Food Freedom Day 2016
The Quick Facts on FFD
- February 9 is the calendar date for 2016 when the average Canadian has earned enough income to pay his/her grocery bill for the year, coined by the CFA as Food Freedom Day!
- In 2015, Canadians are expected to have spent 11% of their disposable income on food.
- Interested in how Food Freedom Day is calculated? Click here.
Food Freedom Day 2016: What's the story behind your grocery bill?
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) has calculated that on February 9, 2016 the average Canadian will have earned enough income to pay for his/her grocery bill for the entire year.
In 2015, Canadians are expected to have spent 11% of their disposable income on food, compared to 10.4% in 2014. While rising food costs have resulted in this year’s Food Freedom Day falling three days later than last year’s date, it’s important to note that relative to populations around the world we are quite fortunate in Canada. Canadians have some of the lowest food costs in the world, consistently ranking in the top five for cheapest food costs worldwide.
Still, there is no denying that the rise in food costs has the potential to affect day-to-day budgets. According to the Food Price Report 2016, which was published by the Food Institute at the University of Guelph, Canadian food prices increased by 4.1% during 2015. The prime reason was the low Canadian dollar, which has had a profound impact on imported food products, such as fruits, vegetables and nuts, which are highly susceptible to market fluctuations.
Looking ahead to 2016, the Food Price Report notes that food prices will be most affected by climate change, the weakening Canadian dollar, and consumer trends. With this forecast in mind, Food Freedom Day serves as an opportunity to consider our individual role and the impact we all have on the Canadian food system, whether that be as a consumer, farmer, processor or retailer.
"There are plenty of reasons why we encourage consumers to buy Canadian," explains CFA President Ron Bonnett. "Domestically produced food does not face the same exchange rate increase we have been seeing with imported products. By understanding what is available each season in Canada, consumers can contribute to Canadian food security while also keeping their family’s food bill down."
Choosing Canadian products at the grocery store is an incredibly important role Canadian consumers have in supporting farmers and our food system here at home. The grocery store purchases of consumers provide market data for retailers, who then determine what they will stock their shelves with. This produces a ripple effect that is felt right down to the farm level.
"There is also a notable difference with the Canadian brand when it comes to animal welfare standards and the quality and safety of our products – and it is one to be proud of," Bonnett added. "We ask that consumers place their 'grocery store vote' for Canadian farmers and invest in a stable domestic food supply."
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