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Why food is everyone’s business

Farm to Table MagazineRandallAnthony CommunicationsComment

Ron Bonnett,
President 
Canadian Federation of Agriculture

 

As technology, world markets and consumer preferences have evolved, so has the way farmers do business. Farming has shifted from being more of a lifestyle and sustaining a small radius of people, to businesses contributing to domestic and world markets and integrating the animal welfare, food safety and environmental standards that come with it.

The conventional view of the farmer with a small plot of land and a pitchfork doesn’t fit into the reality of the Canadian agricultural landscape anymore. Farms are larger now, more integrated. But big doesn’t mean bad. It often means an increase in efficiency and safety. What many don’t realize is that most Canadian farms are still family owned and operated. 

Canadian agriculture has always been a strong part of our heritage and identity as a nation. For centuries, Canadian farmers have worked hard to produce the food we enjoy. Today, the Canadian brand is known worldwide for its superior quality and standards. We can take pride in the Canadian food and agriculture sectors as incredible innovators, contributors to the economy, job providers and producers of high-quality products. 

We see that Canadians want to know more about their food system and what they buy in the grocery store. That is why this publication was an important project for us. Through these pages, we hope to shed light on the farm to table process and players. 
We hope to show you who the Canadian farmer is today, and to share with you our reasons why we can be proud of the Canadian brand. 

Nancy Croitoru, 
President and CEO
Food & Consumer Products of Canada

 

When you think of the facilities where Canada’s food and beverages are made, do you imagine them to be like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory? 

Well, that is not what today’s state-of-the-art food and beverage plants look like. Rather, they are modern, futuristic facilities run by highly skilled workers, using sophisticated machines (even robotics that make muffins) to produce the well-known, trusted brands Canadians consume every day.  

What so many of us don’t realize – and why this magazine is so important – is that Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing industry is a critical engine of our economy, not only providing us with more manufacturing jobs than any other sector in Canada, but providing us with safe, innovative foods that are made in Canada, by Canadians, with ingredients from Canadian farms. Despite the hard knocks manufacturing has taken in the past few years, this is the one sector that continues to grow even in difficult times. 

In addition to the close to 300,000 Canadians directly employed in our industry, there are hundreds of thousands of spinoff jobs, including advertising, transportation, farming, finance and legal. All these jobs mean major investments in the economy, which we all benefit from. 

Willy Wonka would be amazed by today’s industry! My hope is that in the pages ahead you learn more about our sector and how important it is to our economy and our daily lives. And, why food and beverage manufacturing is the sector politicians must back and invest in to ensure we continue to have a safe and home-grown food supply for generations to come. 

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