Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

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Food Freedom Day occurs Feb. 12


February 9, 2011
By Canadian Federation of Agriculture

Topics

February 3, 2011, Ottawa, Ont – Canadian farm groups will
celebrate Food Freedom Day Feb. 12, marking the calendar date by which the
average Canadian will have earned enough to pay the entire year’s grocery
bill.

February 3, 2011, Ottawa, Ont – Canadian farm groups will
celebrate Food Freedom Day Feb. 12, marking the calendar date by which the
average Canadian will have earned enough to pay the entire year’s grocery
bill.

“Canadian farmers are proud of their role in providing
high quality food produced to top-level food safety, environmental, and animal
welfare standards,” said Canadian Federation of Agriculture president Ron
Bonnett.

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The date for Food Freedom Day is derived through a simple
calculation comparing Canadians’ disposable income and the amount they spent on
food (including alcoholic beverages) during the previous year. It is a general
look forward on food prices, based on the previous year’s spending statistics.
In 2010, the average Canadian spent approximately 11.9 per cent of personal
disposable income on food.

“We encourage Canadians to choose Canadian food as
often as possible, as these purchases represent far more than just food. They
strengthen our vibrant, home-grown agriculture sector and benefit the country
as a whole,” said Bonnett.

In terms of product variety and price, Canadian food purchases have changed drastically in the last 30 years. Many food items are now ready-to-eat, value-added products. In spite of this, total spending on food has seen only modest increases. During the same period, the portion of consumer spending working its way back to the farm is relatively small, particularly when the costs of production are taken into account. In recent years, farmers have had to manage production around extremely unstable costs for inputs, such as fuel and fertilizer.

Revenue on consumer food purchases is split across a wide
range of agri-food industry stakeholders or supply chain groups. These include
farmers, agricultural suppliers, food processors, manufacturers, distributors,
and retailers.

The wides variances in commodity prices, along with
changing consumer demands and environmental concerns, have brought about the
need for a National Food Strategy (NFS), a project that CFA initiated last
year. The goal of the NFS is to develop a long-term vision for a
sustainable food system – one that will engage the entire food supply chain.
Learn more at www.nationalfoodstrategy.ca.