Consumer Issues
August 16, 2017, Alberta - Public trust is eroding in Canada, and farmers — along with others in the value chain — need to fight back, says the head of a new ag organization aimed at winning back confused consumers.

“The whole industry needs to know a whole bunch more about consumers,” said Kim McConnell, an Okotoks-based marketing expert and new chair of the The Centre for Food Integrity. “That’s what the primary focus of The Centre for Food Integrity is.”

The centre, based in Guelph, Ont., is holding its first “public trust summit” in Calgary from Sept. 18-20. The conference is designed to show members of the agricultural industry how to earn the trust of consumers. READ MORE
July 19, Listowel, Ont. – This year’s second Breakfast on the Farm event will be hosted by the Johnston Family of Listowel. The event will be the eighth Breakfast on the Farm organized by Farm & Food Care Ontario since 2013.

To date, approximately 15,000 people have been fed, entertained and engaged at the events. Organizers are expecting between 1,500 and 2,000 people to attend.

Breakfast on the Farm provides a unique opportunity for farmers and non‐farming Ontarians to have a conversation about food and farming. It gives visitors the chance to visit a real, working farm, provides a showcase for agriculture and gives non-farmers the opportunity to have their questions answered by real farmers.

The event will take place at Maplevue farm – a family business owned by brothers Doug and Dave Johnston. Along with their seven children, the brothers’ family has been farming on the same land for 125 years, and currently have 60 cows and 1,500 acres of crops.

Technology is Doug and Dave’s main focus, and they regularly learn about and incorporate new ideas into the farm.

“Modern agriculture has a lot to show people,” says Doug. “These kinds of events are important. We encourage everybody to come out and see family farming at its best.”

After being treated to an all-Ontario breakfast featuring eggs, pancakes, fruit, sausage and more, visitors will be able to tour the farm. Interactive stops around the farm will include many displays, activities and exhibits that showcase other types of farms in Ontario.

There will also be more than 100 Ontario farmers on hand to answer guests’ questions about food and farming.

This event will run from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm, with breakfast being served until 11:30 a.m. Farm tours wrap up by 1:00 p.m. The event is free, though preregistration is required. The first 2,000 visitors are guaranteed breakfast.

Farm & Food Care Ontario is again looking for those willing to share their time and passion for local food. Approximately 120 volunteers are needed on the day of the event.

The event is supported by many national, provincial and regional farm organizations and agri-businesses. Breakfast tickets can be obtained by visiting www.FarmFoodCareON.org.

Event Details: Date: September 16, 2017; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost: FREE; Complimentary breakfast tickets must be reserved online at www.FarmFoodCareON.org.
Location: 7761 Road 147, Listowel, ON Parking: Available at the farm.
Other notes: The farm is wheelchair accessible.
Pets (excluding service dogs) are not allowed on the farm.
July 5, 2017, Shedden, Ont. - Farm & Food Care Ontario's latest Breakfast on the Farm event, held at Donkers' Family Farm in Shedden on June 24, was another enormous success.

With 200 volunteers, 40 sponsors, 35 exhibitors and 2,500 farm visitors, it was by far the largest event to date.

Overall, 180 kilograms of buttermilk pancake mix, 5,800 slices of bacon, 1,512 cartons of milk, 200 litres of apple cider, 9,120 eggs and 24 litres of maple syrup were consumed. Leftover foodstuffs were donated to the St. Thomas-Elgin Food Bank.
June 27, Chilliwack, B.C. - The recent news reports of chicken catchers caught on video abusing birds at a Chilliwack broiler farm prompted disgust across the country and within the agriculture industry.

The Chicken Farmers of Canada called the Mercy for Animals undercover footage “shocking and reprehensible,” and the company at the centre of the allegations said they were “sickened” by the images.

But what about the good things that go on at farms across the Fraser Valley?

