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Flurry of investment supports ag future

Agriculture suffers from a shortage of skilled labour, so it’s good to see investments into initiatives such as Conestoga’s College’s 16-week Agricultural Equipment Operator pilot program, the Olds College Smart Agriculture Applied Research Program and Assiniboine College’s agricultural training program. Worker shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic underlined how much we need to step up efforts to create a reliable, accessible agri-food workforce.

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Simplifying plant-based meals

Many of us try to follow Canada’s new food guide, to incorporate more plant materials into our meals. Some plant-based foods though contain foreign-sounding ingredients that make you shake your head. Enter Neophyto Foods of Guelph and the ‘Craft it Yourself’ meal kit, with just five ingredients.

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Second pandemic wave heats up pressure on food support

As COVID-19 cases increase, food banks are worried they won’t have adequate stocks for workers laid-off for a second time. Even keeping supermarket shelves stocked at reasonable prices is complicated business in Canada’s multifaceted agri-food industry. But’s there’s one thing we can all agree on. Nothing trumps access to safe, quality food for our families.

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The promise of new European food markets has fizzled

Canada’s three-year-old trade agreement with the EU really hasn’t turned out as planned. Hopes had been high for Canadian agricultural products to have access to new markets in Europe. But barriers haven’t come down and much of the industry is now pressing Ottawa to take a stronger stance on their behalf.

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The food sector must act responsibly as next phase looms

As COVID-19 resurges, it’s a great time of year to boost your immunity with Ontario’s bounty of healthy foods. But government and industry need to do better when it comes to processing that harvest into everyday food products. Less sugar, salt and fat in the products would go a long way to make them more nutritious.

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How to make negotiations a win-win situation

Striking a deal in agriculture isn’t quite like doing business in the city…odds are, the two parties involved in the deal might be neighbours for years. With buyers and sellers likely to cross paths again, it’s important that everyone feels the deal was fair. Two experts talk about negotiating here

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Pandemic sparks call for new look at agri-food policy

A national agricultural policy developed just over a year ago no longer supports Canada’s agri-food industry, say a group of agricultural analysts. They cite COVID-19 and recent geopolitical conflicts as having such profound implications that the policy status quo isn’t acceptable.The onus is on Canada’s agri-food industry and government to ensure policies are current and adaptable, as market changes continue to evolve.

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Urban Cowboy

Raising awareness and promoting dialogue about current food and agriculture issues.

OWEN ROBERTS

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Owen Roberts – journalist, columnist, educator – provides an urban perspective on agri-food issues.

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