From Patchwork to Policy Coherence: Principles and Priorities of Canada's National Food Policy

DISCUSSION PAPER, by Food Secure Canada

Food is many things to many people. It is a source of nourishment, an expression of identity and culture, a vital economic sector and a critical contributor to the health of our people, our environment and the stewardship of our natural resources. Food is not simply a commodity but a central aspect of our social, cultural, historical and environmental realities. Unfortunately, our current food system also contains many contradictions and persistent challenges related to production, distribution and consumption that need to be addressed. 

It’s no secret that we need a national food policy. However, it’s also clear that not just any old national food policy will do. We need one that is coherent, democratic, integrated and created to benefit all people. This discussion paper is intended as a starting point in figuring out what this might look like and how we can get there.

Rather than a specific roadmap or set of policy recommendations, the focus is on big ideas, kick-starting important conversations and highlighting crucial areas of consideration. Our hope is that it provides the foundation for fruitful discussions, consensus-building and problem solving in the months and years to come.