Food and Beverage Canada welcomes recommendations of the House of Commons Committee on Finance in advance of Federal Budget 2024

Ottawa, February 27, 2024 – Food and Beverage Canada (FBC-ABC) welcomes the recommendations of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance to the Minister of Finance, in advance of Federal Budget 2024, tabled yesterday in Parliament.

In their report entitled “Shaping our Economic Future: Canadian Priorities”, the members of the House Finance Committee echoed several of the recommendations included in FBC-ABC’s August submission, including:

  • Provide incentives for food and beverage manufacturing companies to invest in innovation and boost competitiveness through increased automation and digitization.
  • Ensure a consistent and coordinated approach to support supply chain resilience for Canada’s food system, including by: 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; and working with sub-national governments to ensure a coherent approach to emergency management, including a single point communication system for industry.
  • 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.
  • Provide funding to support development and implementation of a national workforce strategic plan – as well as a secretariat that would support this plan – for agriculture and food and beverage manufacturing.

Other recommendations that were included, which FBC-ABC lends its support to, include:

  • Create industry councils to bring together all levels of government, business, and labour and convene every two years.
  • Support capital investment in agricultural processing to help Canada meet global food demand, while promoting value‐added economic activity in commodities bound for export.
  • Reduce dependency on food imports by investing in intra-provincial and interprovincial food transportation, warehousing and cold storage infrastructure to decrease food waste, transportation costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Ease the regulatory burden facing Canadian businesses, and work with industry and our international trading partners to ensure regulatory efficiency and alignment.
  • Develop strategic, skills‐based immigration programs aligned with labour needs, including those of the manufacturing sector.
  • Speed up and expand clean technology incentives to help manufacturers adapt to and advance Canada’s climate change plans.

FBC-ABC thanks the members of the Committee for their work, and encourages interested parties to read our updated submission in advance of the 2024 federal budget.