Everyone at the Table: Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council convenes first meeting
In June 2019, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced the first-ever Food Policy for Canada while visiting Montreal's Carrefour Alimentaire Centre-Sud, a community organization dedicated to improving access to healthy food for all.
Since then, the Food Policy has been the foundation for numerous other initiatives launched over the past two years, including the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, the Food Waste Reduction Challenge, and measures to protect Canadians against food fraud. On February 19, it was time to announce another important cornerstone of the Policy, the membership of the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council.
The Advisory Council will advise the Minister on current and emerging food-related issues that matter to Canadians. This advice will reflect the integrated and complex nature of Canada's food system, and support improved and sustainable health, social, environmental and economic outcomes.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada recognizes that actors across our food system must work together to find solutions to systemic issues around health, sustainability, and access to safe, nutritious and culturally diverse food for all people in Canada.
The 23 members of the Advisory Council are drawn from the agriculture and food sector, health professionals, academics, and non-profit organizations working in food security, food recovery, and more.
These experts were joined by Minister Bibeau for their first virtual roundtable meeting on March 4.
Members were enthused to meet with Minister Bibeau and to share views on opportunities and challenges to achieve positive change in our food system. Key discussion themes included:
- improving food security and food sovereignty;
- redressing inequities in the food system;
- improving local food chains and infrastructure;
- advancing the sustainability of agricultural practices and the food supply chain and reducing food loss and waste;
- advancing a national school food program;
- enhancing collaboration across sectors and levels of government to align policies and practices; and
- the importance of a data strategy and measurement.
The Council is already digging in! It is now developing a work plan with priorities to work towards over the course of its mandate, with an initial focus on the next six months.
Learn more about the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council, its membership and mandate.
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