Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Canadian Federal Election 2011: Conservative Platform: Food Issues

The platform contains two pages (58-59) on Food Issues, mostly around ensuring that Canadian farmers have access to other markets and protection in trade negotiations and disputes.  Somehow I doubt that this is for small or even medium size farms.  I know that there are few family farms extant but I still like to think that there are many smaller concerns that are not part of the larger agri business that are putting out good products. The achievement that the Conservative Party points out is the canola exports to China. 

We can expect a National Farm and Food Strategy sometime "to sustain the Canadian family farm, to strengthen food safety, and to open new markets for the world-class products of Canadian farmers."   I can't decode the double speak in this statement and do not know enough of the players but it may be in response to the fact that during the last parliament there was a major food safety issue around meats, and I guess the continuing use of mad cow as a trade barrier.

Oh, and farmers will have access to fast tracked innovations done elsewhere -- sounds like big companies finding a way of developing one product and having streamlined access to Canadian markets.  There are two more paragraphs about cheese compositional standards and the Wheat Board.  The cheese thing bothers me as it states that cheese compositional standards ensure that real milk is an ingredient in Canadian cheese--are we importing milk and/or milk protein concentrates?  Interesting question.

Nothing excites me about this platform.  Basically, nothing to see here until the promise of a strategy is fulfilled.  Still, nothing to cause me to vote against them.

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