It was on June 17, 2019, when Canada launched its food policy in Montreal initiated by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau. The call for a national food policy started way back in 2001. The event has been significant because after nearly 20 years food-related societal challenges are beginning to earn the spotlight and interest of the Canadian government.
The event paved the way for the creation of a rationale and framework which highlights the actions of the government and its long-term plans when it comes to food policies and approaches. For the actions covering 2019 to 2024, a total of $134.4 million were allocated as funds. Canadians face a lot of challenges, among which are related to food insecurity, environmental, and even food-related health issues.
During the roll-out of the Food Policy for Canada, a detailed framework was published. Even the interdependence of the economic, social, health and environmental elements of the food system has been recognized by the policy. It also created a Canadian Food Policy Council which will work together towards implementing and transforming the policy. The announced areas with funds are the Food Waste Reduction Challenge, Northern Isolated Community Initiatives Fund, the Local Food Infrastructure Fund.
There are also six principles guiding the approach:
- Inclusion and Diversity
Moreso, the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council will have targets that will be aligned with those of the UN Sustainable Goals. By 2030, the UN is eyeing to eradicating hunger. To achieve this, the council should make a clear and concrete timeline until 2030.
Several important points such as the right to food and addressing labour issues are hardly mentioned in the Food Policy for Canada. Even fishers and fishing, GMO products, pesticides, climate resilience, and public trust are not addressed also on the policy, but Taste of Change along with other allies and partners will continue to guard closely the implementation of the policy. We will try to address gaps and have these reflected and added as the food policy is in its developing stages.