Boosting Canada's Agri-Food Sustainability with New Funding

Feb 29, 2024

By Jean-Paul McDonald

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced a significant funding boost of over $3.1 million to the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI).  

This funding, part of the AgriAssurance Program under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, aims to refine and expand the National Index on Agri-Food Performance. This tool is pivotal for companies to verify the sustainability of their practices and to navigate the evolving market access rules efficiently. 

The National Index on Agri-Food Performance serves as a comprehensive guide, from food production to retail, assessing environmental impacts, food quality, and contributions to the economy and society.  

With this new funding, CAPI will collaborate with more partners to enhance the Index, filling in gaps and creating an upgraded version to better represent Canada’s agri-food sustainability on the global stage. 

Minister MacAulay emphasized the growing global demand for sustainable products and expressed confidence in Canadian farmers' ability to meet these needs. "This funding will improve the National Index on Agri-Food Performance, helping the sector take advantage of market opportunities, and backing up our efforts with concrete data. By making sure everyone measures sustainability in the same way, we’re moving closer toward our goals both nationally and globally," he stated. 

Tyler McCann, Managing Director of CAPI, and David McInnes, Executive Director and Founder of the Centre for Agri-Food Benchmarking, both highlighted the importance of this initiative in improving the transparency and data-driven claims of Canada’s agri-food sustainability. They expressed enthusiasm for working alongside an unprecedented coalition of partners to advance this cause. 

This initiative not only aligns with the Guelph Statement’s vision for Canada’s leadership in sustainable agriculture and agri-food production but also supports the demonstration of sustainability trends across the sector.  

Through such strategic investments, Canada aims to enhance its position as a global leader in sustainable agri-food practices, ensuring that Canadian food brands remain competitive and responsive to consumer demands for high-quality, sustainable products. 

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