Council members come from across the spectrum of the agri-food and related industries
By Jackie Clark
Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), today announced the membership of the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council, who will help shape Canada’s food policy. The announcement was part of the Arrell Food Institute’s Food Systems Summit Dialogue.
“The Arrell Food Institute has worked closely with AAFC to bring important voices and diverse perspectives together as part of the Food Policy for Canada,” said Dr. Charlotte Yates, interim president and vice-chancellor of the University of Guelph, “Launched by Minister Bibeau in 2019, the Food Policy for Canada aims to promote a thriving and sustainable national food system.”
The slogan of the Food Policy for Canada initiative is ‘Everyone at the Table,’ explained Bibeau.
“Everyone’s voice matters, and we can all play a part in shaping long-term positive change in our food systems,” she said. “The outcome of these dialogues will help inform Canada’s position at the United Nations Food Systems Summit and shape Canada’s food systems for the future.”
Food Policy for Canada “is a roadmap for a healthier and more sustainable food system in Canada … the policy brings everyone across our food system together to deliver real, long-lasting change,” she added.
Partnerships are the foundation of the approach, which is reflected in the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council membership.
“The council’s members are leaders with diverse expertise and perspectives,” Bibeau said. “These 23 members are passionate about food systems, each bringing their unique experience and knowledge to the table. We have dieticians, farmers, food security leaders, scientists, processors, and retailers. They come from across the country, and from a variety of sectors from agriculture and food, to health, to academia, to non-profits, among others.”
Members include Evan Fraser, director of the Arrell Food Institute, Mary Robinson, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, and Melana Roberts, federal and municipal food policy strategist. To access the full list of members and biographies, visit the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council webpage.
“It’s important that the voices and priorities of Canadians continue to drive the initiatives and the direction of the policy,” Bibeau explained. “the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council will play a key roll, providing advice on food-related issues that matter to Canadians. The Council will support the Food Policy vision in the public interest that all people in Canada are able to access a sufficient amount of safe, nutritious, and culturally diverse food, and Canada’s food system is resilient and innovative, sustains our environment, and supports our economy.”
Council members will provide strategic advice to the federal agriculture minister on issues such as increasing access to food and supporting food security in vulnerable communities and reducing food waste.
Members of the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council will have their first meeting with Bibeau on March 4th
“The advisory council comes together at a crucial time and will look beyond the pandemic and implement our key initiatives, as well as identify further opportunities to improve food-related outcomes under the food policy,” she said.
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