Food and Beverage Canada – Aliments et boissons Canada highlights labour, supply chains, and the grocery code of conduct in Budget 2024 submission

Ottawa, August 10, 2023 – Food and Beverage Canada – Aliments et boissons Canada is pleased to share its submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance’s consultations in advance of Federal Budget 2024.

“Labour shortages remain one of the biggest challenges facing the sector and are likely to worsen in the coming years,” said Kristina Farrell, CEO of Food and Beverage Canada. “Combined with supply chain disruptions, uncertainty around the grocery code of conduct, and increasing pressures to modernize to offset these mounting challenges, Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing industry is seeking a clear signal from the federal government that it is prioritizing Canada’s critical food supply in Budget 2024.”

The past few years have been unprecedented. Critical labour shortages, disruptions in global supply chains, historic price inflation, climate emergencies and natural disasters, transportation and infrastructure disruptions – these events have placed inordinate and destabilizing pressure of Canada’s food and beverage manufacturers. While industry should be looking towards recovery and growth, it is instead contemplating consolidation and contraction.

Our 2024 Federal Budget submission, made on behalf of Canada’s food and beverage manufacturers, identifies federal policy and program measures that are critical to the future of Canada’s food system.

You can read our full submission here.

About Food and Beverage Canada – Aliments et boissons Canada
Food and Beverage Canada – Aliments et boissons Canada is the national industry association representing Canada’s domestic food and beverage manufacturers. Representing more than 1,500 food and beverage manufacturing businesses across the country, its members include Canada’s six provincial and regional food and beverage manufacturing associations as well as leading Canadian food and beverage companies.


RECOMMENDATION 1: The federal government provide funding to support development and implementation of a National Workforce Strategic Plan for Agriculture and Food & Beverage Manufacturing.

RECOMMENDATION 2: The federal government improve access to foreign workers for food manufacturing by making permanent the 30% Temporary Foreign Worker Program CAP increase announced in 2022.

RECOMMENDATION 3: The federal government build on efforts to improve the Temporary Foreign Worker Program by simplifying the application process, increasing transparency for applicants, and identifying measures to address processing delays particularly for applications originating in Quebec.

RECOMMENDATION 4: The federal government speed up efforts to introduce a Trusted Employer Model within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, as announced in Budget 2022.

RECOMMENDATION 5: The federal government establish programs to secure foreign workers for permanent and year-round jobs, including establishing pathways to permanent residency for Temporary Foreign Workers, and by ensuring immigration pathways for workers in critical sectors such as food and beverage manufacturing.

RECOMMENDATION 6: The federal government ensure a consistent and coordinated approach to support supply chain resilience for Canada’s food system, including:

  • Implementing the recommendations of the National Supply Chain Task Force.
  • Investing in on-going monitoring and intelligence gathering related to global and Canadian food supply chains.
  • Investing in measures to buffer Canada’s food system from external shocks and support food supply chain resilience, starting with a critical assessment of key risk factors and vulnerabilities along the food supply chain.
  • Establishing protocols for engaging stakeholders in the event of a serious national or regional food supply chain disruption.
  • Working with sub-national governments to ensure a coherent approach to emergency management, including a single point communication system for industry.

RECOMMENDATION 7: The federal government work with provinces, territories and municipalities to ensure a coordinated approach to affordable housing, public transportation and other infrastructure needed to support a local workforce.

RECOMMENDATION 8: The federal government closely monitor work to build a Grocery Industry Code of Conduct, ensuring transparency and inclusion in its development and ensuring the Code adequately protect Canada’s food and beverage manufacturers. The federal government intervene if needed to ensure participation in the Code is mandatory for retailers and is effective in protecting the interests of Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing sector.

RECOMMENDATION 9: The federal government implement the recommendations of the Competition Bureau’s Retail Grocery Market Study.

RECOMMENDATION 10: The federal government provide incentives for food and beverage manufacturing companies to invest in innovation and boost competitiveness through increased automation and digitization.