Federal, Provincial, Territorial Ministers Commit to Food and Beverage Manufacturing Industry Priorities

FPT agricultural meeting recognizes labour challenges and retailer imposed fees as threats to Canada’s food supply.

FBC-ABC, the food and beverage manufacturing industry’s non-profit advocacy association, was pleased to see the industry priorities of workforce development, frontline workers, and a grocery code of conduct recognized by federal, provincial and territorial ministers at the recent FPT Ministers of Agriculture meeting.

FBC-ABC and provincial association members: Food & Beverage Atlantic, CTAQ, Food and Beverage Ontario, Food & Beverage Manitoba, and BC Food & Beverage have been calling on federal and provincial governments to address three issues – the labour crisis impacting Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing sector, the need for a Canadian Grocery Code of Conduct, and the importance of protecting Canada’s front line food workers.

“The industry has immediate workforce challenges related to COVID-19, and a serious long-term forecast of employment gaps. Employee retirement and a lack of both skilled trades and trained individuals will impact food supply. It is incumbent on ministers to ensure key elements of workforce development, including talent attraction and retention, and innovation and automation, are included in the next Agricultural Policy Framework,” said Kathleen Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer, Food and Beverage Canada – Aliments et boissons Canada.

Agriculture and food ministers also responded to industry concerns regarding increased retailer fees and the need for balance in the supplier-retailer relationship. A commitment was made to create a working group and consult with experts and industry to clarify the impact of the announced fees. FBC-ABC will play a lead role in continuing to advance this issue with the FPT working group.

“Canada has a highly concentrated grocery sector, with just five large retailers controlling over 80 percent of Canada’s grocery market. This concentration has allowed retailers to dictate the terms of business and levy arbitrary fees and deductions on their suppliers. These measures have injected inefficiency into Canada’s food system leading to higher consumer prices, reduced food autonomy and declining investments in Canadian food and beverage processing,” said Daniel Vielfaure, Deputy CEO, Bonduelle Group; CEO, Bonduelle Americas; and Co-Chair, FBC-ABC.

To learn more about FBC-ABC’s position on a Canadian Grocery Code of Conduct and workforce development issues download the following information.

Creating Balance in Canada’s Food Supply
A Report on FBC-ABC’s Labour Planning Session