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…
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