Canadian Agri-Food Sustainability Initiative

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is pleased to be working with the Wilton Consulting Group to develop the Canadian Agri-food Sustainability Initiative (CASI).

The CASI platform will be an online sustainability portal that will help facilitate alignment with the sustainability demands of global markets. The platform will help producers identify and understand what is required to complete sustainability programs. Behind the scenes, CASI will benchmark sustainability programs and international standards.

Producers could choose to share their completed programs on the platform, so that food processors, distributors and others along the supply chain have an entry-point into on-farm sustainability programming. CASI would in turn connect food processors and distributors to existing programs that meet their needs so that they may save time and effort developing their own standards. CASI has the potential to reduce duplication of efforts and alleviate some of the administrative burden for producers, with potential for increasing market access by demonstrating uptake of sustainable agricultural practices.

CASI builds from the Sustainable Farm and Food Initiative (SFFI), a two-year pilot project that engaged 100 organizations across the value chain to develop a sustainability transparency system. SFFI included a pilot project with the Ontario Dairy Goat sector to test an online platform. In June 2017, 95% of food companies engaged in the SFFI project supported launch of a national SFFI platform within 2 to 5 years. This national platform was developed into the CASI project.

CASI is guided by a governance committee of stakeholders from across the value-chain, including the Ontario Agricultural College, Alberta Federation of Agriculture, Canadian Agricultural Safety Association, Canadian Centre for Food Integrity, Canadian Horticulture Council, Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops, DMci Strategies, Equestrian Canada, Farm Credit Canada, Loblaw Companies Limited, National Farm Animal Care Council, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture and Provision Coalition. This group will oversee the development and implementation of workshops, stakeholder interviews and pilot projects that will pave the way to completion of the CASI online platform in 2023.

Financial support was provided through the AgriAssurance Program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.