Food supply chain resilience put to the test by B.C. floods

Supply chains in Western Canada have always been vulnerable and that’s not going to change anytime soon

Food supply chain resilience put to the test by B.C. floodsImages from British Columbia over the past week have been heartbreaking: human casualties, dairy cows barely breathing above water before being pulled to safety, the loss of livestock across the Fraser Valley. Just devastating. And the flow of goods on rail and roads is severely compromised. Many now claim that flash floods and atmospheric rivers…

Food theft is on the rise as prices climb

And the worst is yet to come

Food theft is on the rise as prices climbShoplifting has been on the rise in Canadian supermarkets in recent months. And that ultimately costs us all. Concrete data on theft in grocery stores is difficult to get since incidents are typically underreported. Managers tend to take matters into their own hands. But with the increasing number of reports of theft, and security guards…

Can Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos solve global food security issues?

Involving billionaires in the food aid business may lead to a paradigm shift in helping the less fortunate

Can Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos solve global food security issues?A recent Twitter conversation between United Nations World Food Program (WFP) executive director David Beasley and one of the world’s richest people, Elon Musk, turned a lot of heads. Beasley invited Musk to give two per cent of his wealth to help WFP save 42 million people from almost certain starvation and death in the…

Milk prices rising: time to reform the Canadian Dairy Commission

The Crown corporation is controlled by three people, all with dairy connections

Milk prices rising: time to reform the Canadian Dairy CommissionThe Canadian Dairy Commission announced recently that farmers will get an unprecedented 8.4 per cent more for their milk and better than 12 per cent more for butter starting in February. For consumers, this certainly isn’t great news. Milk, butter and yogurt prices will likely skyrocket in the new year. It’s the highest increase since…

More Canadians than ever are suffering from food insecurity

Number of food bank visits up by more than 20 per cent in the last two years

More Canadians than ever are suffering from food insecurityHunger is cruelly invisible in our society. Even though it may surround us, we hardly see it. But it’s always there. With the latest Hunger Count published by Food Banks Canada, we have a better idea of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Canada’s food insecurity landscape. The news isn’t great. According to an internal…

Climate change creating a new normal for farmers

And consumers are seeing first-hand how climate impacts their pocketbooks

Climate change creating a new normal for farmersCOP26 is just around the corner – the 26th United Nations climate change conference starts in Glasgow on Oct. 31. During the two-week summit, delegates face the colossal task of bridging the gap between the climate commitments made in 2015 with the Paris climate accord and the significant transformations needed to tackle our current climate…

The rise of the once-silent, once-hidden food worker

Given our heightened consciousness about food systems, workers have more political capital than ever

The rise of the once-silent, once-hidden food workerWorkers across the food supply chain are expressing concerns about their livelihood. Last weekend, workers at the online grocery retailer Instacart went on strike for better conditions and higher wages. Instacart is a symbol of the new gig economy in food – you use a phone app to have someone else pick up your groceries…

Food rescuing goes mainstream

More than 35.5M tonnes of food is thrown out yearly in Canada and rescuing food is getting more attention

Food rescuing goes mainstreamMany people claim the term’ food waste’ should never be used and there’s some truth to that. Food is precious and is always of value to someone, somewhere. Associating food with the term ‘waste’ can only imply that food can become worthless. We can compost it, use it to produce biofuels and, of course, repurpose…

Why the cultured meat industry needs its own Elon Musk

Cultured meat could succeed but it won’t be easy

Why the cultured meat industry needs its own Elon MuskLeonardo DiCaprio has just used his A-list magic powers again by investing in two American cultured-meat startups, Aleph Farms and Mosa Meat. This is the same actor who invested in a vegetable protein company before the plant-based phenomenon was a thing. Beyond Meat is now worth more than US$8 billion. DiCaprio saw it coming before…

How many restaurants do we really need in Canada?

The pandemic may have presented a golden opportunity for the industry to reflect on its future

How many restaurants do we really need in Canada?Did we have too many restaurants before the COVID-19 pandemic? Did the pandemic only wipe out ‘extra’ restaurants in Canada? With the labour shortage, the cost of food ingredients exploding, and the list of regulations growing almost every year, making a restaurant profitable has become difficult. Certainly, the pandemic has presented a golden opportunity for…

How serious is food inflation in Canada?

