The Food Policy committee met on August 17, 2021 during the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) semi-annual meeting. With the CCA’s semi-annual meeting taking place during the federal election, the Food Policy Committee was unable to have the Government of Canada Officials from AAFC come to speak to their current priorities around Food Policy. However, CCA staff Jennifer Babcock was able to give a brief update on current issues such as the front of package labeling on ground beef, which has had limited progression since the beginning of COVID-19 in March of 2020. With that being said, CCA is still working to ensure that ground beef is exempt from this front package warning label to ensure that it does not persuade from buying a healthy, nutritious product.
Canada Beef was also present during the meeting and gave a quick update on some of the initiatives that they are running around generic beef. Their current campaign focuses on the nutritional benefits of beef, and they are working through various partnerships, social media, and traditional media convey their message.
Following the Canada Beef update, the Public and Stakeholder Engagement (PSE) team gave their update on the current files that they are working on. After the positive reception of Guardians of the Grasslands, the PSE team has now turned their attention towards the impact of feedlots and how they play an important environmental role by addressing the food loss/waste issue. The PSE team is also working hard to get quality data from third-party resources on the way the general public views the cattle industry to help them shape future campaigns.
Finally, CCA staff gave a quick update on what the organization has been working on since March 2021. The first food policy committee fly-in was focused on building relationships with CFIA, Health Canada, and AAFC, as there are multiple issues to be worked on with each organization. As noted earlier, the front-of-pack labeling is still a priority issue for CCA, and the decision should come post-election, and it might differ depending on the result of the election. Lastly, CFIA released a “What we Heard” document on the Simulated Meat Guideline consultation conducted last fall. Some concerns arose out of the document as the consultation respondents were skewed towards consumers that only eat plant-based proteins. CCA’s Food Policy Committee continues to work will all industry partners to monitor and respond to any food policy issues as they arise.
- Evan Chaffe, YCC Ontario Delegate