Created on 6/18/2019 12:07:57 PM
FCPC is pleased that the government is supporting labelling initiatives to support Canadian food products in Canada and abroad. Canada has some of the safest, highest-quality food in the world and we have a lot to be proud of.
It’s important that thresholds for Product of Canada claims be adapted to provide Canadian consumers with accurate information so that they can make informed decisions and support domestic food producers.
Given that we are unable to grow all ingredients in Canada due to our climate - like oranges, spices and coffee – and Canadian food manufacturers need to be able to adapt to unpredictable supply disruptions and shortages, flexibility is essential. We therefore agree with a threshold of 85% of Canadian content to qualify for a Product of Canada claim. This will allow food manufacturers the needed operational flexibility, support local farmers and also encourage consumers to identify and buy Canadian products.
The current 98% threshold of Canadian content is unworkable, and has resulted in Product of Canada claims not being used even when the vast majority of ingredients was in fact Canadian – this has been a loss for farmers, food manufacturers and consumers.
FCPC is a leader in promoting the transparency of labels and is very pleased to have brought SmartLabel to Canada. This is a user-friendly, digital tool that provides Canadians with a wide variety of additional product information that does not fit on the physical label.
We support the government’s Buy Canadian Promotion campaign, which we believe will help the agri-food industry achieve the government’s ambitious export targets. An important consideration is how our domestic labelling claims align with the requirements for our Canadian exports and with our major international trading partners, and we urge the government to make every effort to facilitate trade.
In order to be successful in promoting Canadian products, the whole government needs to work together - not just Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada but also Health Canada. We remain seriously concerned that the government is moving to define Canadian food products as “unhealthy” in Bill S-228, Child Health Protection Act , which is currently before the Senate. This will send the wrong message to Canadians and the world, undercut the government’s own ambitious export targets and undermine our Canadian farmers and food manufacturers.