I found Dr. Charlebois' comments confusing and distorted. On one hand he associates increased fertilizer outputs to increased global agricultural production and then speaks of domestic consumer trust of food integrity. Dr. Charlebois' discussion flows between global production and the need to invest domestically in nutrition and the food chain. There was little discussion about primary domestic agricultural production. It's as if primary domestic agricultural production was of little to no consequence in Canada's food debate.
I fail to see how Dr. Charlebois' suggestion to increase food costs would automatically equate in a secure food supply with a highly expected level of integrity.
While I find that suggest noble, I would suggest Mother Nature and global partners might not be on the same page when it comes down to his suggested business model.
As with every product the consumer buys there are 3 important elements. Production, transportation and communication. If any link in that chain breaks or weakens, it would have an effect to the end user, the consumer.
Does Dr. Charlebois have a comphresive understanding and knowledge of primary agriculture in Canada? Can he produce the last unmitigated audit on agriculture?
Could Dr. Charlebois answer one question that is of prime importance to the domestic consumer before he suggests moving to the next level? If the borders were to close, could Canada supply their domestic needs?
Most people (ask OMAFRA, they will tell you) would answer very quickly....YES... as we are a net exporting country.
But with every product, there are inputs and agriculture is no exception. Where do our agricultural inputs come from? Our seed? Fertilizer? Energy? Pharmaceuticals of animal welfare? Labour? Parts? Tractors? Machinery? Pesticides? Chemicals? etc..
If the borders were to close will Canadian production sustain the population? 25 years ago, we produced 80% of our domestic needs. Today we are importing 80% and only supplying 20% of our domestic needs. Do we have enough farmers with their unique knowledge to sustain our population if borders were to close? Are we self sufficient in primary agricultural production?
The other notable aspect absent was mention of our Sovereign Food Policy. Without that information, in my private opinion, his suggestions do not resonate with confidence. Without an absolute and irrefutable audit of agriculture in Canada, I fail to see true merit in his remarks.
A good old fashioned pandemic with the requisite border closures might change attitudes in a hurry....
I don't think we have enough current processor capacity or infrastructure to feed Ontarians a balanced diet in that unfortunate event.
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