Food In Canada

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Industry and feds kick off pilot project

Project aims to promote Canadian food products and raise industry’s profile


Vancouver – National food processing associations and the federal government announced on Monday the launch of a pilot project to actively promote Canadian food products.

Industry and government jointly developed the project, which is called Growing the Canadian Food Processing Sector – An Industry-Government Action Plan.

The project involves promoting Canadian foods at grocery stores with banners, signs, on-shelf displays, in-store and online retail flyers. The pilot project will be taking place at Stong’s Market in Vancouver. One ran in Ottawa recently and another will be in Newfoundland in the coming weeks.

The deli department in Stong's Market in Vancouver.

How the project came to be

The federal government and industry came together at roundtables in 2009 and 2010 to identify challenges facing the food processing industry. The groups also outlined solutions that would help the industry grow and be more competitive. One of those solutions led to the pilot projects.

The actions in the Plan also target four key areas: economics, market access, innovation and the regulatory environment. And most of the actions the Plan recommends are expected to be completed over the next 12 months.

The actions are wide ranging, including research studies, policy and program reviews, and the development of new initiatives to improve the competitiveness of the sector.

“Industry is very pleased and encouraged that Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn [minister of Veterans Affairs and minister of State – Agriculture] has taken the initiative to recognize the importance of the food processing sector and the need to address the challenges facing our sector,” says Ted Johnston, president of the Alberta Food Processors Association and industry co-chair of the Food Processors Competitiveness Working Group.

“Many issues remain that will affect the long-term success of food processing in Canada, but we are positive that this important first step will continue to move the industry forward.”