a new campaign to inform consumers on how the food system works.

It’s Good, Canada” will share personal stories of Canadians working across the food supply chain and provide information about farming, transportation, processing, retail and production on its website.

“It’s natural for Canadians to have an interest and questions about food, which touches our lives every day and has been foremost in the minds of Canadians recently,” CCFI board chair Kim McConnell said in a statement.

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“’It’s Good, Canada’ captures the spirit of the agriculture-food industry and delivers on the mandate of the CCFI to earn the trust of Canadians by providing credible, fact-based information and research.”

Campaign organizers hope it will begin a conversation with Canadians about food, while helping them understand the value chain. The campaign will also look to bring together people working within the food system, from farmers to forklift drivers.

“This campaign will initiate a substantial conversation regarding the Canadian food system, we will discuss topics such as jobs, food pricing, science and technology, climate change, exports — topics that are of interest to Canadians,” CCFI CEO John Jamieson said in a statement.

“Consumers may be surprised to learn just how many moving parts are involved in the production, processing, packaging, and delivery of food. At a time when consumers want to understand how they can ensure food is available to them, now presents an opportunity to have a conversation with Canadians.”

‘Vulnerabilities’

Another national campaign, “Growing Stronger,” is being launched by the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI) and the University of Guelph’s Arrell Food Institute.

Regarding the sector’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the campaign is meant to ask stakeholders, “Could we have done better?”

Organizers plan to connect players within Canada’s food system through an online portal and virtual consultations over the summer and into the fall.

Policy proposals will emerge from that effort and conclusions will be presented at the 2020 Arrell Food Summit before being brought to the CAPI Big Solutions Forum in 2021.

“In the post-COVID-19 world, seeking answers to the key question of ‘how to build a resilient Canadian agri-food system?’ will become more urgent than ever, as this crisis brings to light both where we successfully adapted as well as revealing hidden vulnerabilities in the Canadian agri-food system,” Arrell Food Institute director Evan Fraser said in a statement.

D.C. Fraser reports for Glacier FarmMedia from Ottawa.

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