Cracking down on COVID-19 profiteers

While artificially inflated retail food prices are possible in Canada at any time, it’s highly unusual – even now

Cracking down on COVID-19 profiteersEven if they really haven’t had good reason, many Canadians have felt food insecure lately. Access to food has been a concern. Affordability is certainly a close second. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, consumers have occasionally taken to social media to report inflated prices by retailers. Even though the accusations were warranted in…

No food shortage yet, but …

We’re entering a crucial period in the pandemic. So far, governments have kept trade borders open. Cooler heads must prevail

No food shortage yet, but …Access to food during the COVID-19 crisis has been a source of anxiety everywhere in the West. But the worst of the pandemic is yet to come, which means that anything can still happen. Panic buying by people in confinement has already demonstrated the fragility of supply chains, as supermarket shelves were emptying in many…

COVID-19 teaching hard lessons about supply chains

The B.C. government is taking over control of supply chains for delivering essential goods and services in the province. We should all be concerned

COVID-19 teaching hard lessons about supply chainsCanadians have likely never heard more about supply chains than during the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussions about logistics and how food gets to restaurants, grocery stores and kitchens abound. Canadians aren’t just genuinely interested in supply chains, they’re also commending the people involved in making our food systems work, from farm to fork. That’s outstanding. But…

COVID-19 will change how we buy food, forever

Convenience now has a different meaning. It’s less about saving time and more about survival and safety

COVID-19 will change how we buy food, foreverCOVID-19 will redefine grocery shopping and food service. Convenience now has a different meaning. It’s less about saving time and more about survival and safety. Before the crisis, barely anyone ordered online and many Canadians wondered why someone would ever order food in that fashion. But many things are changing – rapidly. The in-store shopping…

With COVID-19, home cooking may get its mojo back

Strange days are upon us. But something positive can come from this: Canadians will spend more time in their kitchens

With COVID-19, home cooking may get its mojo backThese are unprecedented times for all of us. And frankly, we’re all trying to figure out how to deal with our new lives, even if we know it will only last for a while. These strange days mean normalcy is not an option, for the safety of us all. Public health officials and political leaders…

Will a pandemic and an oil price war bring cheaper food?

The global economy is being hammered. The good news is consumers may see cheaper food prices but there’s a big, dark cloud on the horizon

Will a pandemic and an oil price war bring cheaper food?Most analysts agree that the oil price war is only beginning. Abundant cheap oil will impact the entire agri-food market, from farm gate to plate. And the coronavirus pandemic is compounding what’s already a fragile global economy. The pandemic and the oil price war caused a massive sell-off in equity and crude oil markets this…

What’s in a name? Plenty, if it’s a disease

To suggest the disease naming process of an international agency may have affected sales of a beer carrying a similar name tells us something about our risk-averse society

What’s in a name? Plenty, if it’s a diseaseA survey this week suggested that 38 per cent of Americans aren’t drinking Corona beer due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, formerly known as the coronavirus. There’s obviously no link between the beer and the virus, but the survey suggests a mental association between the product and the disease may be too much to bear…

Tim Hortons adds to its disastrous marketing decisions

Tim Hortons desperately needs to make its Roll Up The Rim campaign work. But the chain may have again missed the mark

Tim Hortons adds to its disastrous marketing decisionsAfter a disastrous campaign last year, Tim Hortons finally got the message and opted to change its 35-year-old Roll Up The Rim campaign. But its new approach is not that simple. The iconic contest is now much shorter and incredibly more complicated. Given its last quarter financial results showed same-store-sales dropping by more than four…

Canada’s dairy sector faces uncertain future

The dairy industry is slowly being trampled by a wave of consumers who see it as one of many options, for a variety of reasons

Canada’s dairy sector faces uncertain futureThere’s been a lot of talk recently about meat alternatives but dairy alternatives are also becoming more popular. And when it comes to dairy in Canada, given our quotas and high tariffs, the stakes are significantly higher. Dairy alternatives can be seen everywhere from grocery stores to coffee shops. These products are no longer confined…

Coronavirus exposes China’s failure as a socio-economic player

With more economic clout comes more responsibility. And China is failing

Coronavirus exposes China’s failure as a socio-economic playerWhen SARS hit in 2003, China was nowhere near the economic powerhouse it is today. Now, if something happens to China, the entire world is affected and the food sector is not immune. The coronavirus outbreak is proving that. Even though the outbreak is starting to slow, the economic damage will easily surpass that of…

Consumer trust in agriculture is waning

Organized, well-funded groups condemning farming practices on social media are winning the consumer trust battle

Consumer trust in agriculture is waningThe public uses social media every day to express concerns about farming practices. And it’s getting worse. Farmers are criticized for a variety of reasons – for example their environmental stewardship and their ethical behaviour in how they treat livestock. In survey after survey, Canadians generally say they trust farmers, regardless of headlines, social media…

Gene edited foods could be our next risk communication fiasco

Gene-edited crops can help produce safe and affordable food and energy. But proponents need to make a legitimate case to consumers

Gene edited foods could be our next risk communication fiascoWill Canadian consumers want to eat gene-edited food? There's a lot of excitement in agriculture about the introduction of gene-edited food products into the Canadian food system over the next few years. But there’s also a great deal of apprehension. Gene editing is about tweaking a plant’s genome by turning off certain genetic traits. By…

Can Starbucks save the planet?

Starbucks is going dairy free, among other measures, to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2030. It’s a bold move and accountability will be key

Can Starbucks save the planet?Starbucks’ plan to reduce its carbon emissions is undoubtedly ambitious. It wants to halve its food waste, water use and gas emissions by 2030. Their commitment to becoming a better environmental steward has wide-ranging implications across the food industry. Other chains have made similar announcements. McDonald’s aims to cut emissions by 36 per cent from…

Feds’ Buy Canadian food campaign could be a disaster

The feds want to spend $25 million to get you to buy Canadian. This is a great idea that could easily turn into a marketing disaster

Feds’ Buy Canadian food campaign could be a disasterAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada is going into marketing. It wants you to buy Canadian. The federal government intends to spend $25 million over five years starting this summer to promote Canadian food products and instill pride in what our country can bring to our tables. This is a great idea. But promoting Canadian products may…
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