One local farmer put out a request for the media to report on the positive side of his business. Ron Neels runs Corona Farms in Rosedale, and he sent photos of his two-year-old son Scott happily hanging out with about 17,000 content-looking broiler chickens in his barn. READ MORE
June 14, 2017, Montague, P.E.I. - The Government of Canada is working with industry to help raise awareness, understanding and appreciation of agriculture among young Canadians. The agriculture and food sector is one of Canada's key growth industries and the opportunities for youth are endless.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, recently announced a one-year investment of up to $567,786 for Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC-C) to develop and deliver educational resources about the agriculture and agri-food sector to primary and secondary students across the country, and to promote career opportunities in the sector.

This federal investment is funded through Growing Forward 2's AgriCompetitiveness Program, under the Fostering Business Development stream, which supports activities that nurture entrepreneurial capacity in the agriculture sector through the development of young and established farmers, farm safety, skills, and leadership.
June 8, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - Canadian dairy, poultry and egg farmers teamed up to celebrate Canadian food with a unique public event on Sparks Street in downtown Ottawa on June 1.

Breakfast and lunch sandwiches made with fresh, local ingredients from supply-managed farms were served to Members of Parliament, Senators, Hill staffers and the public.

Farmers representing Egg Farmers of Canada, Chicken Farmers of Canada, Turkey Farmers of Canada, Canadian Hatching Egg Producers and Dairy Farmers of Canada were on-hand to share how the stability provided by supply management allows them to deliver a stable supply of superior food products as well as answering questions about farming.

"The celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary is a unique opportunity to remember how the system of supply management has helped farmers produce food of the highest quality for generations," said Roger Pelissero, Chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada.

"The Downtown Diner is one of the many ways we can highlight the high standards we have in place on Canadian farms, and provide an opportunity to meet the very people who are dedicated to producing high-quality and wholesome food in Canada, for Canadians," adds Pelissero.

More than 2,500 breakfast and lunch items were served between 7:30 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. This is the third time the event was hosted in downtown Ottawa.
May 19, 2017, Guelph, Ont. - Thought leaders from the farming and food industry will gather in Calgary September 18-20 at the second annual Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI) Public Trust Summit.

Transparency in our food system is no longer optional; so farmers and ranchers through to the largest food companies need to know more on how to effectively earn public trust in our food and how it’s grown.

“The CCFI Public Trust Summit is not ‘just another meeting.’ It’s an experience for you to come and learn from the entire food system,plus help shape the path forward for earning trust in Canadian food and farming,” says Crystal Mackay, Canadian Centre for Food Integrity.

This year’s theme “Tackling Transparency — the Truth About Trust” kicks off with a full day of Experience Alberta farm and food tours on September 18th, capped off by an evening celebrating the “Science of the Six-Pack.”
Brew masters will be on-hand to walkthrough how local barley, hops, yeast, and water combine to make pints of beer.

The second day’s highlights include:
  • Release of the 2017 CCFI public trust in food and farming consumer research
  • World class speakers with a variety of perspectives and insights on transparency and trust
  • A lively consumer panel of millennials sharing exactly what they think about food and farming
The conference wraps up with a “Connecting with Canadians” working breakfast on September 20, where attendees will learn more about what they can do and idea swap on what’s happening in Canada to engage with consumers.

The inaugural CCFI Public Trust Summit, held last June in Ottawa, sold out with an incredibly diverse representation from food companies, retail and food service, government, academia, farmers and food influencers, like bloggers and dietitians.

For more information, visit: www.foodintegrity.ca
Transparency, sustainability and traceability have become basic consumer expectations, making them essential to food production, says John Scott, former president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG).
May 4, 2017, Milton, Ont. - Farm & Food Care Ontario, Ontario Pork, Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario released a joint statement today in response to the dismissal of charges announced by Justice David Harris on Anita Krajnc's charge for criminal mischief related to interfering with farm animals while in transit.

The Ontario farm organizations are extremely disappointed with the decision and are concerned that activists will be encouraged to engage in escalating activities that are a growing threat to animal welfare, food security and human safety.

Bruce Kelly, Farm & Food Care Ontario said that "Ontario farmers work hard to ensure high standards of animal welfare and a safe and healthy food supply for Canadians. Actions by Krajnc and activists like her should not be condoned by the courts as they threaten acceptable and legal farming practices and are a threat to food safety."

