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Category: Observer

Keep your foot on the gas

Culinary giant Anita Stewart’s passing last week was a huge loss for all Canadians, and especially for our food producers. Anita was considered the champion of the local food movement in this country and she’d want us to continue to advocate on behalf of Canadian food . Photo: Guelph Today

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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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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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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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Time to do our part and drink local beer

Craft breweries have been flourishing in Ontario and were a big draw for bars and restaurants – until COVID-19 hit. Now, it may take years for them to recover. But you can help. Think ‘local’ next time you order and do your part for craft breweries – responsibly. Photo: Ontario Craft Brewers Association.

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Pandemic gives Food Day Canada a deeper meaning

This year has tested the mettle of everyone working in Canada’s food chains. Food Day Canada, celebrated Aug. 1, acknowledges the essential workers who labour tirelessly to bring food to our supermarkets and meals to our tables. During COVID-19, they deserve an extra measure of our gratefulness.

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Urban Cowboy

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


Owen Roberts Headshot

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

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