Very. But you wouldn't know it from StatsCan data

How serious is food inflation in Canada?If you think food prices are increasing at a much faster pace than what Statistics Canada suggests, you’re likely not imagining it. For a few years, many Canadians have suspected that the federal agency was either underestimating our food inflation or there was some lag between what was going on at the grocery store and…

How the unassuming QR code is changing the food industry

Before long consumers will expect the entire food supply chain to be fully transparent in real-time

How the unassuming QR code is changing the food industryQR codes have been in our lives for a long time. Before the pandemic, we used them a few times a year on average. Now, most Canadians will use a QR code almost every week and, in some cases, daily. Implications for the food industry could be significant. Once deemed a clever tool used occasionally,…

Why Canadians are walking away from the meat counter

Meat is a luxury in most countries and it’s becoming one in Canada. The good news? Canadians can deal

Why Canadians are walking away from the meat counterThe cost of living has understandably been one of the current federal election’s top issues. Most major parties have included proposed measures to help Canadians, especially those with less means. However, recent data suggest consumers are taking matters into their own hands to save a few bucks. Meat represents a big portion of anyone’s food…

O’Toole offers a thoughtful strategy to tackle food inflation

If you feel you’re paying more for food, it’s not an illusion

O’Toole offers a thoughtful strategy to tackle food inflationThe Conservative Party of Canada recently promised to control food inflation for Canadians. It’s an odd promise for a party typically known to embrace market-free conditions but it holds great potential. What makes this promise even more atypical is that Canadians have access to one of the most affordable food baskets in the world, 18th…

Don’t blame the food industry labour shortage on COVID-19 alone

We need more economic participation and educators need to value the food industry as a viable career path

Don’t blame the food industry labour shortage on COVID-19 alone“We’re hiring” signs are everywhere, particularly in the food industry. Some people blame overly-generous employment insurance programs that keep many highly capable individuals in their homes. Others point to a younger generation not willing to work, or they blame a fear of COVID-19. Rumours of ageism have also emerged to explain why we’re seeing more…

We’re all paying a COVID-19 tax at the grocery store

Groceries are about to get expensive. Food inflation should be a key issue in the Canadian election

We’re all paying a COVID-19 tax at the grocery storeCanadians’ ballot decisions in the Sept. 20 federal election will likely differ depending on what you really care about. But since everyone eats and most of us try to manage a limited food budget, the most important electoral issue will likely be inflation. Or at least it should be. Everything is costing Canadians more, including…

Coffee crunch: prices are going up, way up

But the industry will do everything it can so you don’t notice

Coffee crunch: prices are going up, way upCoffee is one of the most traded commodities in the world. In Canada, we don’t grow coffee – yet – but we love our daily cup of java. Over 90 per cent of Canadians are coffee drinkers. But coffee is getting ridiculously expensive. In 2020, Canada was ranked fifth highest in the world based on…

Why we shouldn’t demonize glyphosate

The inconvenient truth for environmentalists and organic farmers is that it’s not poison

Why we shouldn’t demonize glyphosateBy Sylvain Charlebois Dalhousie University and Stuart Smyth University of Saskatchewan Canadians had until July 20 to comment on the federal government’s proposal to increase the amount of glyphosate herbicide residue allowed on legumes. Now, due to some deserved public pressure, Health Canada extended the deadline to Sept. 3. The debate on glyphosate in Canada…

Welcome to the gluten-free, sushi-less Olympic Games

As with every aspect of the pandemic-postponed Olympics, the virus will cast a long shadow on how people are fed

Welcome to the gluten-free, sushi-less Olympic GamesThe Tokyo Olympic Games are finally upon us. Most of the attention will be given to the athletes, the sports, the empty stands and, of course, COVID-19. But every Olympics brings the gigantic task of feeding an entire village of high-performing humans from all over the world. In Tokyo, that means organizers need to feed…

The farm is merging with food retail spaces

Grocers are bringing the farm to the store so consumers can have both the farming and the retail experience at once

The farm is merging with food retail spacesCanadians have started to notice that grocers have begun to sell plants in miniature greenhouses. We’ve seen gardens on rooftops, vertical farms close to stores and even some selling gardening equipment to gardeners who are shopping for food. The farm is essentially merging with the food retail spaces we roam as consumers. It’s quite interesting.…

