On June 18, MP Anne Minh-Thu Quach tabled a Private Members’ Bill, ‘An Act to Promote Local Products’.
The CFA welcomes the Act as an important tool in promoting the Canadian brand in domestic markets and supporting the Canadian economy and its farmers. The Bill calls for several actions, including:
• development and implementation of a pan-Canadian local foods strategy by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food in consultation with provincial counterparts
• a definition of what constitutes a local food for the purposes of the strategy
• the creation of a forum for sharing information on best practices for the procurement of local foods and on the results of initiatives implemented by the provinces and territories
• measures to raise public awareness of the importance of purchasing local foods
• coordination of the efforts made by producers and distributors to encourage local purchasing
The CFA looks forward to seeing this Act move forward in Parliament. We congratulate Ms. Quach on her efforts and the collaborative approach taken with stakeholders throughout this process.
The objectives for this Act are well aligned with several of the objectives laid out in the CFA-led, industry-developed National Food Strategy®; specifically – to strengthen economies across Canada, promote Canadian products and support the Canadian food system. The NFS encourages the promotion of domestic and export sales of agricultural products produced in Canada. The implementation of the Act will go a long way in promoting the Canadian brand in domestic markets, benefitting Canada and its communities.
For this reason, the CFA fully supports this Act, and encourages its speedy adoption.
Here is the act —
1st Session, 41st Parliament,
60-61-62 Elizabeth II, 2011-2012-2013
House of Commons of Canada
BILL C-539 – An Act to promote local foods
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
1. This Act may be cited as the Promotion of Local Foods Act.
PAN-CANADIAN LOCAL FOODS STRATEGY
2. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food must, in consultation with his or her provincial counterparts, develop and implement a pan-Canadian local foods strategy that provides for, among other things,
(a) a definition of what constitutes a local food for the purposes of the strategy;
(b) the creation of a forum for sharing information on best practices for the procurement of local foods and on the results of initiatives implemented by the provinces and territories;
(c) measures to raise public awareness of the importance of purchasing local foods; and
(d) coordination of the efforts made by producers and distributors to encourage local purchasing.
3. (1) The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food must, at the end of each fiscal year, prepare a progress report on the pan-Canadian local foods strategy and post it on the web site of his or her Department without delay.
(2) As soon as possible after the strategy is established, the Minister must post it on the web site of his or her Department.
4. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food must table a copy of the report referred to in subsection 3(1) in each House of Parliament on any of the first 90 days on which that House is sitting after the report is posted on the web site of his or her Department.
LOCAL FOODS PROCUREMENT POLICY
5. (1) The following definitions apply in this section.
“food” « aliment »
“food” has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Food and Drugs Act.
“government institution” « institution fédérale »
“government institution” means
(a) any department or ministry of state of the Government of Canada, or any body or office, listed in Schedule I to the Access to Information Act; and
(b) any parent Crown corporation, and any wholly owned subsidiary of such a corporation, within the meaning of section 83 of the Financial Administration Act.
(2) The Minister of Public Works and Government Services must develop a local foods procurement policy for government institutions and must implement that policy no later than one year after this Act comes into force.
Inconsistency with strategy
(3) In the event of an inconsistency or conflict between the pan-Canadian local foods strategy and the procurement policy developed pursuant to subsection (2), the pan-Canadian strategy prevails to the extent of the inconsistency or conflict.
6. Within three months after the coming into force of this Act, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food must convene a conference of provincial and territorial ministers responsible for agriculture in order to establish a pan-Canadian local foods strategy.
Published under authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons
Here is the problem. If the definition of “local food proposed by the CFIA is adopted, this act becomes worthless to the small scale farming community, as the meaning of “local” is then meaningless. Our interests are not served by this bill should the CFIA definition of “Local Food” prevail.
“The CFIA is adopting an interim policy which recognizes “local” as: food produced in the province or territory in which it is sold, or food sold across provincial borders within 50 km of the originating province or territory
Date modified:2013-05-10 “.
District A Farmers Institutes