As anyone who plays a lot of games knows, having a plan is essential to success. Whether one is playing a sport, a board game or a video game, having that plan of action greatly increases the chance of winning. This is also true in the business world where having a plan makes a huge difference between success and failure. The agriculture sector is no different. The CFFO has developed what it believes are the essential goals of a food strategy for Ontario.
Last winter, the CFFO Seminar Series focused on the importance of a strategy. It developed a set of goals for the sector to work towards that improve the entire sector and meet the needs of society at large. The result of our consultation with the grassroots is the CFFO’s Goals for an Ontario Food Strategy.
The CFFO strategy focuses on forward thinking initiatives that enhance the productivity and capability of the Ontario agri-food sector. The strategy considers today’s political reality of record deficits, and the fact that real influence can be leveraged if farmers, processors, retailers and consumers have a common set of goals and values related to food. This means that bridge building will be essential to success.
The strategy identifies broad goals for the entire sector, as well as more specific goals related to domestic production and export oriented goals. The most important of these goals is to achieve a food system that is profitable for each segment of the chain. The strategy then focuses on how government can support the initiatives of the farming community as capacity builder and enabler of innovation. And finally the strategy acknowledges that the plan for Ontario must play to one of its key strengths: the wide diversity of production that can take place in this province.
Ontario needs a food strategy to succeed on an ever more competitive North American stage. There need to be clear cut goals for the sector as a whole to work towards and achieve. The CFFO Food Strategy, which can be found on our website under publications, identifies the goals that are important to its members that will move Ontario agriculture forward successfully in the future.
Nathan Stevens is the Research and Policy Advisor for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. It can be heard weekly on CKNX Wingham and CFCO Chatham, Ontario and is archived on the CFFO website: www.christianfarmers.org. The CFFO is supported by 4,300 farm families across Ontario