Food processors protest changes to packaging regulations

Comments Off November 8, 2012 at 10:07 am by Food in Canada staff

Ottawa, Ont. – The Food Processors of Canada, a coalition of manufacturers, agricultural organizations and mayors from across Canada, is urging the federal government to review proposed changes to food packaging regulation, saying the changes will increase U.S. imports while putting agricultural and food processing jobs at risk.

Regulatory changes to repeal standard packaging sizes in Canada were proposed in the last federal budget. These changes would affect a variety of food products, including honey, wine, meat products, maple syrup, and canned fruit and vegetable products.

According to Chris Kyte, president of the Food Processors of Canada, because Canadian manufacturers and producers have invested in equipment tooled to meet current size regulations, “This change would put food processing in Canada at a competitive disadvantage because it will require them to adopt American sizes and formats.”

The coalition believes that Canadian food processors may also be forced to decide whether to stay in the country, or move production to the U.S. “This new change to repeal standard packaging sizes in Canada will only serve to stimulate an influx of non-standard American products into Canada,” says Kyte. “We want to see emphasis on growing opportunities for Canadian fresh and further processed food.”

Instead, Kyte says government needs to work with the industry “to understand the full impact and develop a complete package of reforms so we have a level playing field and can continue to grow our export markets.”