Canada commits to sustainable agriculture

By William Girling
In a speech at the annual meeting of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), the Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau put sustainability high on the agenda...

In a speech at the annual meeting of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), the Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau put sustainability high on the agenda.

Emphasising that the sector must devote itself to building trust with the public by spearheading environmentally-conscious initiatives, Bibeau, who is the Minister of Agriculture, announced CA$560,000 of federal investment would reach the CFA. 

With this support, the organisation intends to develop the Canadian Agri-Food Sustainability Initiative (CASI), which will give people across the agriculture supply chain an opportunity to discuss the best sustainable farming methods. 

"More and more, customers of Canada's high-quality food want to know that their food was produced ethically, with a minimized impact on the environment,” said Bibeau. “This new initiative is an important tool to tell our story and build consumers' trust for our producers."

Connecting the sector

Via CASI, the CFA hopes to provide a platform which will allow the industry to benchmark its efforts. This will not only spread awareness of existing sustainability programmes but also provide opportunities for networking with new clients. 

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Having received funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), “CASI will also aim to connect farmers to programs that serve as criteria to receive environmental funding,” explained Mary Robinson, President of the CFA.

“This will provide farmers with a bridge to resources that help fund their critical environmental efforts. AAFC will be contributing $562,870 over 3 three years and would like to formally thank AAFC for this generous contribution."

The food system is changing

In a previous article, Business Chief explored Nestlé’s innovative collaboration with Burcon NutraScience and Merit Functional Foods to produce plant-based proteins in Winnipeg. 

Adopting a similar stance to the CFA - that agriculture needs to adapt to the modern era - Nestlé’s Head of Stakeholder Engagement in Sustainability, Duncan Pollard, said:

“The food system is changing. It always has, but now it needs to change to reduce waste and optimise the use of plant proteins. We need to achieve a balance – animal, plant and novel proteins.”

“At Nestlé, we are adding more plant-based products to our portfolio in response to increased demand. It’s part of our efforts to offer tastier and healthier choices for consumers,” he said.

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