Institutions, Processes, and Reports leading to a National Food Policy and Council

The following is an evolving draft given the depth and breadth of a national food strategy. It provides only examples of the institutions (whether within governmental, for-profit, or not-for-profit sectors), processes (for example on-going research or consultations) and reports which would point the way toward a comprehensive National Food Policy. Suggestions and/or questions are welcome at [email protected].  

Federal Government

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

These “frameworks” point to a large set of the actions and objectives of a NFP.  Those identified in official documents include: Markets and Trade, Science, Research and Innovation, Risk Management, Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change, Value-Added Agriculture and Agri-Food Processing, Public Trust;

For the stated purposes of: competitiveness, productivity, profitability, increase environmental sustainability, expansion of domestic and international markets, improved adaptation, mitigation and response to risks.

See, also: Presentation to WTO and Minister’s report on what was heard over the course of consultations.

Liberal Party of Canada Election Platform – Agriculture 2015

“To attract investment and create good jobs in food processing, we will invest $160 million, over four years, in an Agri-FoodValue-Added Investment Fund. This will provide technical and marketing assistance to help food processors develop new value-added products that reflect changing tastes and market opportunities.”

Ministerial Mandate Letters from PMO

“Invest in an Agri-Food Value-Added Investment Fund to attract investment and create good jobs in food processing. This will provide technical and marketing assistance to help food processors develop new value-added products that reflect changing tastes and market opportunities.”

“Develop a food policy that promotes healthy living and safe food by putting more healthy, high-quality food, produced by Canadian ranchers and farmers, on the tables of families across the country.”

  • Minister Petitpas Taylor (2017) Minister of Health

    “Work closely with the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to align these regulatory initiatives with food policy. All of these initiatives should be based on high-quality scientific evidence and meaningful consultation with Canadians.”
  • Minister Carolyn Benett (2017) Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs:

“Support the work of the Minister of Indigenous Services and the Minister of Health in making systemic change to reduce the health inequities between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians ….”

“Continue work to update and expand the Nutrition North program, in consultation with northern communities.”

Work with the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to improve the temporary foreign worker program so it meets the needs of Canadian workers and employers. This includes:

“further developing a pathway to permanent residency so that eligible applicants are able to more fully contribute to Canadian society;

eliminating the $1,000 Labour Market Impact Assessment fee to hire caregivers and work with provinces and territories to develop a system of regulated companies to hire caregivers on behalf of families; and

working with stakeholders to act on the recommendations of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities’ study of the temporary foreign worker program.”

Support the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development in developing and implementing a Poverty Reduction Strategy. This strategy would set targets to reduce poverty and measure and publicly report on our progress. Our strategy will align with and support existing provincial, territorial and municipal poverty reduction strategies.

  • Minister Jean-Yves Duclos (2016) Families, Children and Social Development”Lead the development of a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy that would set targets to reduce poverty and measure and publicly report on our progress, in collaboration with the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. Our strategy will align with and support existing provincial and municipal poverty reduction strategies.””Work with the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour to develop a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy  
  • Minister Jane Philpott (2017) Minister of Northen Services Canada”Identify the best models for delivering improved services to Indigenous Peoples and improve accountability to Indigenous Peoples for the quality of services delivered …. “”Lead work to create systemic change in how the federal government delivers health services to Indigenous Peoples in collaboration with the Minister of Health and the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs”

House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food, Consultations and Report 

  • Report (December 2017)
  • Standing Committee proceedings/testimonies, except for those sessions held in-camera, of witnesses and MP’s, can are found on the House of Commons website here. 

AAFC’s “A Food Policy for Canada: AAFC Consulting with Canadians”
(No report on consultations as of February 20, 2018) 

Consultations Notice with reference to:

  • increasing access to Canadian food,
  • improving health and safety,
  • conserving our soil, water and air,
  • growing more healthy food.

