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Ag meets Food

Watch: Edible Cotton and GMO Science Improve Agricultural Sustainability

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Too many people see GMOs as anti-environment when they were produced to do the exact opposite. By doing things like reducing spraying or crop losses due to pests or weather, GMO cotton offers significant advantages over Non-GMO forms. Now that scientists have found ways to make the seeds edible by silencing cotton’s natural pesticide production in the seeds only, and now that this technology has been approved by the FDA, the sustainability advantage of GMO cotton will be improved even further.

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Ag meets Food

Canadian Federation of Agriculture Awarded $560,000 for Single Portal Sustainability Sourcing

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Canadian Federation of Agriculture Awarded $560,000 for Single Portal Sustainability Sourcing

Green certifications have become increasingly important in the food industry, as consumers look for confirmation that their food is being produced and processed in an environmentally friendly manner. In Canada, there has been a recent movement of concerned consumers looking for more transparency within the food industry. Organizations like Food Secure Canada advocate for a better food system that improves the connection between health, sustainability and agriculture.

In February 2020, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food stated that the Canadian Federation of Agriculture would invest in a new sustainability initiative. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is the largest farm organization in Canada, representing over 200,000 farms. The organization has played a critical role in advancing environmental sustainability practices within the food industry.

The Canadian Agri-Food Sustainability Initiative (CASI) will work with farmers, manufacturers, food processors and retailers to improve transparency in the Canadian food system. The initiative will promote sustainability through an integrated process that depends on data and collaboration to transform the food industry and improve relations with consumers.

The Canadian Food System

Canada is one of the top five exporters of food in the world. The Canadian agriculture and agri-food system generates over $100 billion in sales annually and employs over 2 million people. The agricultural food system is a significant player in Canada’s economic wealth and stability. However, like other large agricultural exporters — such as the United States — Canada has faced recent scrutiny over their production practices. Many large-scale and industrialized agriculture productions are harmful to the environment and detrimental to human health.

With such a large proportion of Canadian food exported, many domestic consumers distrust the public policies that lack transparency over the industry’s environmental impact and unsafe production practices. With the creation of the Candian Agri-Food Sustainability Initiative, the federal government hopes to facilitate improved sustainability throughout the food industry.

The Canadian Agri-Food Sustainability Initiative

The Canadian Agri-Food Sustainability Initiative includes a federal investment of $560,000. These funds will go toward the creation of an online forum that advances the analytic capabilities of producers and farmers. By creating a new network around sustainability, the project hopes to track the progress of sustainable practices in the Canadian food industry.

The initiative will also help producers and processors work together to certify products with sustainability labels that consumers are looking for. The Canadian Agri-Food Sustainability Initiative will rely on data analytics and real-time analysis of food production and processing to find solutions to unsustainable issues. From a consumer standpoint, it will increase trust in the use of food labels and regulate claims regarding the quality of various products.

Sustainability in the Agri-Food Industry

Canada’s agricultural system relies on the production of corn, potatoes, soybeans and commodity grains like wheat. Western parts of Canada have a higher production of beef, while the Eastern side focuses more on poultry. Unlike other top food exporters, Canada has been steadily growing the organic aspect of their production processes at a rate of 20% per year.

However, the percentage of land utilized for organic farming is meager — around 1.8 percent in 2017. Despite this, organic products still valued around $5.4 billion in both domestic and exported goods.

With such an economic reliance on the agricultural industry, the farm community, consumers and other concerned citizens are working together to ensure they manage Canadian soil more responsibly. According to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, solutions like climate change research, bioeconomic strategy and the continuation of research and innovation within the industry will be key to future success.

Improving the Future of Canadian Agriculture

With this new initiative in place, agriculturists can have more confidence in growing organic products. Consumers, too, will be able to put their trust in the food industry, knowing the food they’re purchasing was grown sustainably.

https://www.todayville.com/what-the-usmca-might-mean-for-agriculture-and-biotechnology/

 

’m Emily Folk, and I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. Growing up I had a love of animals, and after countless marathons of watching Animal Planet documentaries, I developed a passion for ecology and conservation.  You can read more of my work by clicking this link:   Conservation Folks.

 

 

 

 

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Ag meets Food

Thank Goodness for the Farmers and Scientists Who Feed Us All

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On this (Canadian) Thanksgiving Weekend many people will be gathering with families, or friends, or even strangers. And despite all of the world’s ongoing challenges, we do have much to be thankful for. We are still living in the most fortunate of times. Every day enormous steps are taken towards both multiple cures for disease, others improve our daily lives, while others reach for the stars. And while some us will always experience the inevitable ups and downs of life, for the vast majority of the world life has improved remarkably over the last 50 years.

There have never been more people fed each day, and our food has never been safer. All of this is thanks to the hard daily work of both farmers and scientists. Think of it. Nearly eight billion human beings. To put that on a scale where each of us is a single day, that’s enough days for 22 million years. And every single day of every single year of our lives, the vast majority of those days will include three full meals. 24 billion meals per day. There is much to be done, but there is much to be thankful for. So on this Thanksgiving weekend, consider raising a glass and toasting, the remarkable people that allow us to eat, and to enjoy the freedom to do literally everything we both personally and professionally do.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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july, 2020

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