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A Food Policy for Canada: Report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food

A Food Policy for Canada

Report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food

DECEMBER 2017, 42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

CHAIR Pat Finnigan

VICE-CHAIRS Luc Berthold and Ruth Ellen Brosseau

MEMBERS John Barlow, Lloyd Longfield, Sylvie Boucher. Eva Nassif, Pierre Breton, Joe Peschisolido, Francis Drouin, and Jean-Claude Poissant

CLERK OF THE COMMITTEE Marc-Olivier Girard

LIBRARY OF PARLIAMENT Parliamentary Information and Research Service Alison Clegg, Analyst and Khamla Heminthavong, Analyst

On 19 September 2017, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food began a study on a first food policy for Canada, which is being developed by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and will be implemented over the coming year. The goals of this policy are to produce safe, nutritious, and affordable food in an environmentally friendly way. During the course of its study, the Committee heard 52 witnesses and received 14 briefs.

This report focuses on the four broad food policy themes set out by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. In addition to these themes, the Committee believes that the food policy should also take into account the following issues: the next generation of farmers, access to farmland and farm labour.

The Committee recognizes that the issue of food is of interest to a broad range of stakeholders who have different points of view. This poses a great challenge in terms of policy implementation. To achieve the pursued goals, the Committee believes policy development should focus on a whole-of-government approach and close collaboration among stakeholders including farmers, ranchers, fishers, food processers, consumers, and civil society.

The report also contains recommendations for the successful implementation of the food policy. The Committee’s recommendations include establishing a governance structure, supporting the next generation of young farmers, supporting the growth and development of local and regional agriculture and helping Canadian companies access foreign markets. In addition, the Committee believes that this first food policy will bring producers and consumers closer together to help them produce food responsibly, in a manner that respects the environment and animal welfare

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