On Tuesday, September 19th, CFA Director of Business Risk Management and Farm Policy, Scott Ross, appeared as a witness before the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food to share CFA’s perspectives on the National Food Policy, alongside representatives from the Conference Board of Canada and Soy Canada.
CFA’s comments focused on the important role a National Food Policy can play in bridging the growing disconnect between the average Canadian and where their food comes from, noting the need to ensure the policy engages key stakeholders around a common vision. CFA concluded its presentation with seven recommendations focused on governance and early priorities, including:
- A whole-of-government approach. While we support Agriculture Canada’s continued leadership in this initiative, this policy must be made explicit in all departmental mandates to ensure accountability and continued engagement.
- It can’t be limited to the federal government, and must instead engage and align all orders of government to address issues that span any one jurisdiction.
- Industry leadership is critical. A successful food policy requires buy-in, and this is possible only if they are contributing to the vision and strategy required to get there.
- Clearly agreed to roles and responsibilities are essential. This not only ensures accountability and coordination, it also directs stakeholders and their resources to appropriate priorities.
- It must begin with those areas where there is already common ground, by building on the existing work already done by CFA and others as a starting point for early action.
- Begin by first collecting and analyzing data with a single framework, establishing a foundation to convert desired outcomes into clear actions based on science-based metrics and targets.
- Bring together the necessary actors to understand and address siloes and associated contradictions before they become reality.