Health  Canada

  • Health Canada announced online consumer consultations for Front-of-Package (FOP) labelling, The intended purpose for the use of labelling regulations is to encourage Canadians to choose healthier foods, to reduce sodium, sugar and saturated fat consumption, and to incentivize companies to formulate healthier processed foods  Whether or not (a) labelling will accomplish that and (b) whether regulation is an appropriate and effective way to alter consumer behaviour and agri-food players to alter ingredient composition is at issue.
  • Sodium  Regulations: Consultations closed end of 2017
  • Food Guide: Consultations
  • Regulatory ban on partially hydrogenated oils in foods  

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

“New technologies, tools and a more comprehensive approach to inspection are needed to properly manage today’s risks to human, animal and plant health and the environment, and to enhance consumer protection. …..  Inspection modernization will allow the CFIA to detect and prevent risks more effectively. Consumers will benefit from inspection activities that target the highest risk areas first (domestic or imported). It will provide Canadian companies the flexibility to design controls that demonstrate that their operations and products comply with all relevant federal regulations. It will also create a more level playing field for businesses by streamlining the inspection process.”

“The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) would replace the current regulations made under the Canada Agricultural Products Act, the Fish Inspection Act, the Meat Inspection Act, and the food-related provisions of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations. The regulatory framework would create food inspection regulations with consistent, internationally recognized requirements for all food commodities imported or traded inter-provincially. It builds on the policy direction articulated in the Improved Food Inspection Model for which consultations concluded in May 2013.”

  • The Food Safety Enhancement Program (FSEP)FSEP “is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) approach to encourage and support the development, implementation and maintenance of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems in all federally registered establishments.”

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC))

Public Health Agency of Canada

Employment and Social Development Canada

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Global Affairs Canada

Business and Not-for-profits (with or without Federal government support)

Canadian Federation of Agriculture

Economic Strategy —  Agri-Food Table (ISED)

  • Record Notes describing areas of interest and steps taken:
    • ability to meet growing global demand
    • global competitiveness, innovation and technology
    • export target: $75 billion by 2025
    • opportunities for a regulatory approach that supports growth

Advisory Council on Economic Growth (Barton Report) reporting to Minister of Finance:

  • recommends “Agrifood Growth Council”
  • focuses on:
  • Competitiveness and trade
    • trade agreements
    • branding
    • foreign investment
    • regulatory levers
  • Infrastructure, capital investment, digital connectivity
  • Talent and labour markets
  • Innovation (including big data)

Food Secure Canada

A concise statement of Food Secure Canada’s interest in a National Food Strategy can be found in their “Primer on a National Food Policy in Canada”

Ad-hoc Working Group on Food Policy Governance

Arrell Food Institute, University of Guelph

One of the signatories to the proposal for a National Food Policy Council. Managed by Evan Fraser, with funding from Arrell Family Foundation. Reinforces the work being done out of University of Guelph as reflected in the Feeding 9 Billion research and education initiative.

Conference Board of Canada — Food Horizons Canada

Outgrowth of Centre for Food in Canada, its food summits and recommendation for a National Food Strategy incorporating the major objectives of producer and processor competitiveness, food security and environmental sustainability.


Ad Hoc Working Group on the Right to Food (2017)  – Ensuring the Human Right to Food Through a Food Policy for Canada available through Food Secure Canada

Canadian Centre for Food Integrity

Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security


Some early steps Reports, Councils and Actions taken prior to Federal Election 2015

Agriculture Food and Beverage Sectoral Advisory Group on International Trade (1986 – 2000 ?)

Trade Opportunities Strategy Council (1992)

Canadian Agri-food Marketing Council (1996 – 2007)

Agricultural Policy Framework and Growing Forward 1 and 2 (2002 – 2018)

The Land of Milk and Money – The Report of the People’s Food Commission, published 1979 or 80

Food Strategy 1977 – 78

Canada’s Action Plan for Food Security 1998

UN Sustainable Development Goals