On March 18 and 19, 2014, the Conference Board of Canada
unveiled the Canadian Food Strategy at the 3rd Canadian Food Summit
held in Toronto, Canada.
It has been long recognized that change in the Canadian food
system is necessary in order to grow the Canadian food market and
to meet the everyday food needs of Canadians. The Conference Board
of Canada, an independent, not-for-profit research organization in
Canada, set out to establish a blueprint for change to the Canadian
food system. This blueprint for change was designed to guide and
stimulate change in food and the food system in Canada. The result
was the Canadian Food Strategy; a comprehensive and action-oriented
framework for changes in all areas of the Canadian food system.
The Food Strategy contains five key elements: Industry
Prosperity, Healthy Food, Food Safety, Household Food Security and
Environmental Sustainability. Within the key elements, the Food
Strategy proposes eight goals with over 60 desired outcomes and
numerous proposed action strategies to meet the specified
The plenary sessions provided an introduction and overview of
the various elements of the Canadian Food Strategy, as well as the
implementation of a national food strategy, with an international
perspective on best practices. The plenary sessions included panels
with experts speaking on a wide range of topics, from tackling
childhood obesity, physical inactivity and hunger, to developing
Canada's food export and trade.
The conference also provided attendees with the opportunity to
choose concurrent sessions on various topics under the five key
elements of the Food Strategy. Of particular note was the session
on modernizing Canada's food regulatory system, which focused
on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's Safe Food for
Canadians Action Plan. This action plan, guided by the Safe Foods
for Canadians Act passed in November 2012, aims to strengthen
Canada's world-class food safety system by implementing
stronger food safety rules, improve and streamline the food
inspection model, improve the safety and labelling of imported
foods, and impose administrative monetary penalties for offences
under the Act. The Safe Foods for Canadians Act is not yet in
force. The draft regulations under the Act are currently undergoing
revisions. The Safe Foods for Canadians Act is expected to come
into force, along with the regulations, in the summer of 2015.
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