Canadian consumers are only one step removed from the people who produce most of the food that lands on their dinner tables, according to Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) director of industry and stakeholder relations.
"Many consumers would be surprised to learn that the safest and highest-quality food is grown only a few kilometres from the city where they live, or processed and distributed in a plant that employs their friends and neighbours," said Marty Seymour, who also oversees Canada’s Agriculture Day on behalf of FCC.
In 2018, Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing sector – which includes activities, such as meat and dairy processing, grain and oilseed milling, and fruit and vegetable preserving – produced goods valued at more than $117 billion, accounting for almost two per cent of the national gross domestic product (GDP) and roughly 250,000 jobs nation-wide, many in rural and agricultural areas.
The sector has been growing at an average of three per cent over the past five years, a full one per cent stronger than Canada’s overall manufacturing sector (average 1.9 per cent) over the same period.
“Whether you are growing, processing or distributing food, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of the consumer,” said Brian Faulkner, vice-president business development for BC Fresh, a Delta-based company that markets and distributes vegetables grown on more than 50 family farms in B.C.’s lower mainland. “The more informed they are about how food is grown and processed, the better. At the same time, consumers provide us with valuable insights on how food preferences are changing, so our growers can better meet their needs. It’s very much a close, two-way relationship.”
Source: Farm Credit Canada February 4, 2020 news release