In February 2011 the Canadian Agri-food Policy Institute produced a though provoking report reviewing the current state of agriculture. The authors came to the conclusion:
“Canada is not realizing the full potential of a major strategic asset – the country’s agri-food sector. The consequences of falling profitability, lost opportunity, and declining relevance are impairing the nation’s agri-food industry. Current policies and practices across the sector, and fear of changing the status quo, are holding Canada back. This is in vivid contrast to what Canada needs to achieve in order to provide the higher quality and volume of product demanded by a growing world population and increasingly aware consumers both in Canada and abroad.
The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI) and many of its partners see a massive opportunity for the country’s agri-food industry to maximize its natural advantages of climate, geography and skills. There have been some successes. But success needs to be pervasive. Canada can be the world’s leading producer of nutritious and safe foods produced in a sustainable, profitable manner. This would pack a competitive punch that few other countries in the world can match.
Canada needs a compelling food plan that is systems-based, not value chain-based. Canada’s agri-food sector must have the most successful good food systems on the planet to deliver on our potential over the next 15-20 years. A more united approach is essential. Industry and government can seek and reach a new long term destination backed by appropriate short-term goals and milestones. We have the potential to change our approach and make a profound contribution to a changing food world. This is the dialogue we need to have.
Canada must have the most most successful good food systems in order to achieve “75 by 25” by 2025
Exports: Double Canada’s dollar value of agri-food exports to $75 billion (up from $38.8 billion).
Domestic consumption: Produce and supply 75% of our own food (up from 68%).
Bio-materials/fuels: Generate revenue and efficiency by relying on biomaterials and biofuels in 75% of the agri-food sector.
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