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Features Fruit Production
Government releases food processing action plan


January 24, 2011
By Fruit & Vegetable

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January 24, 2011,
Vancouver, BC – Today, in Vancouver, with representatives of the national food
processing industry associations in attendance, the federal government launched
the Industry-Government Food Processing Action Plan and kicked off a pilot
project to actively promote the high- quality foods that Canadian farmers and
food processors produce.

January 24, 2011,
Vancouver, BC – Today, in Vancouver, with representatives of the national food
processing industry associations in attendance, the federal government launched
the Industry-Government Food Processing Action Plan and kicked off a pilot
project to actively promote the high- quality foods that Canadian farmers and
food processors produce.

“Industry is very
pleased and encouraged (the government) has taken the initiative to recognize
the importance of the food processing sector and the need to address the
challenges facing our sector,” said Ted Johnston, the president of the Alberta
Food Processors Association
and industry co-chair of the Food Processors
Competitiveness Working Group. “Many issues remain that will affect the
long-term success of food processing in Canada, but we are positive that this
important first step will continue to move the industry forward.”

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The Growing the Canadian
Food Processing Sector – An Industry-Government Action Plan was developed
jointly by government and industry through roundtables with the processing
industry held in 2009 and 2010 to identify the challenges facing the sector and
find solutions to enable it to grow and strengthen its competitive capacity.
The actions in the plan target four key areas of economics, market access,
innovation and the regulatory environment. Far from static, most of the actions
recommended in the plan are expected to be completed over the next 12 months.
The actions are wide ranging, including research studies, policy and program
reviews, and the development of new initiatives to improve the competitiveness
of the sector.

In response to one of
the recommendations to promote Canadian products, the launch of a pilot project
was also announced at Stong’s Market highlighting Canadian food products.
Throughout the store, Canadian foods are identified through banners, signs,
on-shelf displays, in-store and online retail flyers. The initiative’s goal is
to help consumers identify Canadian food products and encourage them to buy and
Eat Canadian.

A similar in-store pilot
was recently held in Ottawa, and another will be held in Newfoundland in the
coming weeks.

The information learned
from these pilots, as well as from an online simulated shopping study, will
help determine how to better promote Canadian products in stores and will
inform other initiatives to support Canadian agriculture.