The Canadian Federation of Agriculture determines Food Freedom Day as the day when Canadian households of average income have earned enough to cover their yearly food expenditures
By Jackie Clark
This year Food Freedom Day will fall on February 8; 39 days into 2020. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture determines Food Freedom Day by using average income data and food and beverage expenditure statistics to calculate the day when the average Canadian household will have earned enough income to pay for the year’s grocery bills.
For the past several years Food Freedom Day has fallen just over a week into February, indicating that Canadians, on average, are spending about 10 to 11 per cent of their income on food and beverages.
“For Canadians as a whole this is a good news story,” Peggy Brekveld, vice-president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, told Farms.com.
“Food is still very affordable in this country,” she added.
Canadian producers continue to do the hard work of growing food at a low cost to consumers.
“For farmers it really does reflect that we are efficient users of our resources, and that we continue to find ways to keep prices at a moderate level,” Brekveld said.
Farmers continue to face challenges and “net (farm) income has dropped, and that does not reflect the fact that costs continue to rise … we’ve seen issues with international trade, some markets have been closed or partly closed, challenges in processing and some definite weather challenges last year,” Brekveld explained.
“Seeing prices stay at a very reasonable price for Canadians, we as farmers may feel the pressure,” she said.
Canadian farmers may be asking themselves “are we getting enough for the food that we grow?” Brekveld said.
Food Freedom Day offers the opportunity for consumers in Canada to reflect on how fortunate we are as Canadians to have a safe and generally affordable food supply.
Producers in Canada “provide some of the safest and healthiest food in this world,” Brekveld said.
“Farmers in Canada have risen to the challenge of growing safe, healthy food, and there’s a cost to that. We will continue to do our best to provide that to Canadians at the right price; a price that is appropriate for both citizens that are eating it and for farmers across the country,” she said.
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