Canada could move from being one of the top 20 net food exporting countries in the world to being one of the top five within the next few years, while addressing the needs of Canadians for safe, healthy and affordable food, according to Conference Board of Canada (CBC).
“The food sector already contributes more than 8% of Canada’s gross domestic product and is directly responsible for hundreds of thousands of jobs. But it can become even more successful if our producers capture a larger share of the growing international food market,” said Michael Bloom, vice-president, Industry and Business Strategy. “Taken as a whole, the food sector has the potential to be among the foremost export industries for Canada.”
CBC’s Canadian Food Strategy outlines several action items that could make us a food-exporting superpower.
- Expand presence in existing and emerging markets, including new markets.
- Link aid and trade to address the challenge of global food security.
- Negotiate multilateral and bilateral free trade agreements to improve exporters’ access to international markets.
- Develop high-quality national, provincial, and regional food brands and product specializations for wide sale internationally.
- Build a Canada Brand to reinforce food brands and products using positive images of Canada’s natural environment and culture and our reputation for product quality and safety.
To encourage implementation efforts and to track progress, the Conference Board’s Centre for Food in Canada intends to continue its work on promoting the Canadian Food Strategy through three initiatives:
- Establish the Canadian Food Observatory to monitor progress in the food sector and measure progress in achieving the goals of the Strategy.
- Produce an Annual Report Card: Food in Canada— Performance and Potentialsummarizing the progress made in the previous year, using metrics established by the Observatory.
- Undertake further research on new and emerging issues.