Pandemic has put Canada’s meals chain challenges within the highlight

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Canada’s pandemic crisis has put the spotlight on the many challenges facing the country’s food supply chain.

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This is what the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC )’s latest Policy Brief – Growing a More Resilient Food Supply Chain in Ontario – reads, outlining the numerous pressures facing the provincial food industry, including farmers, restaurateurs and food suppliers.

The report is aimed at policy makers and urges them to take a more rigorous approach to protecting Ontario’s food industry, particularly in the area of ​​growing food insecurity and food fraud, as well as supporting the demand for locally produced food.

“The agri-food sector contributes over $ 47 billion to annual GDP and supports over 860,000 jobs across the province,” said Cathy Lennon, general manager of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, in a recent webinar with industry leaders.

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“The pandemic has sparked Ontarians’ interest in local food and increased their appreciation for farmers,” she added. “These producers turned quickly at the start of the pandemic and continue to provide consumers with uninterrupted access to fresh, nutritious and safe food throughout this crisis.”

Made possible with support from Beef Farmers of Ontario, Durham College, and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, the Policy Brief examined issues that have arisen over the past 12 months, as well as other long-standing issues exacerbated by COVID-19.

It explained how Canada’s food system continued to provide uninterrupted access to food for Canadians in unprecedented times, “due to the strength of the many subsectors and companies that make up the food supply chain,” the policy report read, also adding emphasis on the pandemic that strong and immediate action must be taken to ensure that the system never hits a break.

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“COVID-19 has brought our agri-food system and supply chains to the fore. We can all remember groceries flying off the shelves due to inventory levels and panic buying at the start of the pandemic, ”Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, said in a recent press release. “Ultimately, while the pandemic caused parts of the Ontario food supply chain to be bent, the chain itself did not break.

“Eliminating red tape and labor shortages among farmers, and combating food fraud and food insecurity will not only ensure Canada’s agri-food sector withstand future challenges, but also support agri-food businesses and an equitable recovery. Added Rossi.

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The recommendations outlined in the recent brief call for change to strengthen the agri-food sector, with a set of recommendations specifically aimed at federal and state policymakers.

The report calls for steps to ensure that demand for local groceries is being met and is shifting to online sales by continuing to invest in relevant programs that help manufacturers transition to e-commerce, reduce red tape and barriers to trade Eliminate provinces.

More information can be found at occ.ca.

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