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Food industry welcomes action plan


January 24, 2011
By Food & Consumer Products of Canada

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January 24, 2011,
Toronto, Ont – Canada’s largest food industry association says the federal
government’s plan to help the food processing sector grow and be more
competitive is a comprehensive, well-considered document that will spur the
industry’s growth and the country’s continued economic renewal.

January 24, 2011,
Toronto, Ont – Canada’s largest food industry association says the federal
government’s plan to help the food processing sector grow and be more
competitive is a comprehensive, well-considered document that will spur the
industry’s growth and the country’s continued economic renewal.

The details of Growing
the Canadian Food Processing Sector – An Industry/Food Processing Action Plan
were unveiled recently in Vancouver, B.C.

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“We commend the
government for taking leadership to ensure a future for one of the country's
most important sectors, and for having the vision to engage food industry
sector representatives in developing the plan,” said Derek Nighbor, senior vice
president of public and regulatory affairs for Food & Consumer Products of
Canada (FCPC)
. “Most Canadians would be surprised to know that the food
industry is now the largest employer in manufacturing in the country. That
being said, we could be bigger and better. It is our hope that the launch of
today’s action plan will put the challenges facing our sector on the front
burner of public policy priorities in Ottawa.”

Nighbor says the
industry welcomes in particular the priority to modernize Canada's regulatory
environment to enable and encourage innovation.

“We have been urging the
government to develop a modern, world-class, food regulatory system. This would
ensure that Canadians have access to healthy product choices that are available
in many other countries, and at the same time, foster innovation, and boost
economic growth.”

He says that bringing
the system at par with other leading developed nations would support the
government’s objectives for the health of Canadians and the economy.
Manufacturers would be able to bring to market many functional foods (foods
that have health benefits) that are currently not allowed in Canada because the
food and drug regulations are outdated and not set up to process this type of
innovation. New growth opportunities domestically and abroad would be created,
not only for manufacturers, but also the agriculture industry, retailers, and
other sectors that support manufacturing.

Of the Canadian
manufacturing sector, food is consistently the largest component, employing
just under 300,000 Canadians from coast to coast. The industry is the largest
purchaser (43 per cent) of agriculture output and a significant exporter, with
70 per cent of the shipments going to the U.S.

Food & Consumer
Products of Canada (FCPC)
is the country’s largest food industry association
and represents Canadian-operated food, beverage and consumer product companies
that make and market national and retailer brands sold through retail and
foodservice outlets.