GFM Network News

Sollio outlines pandemic recovery plan for food sector

Support sought for automation, digitization, telecommunications

Ottawa — One of Canada’s largest agri-food companies has laid out a five-point industry recovery plan for federal politicians to consider. During a meeting Tuesday of the Commons standing committee on finance, the president of Quebec-based Sollio Co-operative Group shared plans to limit consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agrifood supply chain. Sollio employs […] Read more

New tool to help Alberta food processors

The Business Assessment and Action Tool resource is now available. The resource was developed for Alberta processors to help them incorporate global best practices, find opportunities for further improvement, and leverage programs and opportunities provided by the province and Growing Forward 2 programs. The first step to using the resource is to contact a development […] Read more

Loonie value will determine 2017 ag outlook

FCC’s chief agricultural economist says a low Canadian dollar is expected to continue to benefit the sector

A low loonie is likely to continue to benefit Canadian farmers through 2017. That’s according to J.P. Gervais, Farm Credit Canada’s chief agricultural economist, who added that will be the continuation of a trend seen throughout 2016. “There are certainly other factors that could influence Canadian agriculture, such as the global economy, the investment landscape, […] Read more

Farm and agri-food employers hail call for foreign worker reform

A new parliamentary report backs their recommendations to fix critical 
shortage of workers, but will the federal government act on them?

Farm employers and food processors are hoping a new report will spur Ottawa to revamp its temporary foreign worker program. “There are lots of things in the report that are very positive for ag and agri-food,” said Mark Chambers, senior production manager with Sunterra Farms and co-chair of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Labour Task Force. […] Read more

Government needs to be ‘more serious and strategic’ about fostering an agri-food processing, says Joe Makowecki, president of Heritage Frozen Foods, a major purchaser of Alberta potatoes, flour, and canola oil.

Food processing could be the next Alberta advantage

Despite hundreds of millions of investment, agri-food processing 
in Alberta is just ‘muddling along,’ says entrepreneur

One year after a call to build Alberta’s agri-food processing sector, not much has changed. “Everything has stalled,” said Jerry Bouma, co-founder of Toma & Bouma Management Consultants. “We have a new government and the formation of a new ministry. Any time you have a restructuring — both politically and bureaucratically — it takes awhile […] Read more

Consumers driving changes in the food sector

Transparency in food labelling and no GMOs are among the top consumer food trends

The relationship between consumers and their food is no longer ‘from field to fork,’ says the former VP of innovation for Loblaws. “It’s actually from fork to field,” said Paul Uys, who spoke at the Conference on Food Innovation in late May. “Consumers are increasingly driving the food supply chain. It’s all about connecting with […] Read more

Producer Steven Snider hopes a new Prairie-wide organics program 
will dispel some of the misconceptions about organic production.

Organic is booming — and the push is on to get more growers

Demand for organic grain is growing at a sizzling pace and the sector fears it will lose market share if it can’t up production

Steven Snider was just 16 years old when he realized conventional farming wasn’t for him. “I was spraying a wild oat herbicide on a field, and I got drift poisoning,” said the Edberg-area farmer and owner of Little Red Hen Mills. “For three days, I was sick as a dog. That kind of changed my […] Read more

“Maybe the time has come to say we’ve got to get serious and we’ve got to get things done differently.”    – Jerry Bouma.

NOT WORKING: Alberta’s food processing industry needs a big fix

If the province wants a vibrant food industry, it will ‘have to do things differently,’ says expert

Alberta’s food-processing industry faces a grim future without a “disruptive intervention,” says an agri-food industry veteran. “Current approaches toward innovation and growth — particularly in the food industry here in Alberta — are not working,” said Jerry Bouma of Toma & Bouma Management Consultants. “If we seek success and want to grow this industry, we’re […] Read more

New food distribution fact sheets available from AARD

Sheets contains practical tips for agricultural food producers and processors

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development has four new fact sheets on distribution. “These fact sheets present innovative thinking and practical tips to help agricultural food producers and processors transport their goods to market,” said new venture specialist Kathy Bosse. The fact sheets are Distribution Partners: Working with Regional Carriers; Distribution Logistics: Getting Your Products to […] Read more