canada food waste

Canada is trying to make sure farmers don't have to throw out any more food

Canada's food and agriculture industry has been one of the hardest hit and now the federal government is hoping to ease some of the stress and ensure the supply chain is maintained.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that $252 million will be allocated to farmers and producers around the country that have been affected by the pandemic.

He said that the funding will go to improve worker safety and adjust to the market, plus a credit line improvement for dairy producers.

There will also be $50 million allocated to a surplus food purchase program wherein the government will buy back products that would otherwise be thrown out.

"With hotels and restaurants closed," he continued, "too much of certain types of food, like milk, butter and potatoes, is being produced," he said.

"While some donations have been made to food banks, we don't have the capacity right now to redistribute such large amounts of food and some producers have no choice but to throw out their product."

Trudeau continued: "It's a waste of food and a loss of revenue for the people who worked so hard to produce it. To avoid this, we're launching a surplus food purchase program starting with a $50 million dollar fund."

He said that the government will buy "large quantities of certain products at risk of going waste," such as potatoes and poultry, and redistribute them to organizations addressing food insecurity.

Dairy farmers across Canada and the U.S. reported that they have had to dump gallons of milk after demand dropped due to the widespread closure of many establishments, such as schools and cafes.

The new plan also establishes assistance for pork and beef producers who have had to keep hogs and cattle for longer, "which is expensive," Trudeau said.

The announcement did not specify how the government plans to help vegetable and fruit producers or what measures will be in place to support them during this upcoming growing season.

Lead photo by

Renoir Gaither

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