GFM Network News


Federal surplus food program now taking applications

Qualified NGOs sought to move, distribute perishables to 'populations in need'

A federal program to get food to those who need it, using stockpiles of perishables created by the COVID-19-related shutdown of the dining sector, is now taking applications. The $50 million Surplus Food Rescue Program — which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau telegraphed in a funding announcement May 5 — will take applications from “organizations addressing […] Read more

Perhaps never before in Canadian history has there been such an awareness of the entire food system, and this is a pivotal point.

We can put food at the centre of our national economy

We have a new appreciation for food systems, and a chance to capitalize on our strengths

Nature is the great equalizer. In just three months she took the world from assured continuance along the path of globalization and commercialism to world recognition of one simple fact — we all need to eat. For many years, there have been calls to recognize the importance of agriculture. I have been in that camp, […] Read more


David Hughes.

Pandemic creating waves and surprises in food sector

Lockdown has roiled the food industry and normal is a long ways off, says food trends guru

There’s been a lot happening on the food front during the pandemic — some of it surprising. While the closure of restaurants has been blamed for a drop in milk sales, it’s actually one segment — coffee shops — that had the greatest impact, said food trend expert David Hughes. “About half the milk we […] Read more

Steph and Ben Campbell, owners of Grazed Right, have already pre-sold 15 per cent of next year’s meat sales as a result of higher-than-normal demand.

Demand soars as consumers find new appreciation for local food

Consumers are stocking up these days and increasingly looking towards local food producers

Demand for local food products has exploded in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. “We’ve seen a very big spike in interest and demand for our products,” said Steph Campbell, who owns and operates Grazed Right, a grass-fed beef company, with husband Ben near Calgary. “People are panic buying, and that’s spilling over into the […] Read more


Creating food security requires innovative approaches

It’s not a matter of providing food but finding long-lasting solutions that fit the needs of communities

The fear environment that we live in at this time now goes beyond disease and disaster. For many it is simply a question of finding enough food to eat or drink. As persons of privilege in a First World country, how can we engage in solutions that are transformative and transferable? This past winter I […] Read more

Burnett on Markets: Global grain stocks offer false sense of food security

In event of production shortfall, 60 per cent of available stocks would never be available to market

The economic parallels from the COVID-19 epidemic are quickly changing from comparisons to the recent financial crisis in 2008-09 to the Great Depression. My parents and grandparents lived through the Depression and it did have many impacts on their everyday lives. The main symbol of the Depression-era mentality was the two enormous chest freezers in […] Read more


This map, created by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, shows the dominant agricultural systems around the world. (The dark-green areas are forests and the grey is desert.)

The complicated calculus of climate change

While Canadian farmers may see a longer growing season, there may be more pests and less rain

Farming and food production will be changed as a result of climate change — but the how is a complicated question. “Agriculture is a unique sector,” University of B.C. Professor Navin Ramankutty said earlier this month during this year’s edition of the Bentley Lecture in Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Alberta. “Agriculture is a […] Read more

Canada must be seen as leaders in agriculture and food as well as food ingredient technology.

Agriculture must continue to be a technology leader

We need to foster innovative research in order to meet the challenges that we will face in the coming years

As I stood in the desert with my colleagues, I realized that competing both economically and in volume to their level of production would be impossible. The sand delivered 48 dry tonnes of forage in many harvests per year. More importantly, the long-term objective of turning the desert into food production was becoming a reality. […] Read more


There cannot be peace, prosperity, security, equality, ecology or an economy without food.

We know how to make agriculture more resilient

Encouraging use of proven techniques and improving infrastructure are key to sustainable food production

It was my grandfather who said to me, “Once in your life you need a doctor, lawyer, policeman or preacher, but every day three times a day — you need a farmer.” The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations uses this in a poster promoting the importance of farming and agriculture globally. […] Read more

Your roots, my roots and your urban neighbours’ roots are firmly grounded in soil. Our future is under our feet.

Preserving highly productive soil is critical for tomorrow

In my hometown, across the province and around the world, top-quality soil is being lost to development

My hometown is Stony Plain. It is a great town, progressive, beautiful and welcoming: A place that honours the past and has no fear of the future. I love to go back to visit with my family and friends. I can stand in one spot for hours and simply talk to folks as they pass […] Read more