Canada has food availability problems



Did you know there is a Global Food Security Index? The famous magazine The Economist has published its 11th edition.

The Global Food Security Index comprises a series of indices for over 120 different countries. Since 2012, the index has been based on four main pillars: food access, security, sustainable development and affordability.

This approach is very comprehensive and robust. Indicator indicators include nutritional standards, urban absorptive capacity, food consumption as a share of household expenditure, food loss and waste, protein quality, import tariffs on agricultural products, dietary diversification, agricultural infrastructure, and agricultural production. volatility, and public spending on agricultural resources and development. Corruption, risks to political stability and even ample supplies. In short, anything is possible.

Finland tops the list this year, followed by Ireland and Norway. Canada is in an advantageous position compared to other countries around the world as it ranks her No. 7 in the world as it did last year. not bad. America ranks 13th.

In terms of food access, which measures agricultural production, farm capacity and risk of supply disruption, Canada ranks sixth, which is not all that surprising. Despite recent episodes of empty shelves and stockouts, Canada can boast of food abundance. We produce a lot and have a fluid North American economy focused on cross-border trade. have improved access to food because they are part of

Another pillar focuses on sustainable development, environment and climate adaptability. This pillar assesses a country’s exposure to the impacts of climate change, its susceptibility to risks associated with natural resources, food waste management, and how countries adapt to these risks. In this regard, Canada ranks her 29th, well behind Norway and Finland, where she is No. 1 and her No. 2 in this category. Food waste continues to be Canada’s Achilles heel. Because Canada produces more waste than anyone else on the planet. But a recent survey found that more than 40% of Canadians are spending less than they did 12 months ago due to higher food prices.

Canada ranks first in the world when it comes to food safety and quality. Canada is ahead of Denmark and the United States, which are famous for their proactive approach to food safety. Food safety in Canada is perhaps the most underestimated aspect by consumers.

Despite some hiccups and periodic reminders, the country’s sanitary practices are exemplary. I’m here. There’s a long way to go, but industry and public safety regulators are doing relatively well.

However, one area of ​​concern for Canada’s performance is food affordability. This indicator concentrates on the ability of consumers to purchase food, their vulnerability to price shocks, and the existence of programs and policies to support consumers when shocks occur.

Canada once again fell one place this year to 25th in the world. Australia, Singapore, and the Netherlands top the affordable list. Given the resources and access to food we have, Canada should do better. Since July 2021, food inflation has always been higher than the general inflation rate in the country, and everything is already expensive these days. The surge in food prices in grocery stores over the past year has been unacceptable for many of us. Canada needs a food autonomy policy, a stronger food processing sector, and better domestic logistics.

And with winter coming and the dollar visibly weaker against the US dollar, prices are likely to rise significantly again, especially in the agricultural and fresh food sections. With prices rising, it is difficult to predict when Canada will improve on affordability. Certain fiscal measures, such as tax cuts to help consumers, have not been timely.

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Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.

Sylvain Charlevoix


Dr. Sylvain Charlebois is Senior Director of the Agri-Food Analysis Lab and Professor of Food Distribution and Policy at Dalhousie University.