Food Freedom Day

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What’s the story behind your grocery bill?

Food Freedom Day is February 9, 2021

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) has calculated that by Tuesday, February 9, 2021, a Canadian household of average income will have earned enough to pay their entire year’s grocery bill.

Each year, CFA examines the proportion of income that Canadians spend on food as a way to explore year-over-year expenditure changes and raise consumers’ understanding of Canada’s food system, from Farm-Gate-to-Plate.

With the arrival of the new year, CFA has had a chance to look back at a difficult 2020 for Canadians and assess what Canadians spent on the groceries that feed their families. Canadians spent 11% of their disposable income on food in 2020, which slightly higher than the 10.9% of disposable income spent on food in 2019. With a significant increase in per capita food and beverage expenditures, up nearly $300 from 2020 to an estimated $4,091, Food Freedom Day has moved back a day to February 9th, 2021.

This rise in food expenditures would have seen a more dramatic effect were it not for an increase in household disposable income in late 2020 to mitigate some of the increased cost. With continued inflation in the price of many food prices expected through 2021, amidst a challenging financial environment for many Canadians, Food Freedom Day presents an opportunity to highlight all the work producers undertake to produce food efficiently and affordably every day.

Farmers only receive a small percentage of the price that consumers pay for food,  particularly when the costs of production are taken into account. Canadian farmers continue to adapt to widely varying costs for inputs such as fuel and fertilizer, and to balance their plans against uncertainties in the marketplace.

Food Freedom Day demonstrates the value that Canadian farmers deliver to ALL Canadians – the agriculture industry translates into vital economic contributions for our rural communities.


How we calculate the date for Food Freedom Day

Food Freedom Day is calculated by taking Canadians’ total retail expenditure on food and beverages and dividing it by the total Canadian household disposable income to create a percentage. CFA then determines what this percentage of the year is, by day.

View the calculation here.