GFM Network News


Officials at the Aug. 13, 2020 rollout of the federal surplus food program included (l-r) Julie Marchand of Food Banks of Quebec, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, Claude Dulude of Nutri Group, Marie-Jose Mastromonaco of Second Harvest, Tania Little of Food Banks Canada and Serge Lefebvre of Nutri Group. (Photo courtesy Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

Feds line up projects for surplus food program

NGOs backed to gather, distribute 12 million kg of food

The federal government has lined up eight projects to source and distribute perishable produce, meat, eggs and seafood piling up across Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the federal pandemic response, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in early May that Ottawa would budget $50 million for a food surplus purchase program. The […] Read more

File photo of 10-pound sacks of potatoes loaded on pallets at a Canadian distribution centre. (PierreDesrosiers/iStock/Getty Images)

Federal surplus food program now taking applications

Qualified NGOs sought to move, distribute perishables to 'populations in need'

A federal program to get food to those who need it, using stockpiles of perishables created by the COVID-19-related shutdown of the dining sector, is now taking applications. The $50 million Surplus Food Rescue Program — which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau telegraphed in a funding announcement May 5 — will take applications from “organizations addressing […] Read more



(Dave Bedard photo)

Canadian farmland trending less affordable in FCC report

Average values continue rising across board

The average value of farmland in Canada is continuing to rise faster than farmers’ ability to generate revenue from it, Farm Credit Canada’s latest Farmland Values Report suggests. The report, released Monday, shows the average value of Canadian farmland rose 5.2 per cent in 2019 over 2018, the smallest year-over-year increase since 2010, and down […] Read more


Farmer Anil Salunkhe feeds strawberries to a cow during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the Satara district in India’s Maharashtra state on April 1, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Rajendra Jadhav)

How COVID-19 is upending global food supply chains

Cows fed strawberries in India, watermelons rot in U.S., okra not reaching Canada

Satara/Singapore/London | Reuters — In the fertile Satara district in western India, farmers are putting their cattle on an unorthodox diet: Some feed iceberg lettuce to buffalo. Others feed strawberries to cows. It’s not a treat. They can either feed their crops to animals or let them spoil. And other farmers are doing just that […] Read more

The Hiram Walker distillery at Windsor, Ont. (CNW Group/Corby Spirit and Wine Communications)

Distilleries make sanitizers to meet pandemic demand

COVID-19 sparks demand for hygiene products

Toronto | Reuters — Some Canadian distilleries and breweries have started producing hand sanitizers alongside alcoholic drinks as the rapid spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus stokes demand for hygiene products. The move comes after Health Canada this week relaxed rules on the sale of hand sanitizers, disinfectants and protective equipment on a temporary basis to […] Read more


Tighter regulations take effect for B.C. farmland reserve

Tighter regulations take effect for B.C. farmland reserve

Local governments' expanded role to take effect this fall

New regulations governing how — or if — changes can be made to land’s status within British Columbia’s Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) are now in force, but local governments get more prep time for their expanded role. The province on Thursday announced amendments to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) Act — having received royal assent […] Read more

Wheat leaf rust. (James Kolmer photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Digital supercluster backs precision fungicide development

Project aims at wheat leaf rust, reducing pesticide load

A West Coast ag tech company in the crop pest control business is setting its sights on wheat leaf rust, with support from one of Canada’s five research superclusters — but not the cluster you might expect. Out of the five federally-supported superclusters launched in early 2018, Protein Industries Canada has been most closely linked […] Read more


(Jeremy Woodhouse/DigitalVision/Getty Images Plus)

CFIA rethinking limits on travellers’ personal food imports

Consultation running until March

The federal government is considering changes to the amounts of food travellers can bring into Canada with them from other countries for their personal use. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency on Thursday announced public online consultations on the proposed new limits, which CFIA said would “better reflect the volume of foods typically moved by travellers […] Read more

Neil Ellis, shown here speaking in Belleville, Ont. in December 2018, is the new parliamentary secretary to Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. (NEllis.liberal.ca)

Central Ontario MP named parliamentary ag secretary

A former Belleville, Ont. mayor will now play a backup role to the federal agriculture minister in the House of Commons. Neil Ellis, the Liberal MP for the Bay of Quinte constituency in central Ontario since 2015, was named Thursday as parliamentary secretary for the minister of agriculture and agri-food, Marie-Claude Bibeau. Ellis was a […] Read more