Food and Beverage Canada (FBC-ABC) disappointed by Federal Budget 2024

Ottawa, April 17, 2024 – Food and Beverage Canada – Aliments et boissons Canada (FBC-ABC) expresses disappointment with the absence of targeted investment and measures to bolster Canada’s domestic food and beverage manufacturers following the tabling of Federal Budget 2024 this week.

Given the sector’s pivotal role as an essential service during the pandemic, FBC-ABC had anticipated additional support to enhance its resilience. The absence of such provisions in Budget 2024 is a missed opportunity, particularly at a time when ensuring the affordability and accessibility of food for Canadians is paramount.

Just last month, the sector faced a setback with the removal of access to measures under the Workforce Solutions Road Map, measures which companies had relied upon and expected to access until at least August 30, 2024. This decision, coupled with Federal Budget 2024, raises concerns about the recognition of our industry’s significance in the Canadian economy and the resilience of the country’s food supply chain.

“We are not only disappointed by the lack of support our sector has received post-pandemic, but also a discernible trend in announcements that fail to acknowledge the challenges faced by Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing sector,” said Kristina Farrell, CEO of Food and Beverage Canada.

While some of the measures announced are welcome, including allowing businesses to write off the cost of investments in innovation-enabling and productivity enhancing assets, as well as efforts to encourage more people to pursue careers in the skilled trades, FBC-ABC had been hoping to see more initiatives targeted at strengthening the foundational elements: labour, supply chains, and infrastructure necessary to support and stabilize, not only the food and beverage manufacturing sector, but other interconnected industries.

Notably missing from Federal Budget 2024 are announcements on the development of a sector-specific Agricultural Labour Strategy to address chronic labour shortages in farming and food processing, and commitments to expand pathways to Permanent Residence for temporary foreign workers, two items found in the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food’s mandate letter. Federal Budget 2024 also does not include dedicated measures to improve competitiveness in the manufacturing industry, nor to close the gap between Canada and the United States.

Media contact:
Kristina Farrell
CEO, Food and Beverage Canada – Aliments et boissons Canada (FBC-ABC)
Phone: 613-322-9235

For further inquiries or interview requests, please contact Kristina Farrell at the phone number provided.