Eric Schwindt, board chair for Ontario Pork added, "This is frustrating for Ontario pork producers, who adhere to federal regulations and high standards of animal care, and are constantly evolving to further enhance their commitment to healthy animals and communities. Our concern in this instance was specific to the safety of food and people."

Furthermore, Pat Jilesen, Director, Ontario Federation of Agriculture said, "The livestock industry abides by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's Health of Animals transport regulations. This ensures the well-being of all livestock during movement and transport. Interfering with animals during transport is simply unsafe for the animals and the people involved."

Clarence Nywening, President of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, concluded, "This is a huge disappointment to Ontario farmers who are committed to keeping animals healthy and safe throughout their lives. Actions like this by activists are putting pigs, families, communities and livelihoods at risk."

Farm & Food Care Ontario, Ontario Pork, Ontario Federation of Agriculture and Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario share a mandate to support agriculture and Ontario farmers. The four groups will meet to discuss next steps related to this issue.
No matter what size of farm or type of production, today’s farmers and ranchers are dedicated to producing safe, abundant food in a way that preserves and improves the land most of them hope to pass on to their children.
An oft-repeated call to action – and one frequently taken up here in the pages of Canadian Poultry – urges agriculture professionals to seize opportunities to educate the consumers who expect farmers to keep their kitchens stocked with safe, plentiful and affordable food. However, it turns out educating the average Canadian on the hows and whys of farming may be even more difficult than many of us appreciate.
April 4, 2017, Regina, Sask – Canadians are invited to once again celebrate their love, pride and passion for agriculture and food on February 13, 2018, following Canada’s first Agriculture Day last February.

“We feel it’s important to talk about farming and food production throughout the year, but we also recognize the value of having a day dedicated to coming together as an industry so our voices are unified,” said Candace Hill, manager of Agriculture More Than Ever, in announcing the date of next year’s celebration on behalf of industry representatives. “This year’s Canada’s Agriculture Day was so successful that we see an opportunity to build on our momentum for an even bigger celebration in 2018.”

“Posts celebrating Canada’s Agriculture Day were among the top five topics trending in Canada on Twitter for most of the day, while many more people engaged through a variety of events, from small community gatherings to large forums,” Hill said.

“We were thrilled by the level of participation and engagement by producers and partners of Canadian agriculture, as well as consumers – many of whom have never set foot on a farm, but want to know more about how food is produced in Canada,” she said. “Canada’s Agriculture Day is an opportunity to celebrate and be a part of the conversation about food and farming.”

Hill said the day was marked by hundreds of events and the participation of almost 500 partner groups, including industry associations, community groups, individuals and the media. Many have already expressed an interest in participating in next year’s celebration.

Agriculture More Than Ever is an industry-led initiative that has more than 480 partner organizations and 3,500 individuals committed to creating positive perceptions of agriculture. Launched almost five years ago, Agriculture More Than Ever’s goal is to encourage and support those involved in agriculture to speak up and speak positively about the industry.

To learn more about Agriculture More Than Ever, go to AgMoreThanEver.ca, or follow the conversation on Twitter @AgMoreThanEver.



March 24, 2017, Ottawa, Ont – Chicken Farmers of Canada are fighting back against the “inaccurate and irresponsible portrayal of Canadian chicken production that is being used to target retail and foodservice companies.”

According to the industry organization, Mercy for Animals, a U.S.-based activist organization, has been using sensationalized video footage and accusations implying that this is representative of Canadian chicken farms. Other groups have also been using questionable information to fuel their campaigns and push an agenda to eliminate animal agriculture and shutter Canadian farms, CFC officials added.

“These tactics are shameful, inaccurate, deliberately misleading, and undermine the hard work and animal welfare standards of local Canadian farmers throughout the country,” the organization stated in a recent press release.

"We believe that this video footage isn't from a Canadian chicken farm and appears to be recycled from previous propaganda campaigns that have taken place in other countries," said Benoît Fontaine, chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada, adding 90 per cent of the country’s poultry operations are family owned and audited for animal welfare standards.

"Canadian chicken farms are run by hardworking men and women who take to heart their responsibility to uphold animal health and welfare on their farm and share Canadian values. They are proud ambassadors in promoting and defending their good management practices, and believe that there is no defense for the mistreatment of birds."