The kids are not all right when it comes to what they eat

It’s time for Canada to regulate marketing food to kids. But regulating marketing is no cakewalk

The kids are not all right when it comes to what they eatMost people would agree that protecting children should be our country’s utmost priority. Protecting children from unhealthy food products and fast-food chains has been the subject of many conversations. Ads for sugary food products geared towards children have been contested for years and some countries have opted to ban them, one way or another. The…

Grocers face dramatic changes in wake of pandemic

Nobody really knows how the economy will look as a return to normalcy progresses

Grocers face dramatic changes in wake of pandemicGrocers racked up millions of dollars in profits as they increased revenues during the first year of the pandemic. But numbers this year tell us tougher economic times await them. And the economy is just one part of the story. Nobody really knows how the economy will look this fall and winter as a return…

Bright future for cannabis as perspectives shift

It will be interesting to see how the market evolves and how Canadians will (or won’t) embrace cannabis in a post-pandemic economy

Bright future for cannabis as perspectives shiftIn 2019, the cannabis sector in Canada had its bubble burst. But its comeback appears promising. Players in the field are slowly getting their footing back and settling into a North American market that’s different from its pre-pandemic predecessor. More mergers and acquisitions are pointing to a more mature marketplace. But with cannabis, Canada and…

Food industry must tighten security in face of cyber attacks

What was once purely academic has become a reality

Food industry must tighten security in face of cyber attacksMeat processing giant JBS recently paid out a US$11 million ransom following a cyber attack, according to reports. Most of its meatpacking facilities, including the one in Alberta, remained idle for a few days. Most of us link the concept of cyber attacks with information technology companies, governments and media. But experts have warned the…

Jumping on the regenerative agriculture bandwagon

But what does that mean for consumers and suppliers?

Jumping on the regenerative agriculture bandwagonRegenerative agriculture is making some noise of late – so much so that some companies are making it a priority. Foods, the world’s largest producer of french fries, just committed to limiting its climate footprint, saying all its french fries will come from farms using regenerative agriculture by 2030. For consumers, this is supposed to…

Sugar-coating a sugar tax won’t make it any more palatable

If Newfoundland and Labrador pursues a sugar tax, it’s certainly not to get its people to lead healthier lives. It’s about paying bills

Sugar-coating a sugar tax won’t make it any more palatableIn its recent budget, the Newfoundland and Labrador government announced it will introduce a tax of 20 cents per litre on sugary drinks, starting on April 1, 2022. This a first in Canada. So far we know very little about how the tax would work, which products would be affected and how revenues from the…

Food industry code of conduct finally gains traction

Recognizes that manufacturing - including farmers - are the anchor to the entire food supply chain

Food industry code of conduct finally gains tractionA new coalition led by the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has presented a roadmap to peace within the food industry. It’s a positive step forward for the food production industry and consumers. For years, grocers have unilaterally imposed fees on their suppliers, with questionable excuses. While grocers maintained a hard line to protect margins,…

Are self-checkouts winning the machine-versus-human battle?

The pandemic is changing our unease when using self-checkout counters

Are self-checkouts winning the machine-versus-human battle?Only a few years ago, self-checkouts were seen as job killers by many Canadians. Grocers just didn’t know what to think of self-checkouts. And consumers had a love-hate relationship with them. Some saw them as job killers, replacing humans who desperately needed employment. Others quietly used them, either preferring a speedy exit or simply avoiding…

Reviving food service sector key to economic recovery

Living in fear is terrible and restaurants offer a great escape when Canadians can go out again, while taking proper precautions

Reviving food service sector key to economic recoveryAs we inch toward a more normalized economy, the focus will be on how we can make people feel more comfortable about going out and about again. Our economy needs it and our food service sector desperately needs it – but it’s not going to be easy. In a survey conducted in mid-May by the…

Canada’s food security depends on significant policy shifts

Food manufacturing lacks investment, suffers from thin margins, faces additional grocers’ fees and must deal with aging facilities

Canada’s food security depends on significant policy shiftsBy Sylvain Charlebois and Amy Hill Dalhousie University Canadian food and beverage manufacturing plays a key role in supporting farmers and the rest of the food supply chain. The second largest manufacturing sector, food and beverage, contributed $26.5 billion to Canadian gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020. Just 10 manufacturing sectors –  including food manufacturing…
1 2 3 7