The Chicken Farmers of Canada’s press release describes the organization’s mandatory Animal Care Program, which is administered across all 2,800 chicken farms in Canada.

The program recently completed an inaugural comprehensive third-party audit. NSF International's report concluded: "The national Animal Care Program has been implemented effectively and maintained on an on-going basis. Animal care measures have been consistently applied."

NSF is an internationally recognized, third-party certification body, accredited by the American National Standards Institute to ISO 17065.

“Animal rights groups claim that mistreatment of animals has no place in society today,” the press release stated. “We agree.”

“Farmers in Canada have a responsibility to the birds they raise, to the industry, to their fellow farmers, and to all consumers for upholding high principles of animal health and welfare on the farm.”
Unless you’ve had your head in the sand for the last 30 years, you know producers of food now have to pay a lot more attention to what the end consumer wants than perhaps they did in the past. The fact that it may cost more to produce a commodity if the animal is housed differently is of little concern to Joe Shopper. What he or she wants to do is make a “feel-good” purchase.
Jan. 16, 2016 – Canadians looking for the real story about their food can get it directly from the source online with virtual visits to farms and processing plants. Farm & Food Care is proud to present its latest national outreach initiative – FarmFood360°.
 
Using 360 cameras and virtual reality technology, the new FarmFood360° website gives Canadians the chance to tour real, working farms and food processing plants, all without putting on boots. It’s the latest version of the highly successful Virtual Farm Tours initiative, which was first launched in 2007.
 
“Canadians want to know more about their food, but they are also increasingly removed from its production,” says Ian McKillop, chair of Farm & Food Care Canada. “Changing technology also means they are looking for and finding information in different ways.
 
“FarmFood360° keeps pace with both these factors; it uses modern technology to immerse them right in the process, and address their questions in the most compelling way possible.”
 
Farm & Food Care partnered with Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. and Dairy Farmers of Canada to add three new tours to the FarmFood360°  website – a dairy farm with a Voluntary Milking System, as well as two individual milk and cheese processing facilities. Visitors can access these tours on tablets and desktop computers, as well as through mobile phones and VR (Virtual Reality) viewers. Interviews with the farmers and plant employees involved in each business have also been added.
 
Both dairy processing facility tours were created in partnership with Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. Steve Dolson, chair of Gay Lea Foods, says “Farm & Food Care has created an accessible and practical way for us to open the doors to two of our processing facilities – locations that are usually restricted to ensure food safety and quality.”
 
“Gay Lea Foods is pleased to provide this unique opportunity for Canadians to see how milk from family farms is transformed into the milk, cream and cheese they know and love.”
 
Michael Barrett, president and CEO of Gay Lea Foods, added “we are tremendously proud of our employees and happy to highlight the passion, care and dedication that goes into the wholesome products our company is known for.”
 
As an original partner in the first Virtual Farm Tours project, Dairy Farmers of Canada again worked with Farm & Food Care to film a dairy farm using Voluntary Milking System in Prince Edward Island. These tours compliment the two dairy farm tours already on the site – featuring farms that use both free stall and tie stall milking technologies.
 
“Using new technology to bring farm life to Canadians is both exciting and a critical part of food production,” says Wally Smith, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada. “This modern platform is a great way of doing just that. These immersive tours open barn doors to show the passion and care our farmers put into the food they produce.”
 
This national initiative is being launched with a newly rebranded and interactive website, www.FarmFood360.ca. The site features all 23 farms originally featured on the Virtual Farm Tour platform plus the three new virtual reality tours. Additional tours will be added later in 2017.
Page 1 of 6

Subscription Centre

 
New Subscription
 
Already a Subscriber
 
Customer Service
 
View Digital Magazine Renew

Most Popular

Latest Events

PIC’s fundraiser golf tournament
Wed Sep 06, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
The West Niagara Fair and Poultry Show
Thu Sep 07, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show
Tue Sep 12, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Farm & Food Care Ontario's Breakfast on the Farm
Sat Sep 16, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
100th International Plowing Match and Rural Expo
Tue Sep 19, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM