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Canadian Food Observatory

In March 2014, the Centre for Food in Canada (CFIC) launched the Canadian Food Strategy as a shared vision for the future of food in Canada. The Strategy is a comprehensive, action-oriented framework. It sets out a coordinated long-term strategy to guide and stimulate change in Canada’s food and food systems.

Now we are establishing the Canadian Food Observatory (CFO) initiative to stimulate the required changes and encourage action to make the Canadian Food Strategy a reality.

Features and Goals

The Canadian Food Observatory is an evidence-based, independent source of advanced performance monitoring and reporting, advisory and research services, food strategy engagement, and communications outreach.

Three Features

Seven Goals

  • Support efforts to build Canada’s food reputation, promote brand value, and grow Canada’s food sector.
  • Keep food issues top of mind—prominently profile issues and solutions in the media, on the web, and at events to leaders and Canadians.
  • Stimulate efforts to improve food and food systems.
  • Engage food stakeholders nationally, provincially and strategically.
  • Provide a common understanding of progress and reporting on food to inform and foster change.
  • Gauge food performance through widely accepted and trusted means.
  • Promote the implementation of the Canadian Food Strategy.

Food Observatory Activities

Monitor, Track, and Report

  • Track and report on Canada’s national food performance and progress in implementing the Canadian Food Strategy.
  • Relate results to food industry prosperity, healthy food and diets, food safety, household food security, and environmental sustainability (the five elements of the Canadian Food Strategy).

Investigate and Research

  • Delve more deeply into the challenges facing specific food subsectors and stakeholders, and along the supply chain, to uncover facts, ideas, innovations, and solutions.
  • Conduct advanced research on new and emerging issues related to food and the food sector to sustain the empirical basis for planning and action.
  • Offer expert, independent research and analysis, thought leadership, and advisory and other support for collaboration, knowledge transfer, monitoring and evaluation of contemporary food issues, and implementation of the Canadian Food Strategy.

National Food Network 

  • Bring together public, private, academic, civil society, and community stakeholders to connect, network, and work in partnership to share best practices, focus resources, and decide on strategic priorities for implementation.
  • Provide opportunities for dialogue and collaboration among food and non-food-related stakeholders to promote and facilitate change.
  • Build strategic relationships with political, public, private, academic, and civil society leadership levels in and outside Canada.
  • Meet three times a year, as well as offer webinars and training sessions, to share findings and tools to assist firms, governments, and stakeholders to take action.

Promote and Communicate

  • Share and communicate findings, raise awareness, and support promotional activities to stimulate individual choices and behaviours conducive to good health.
  • Be a consultative centre of food knowledge, excellence, promotion, and high-level engagement to stimulate change and progress in the Canadian Food Strategy.

A Focus on Canada’s Food Performance

  • Monitoring tools and evaluation analyses will regularly track changes in food performance.
  • National, provincial, sectoral, and firm-level performance indicators will be used.
  • Performance baselines, benchmarks, and targets for evaluating progress in achieving Canadian Food Strategy goals and desired outcomes will be set.
  • Gaps and limitations in food and food-related data and information will be identified, and the costs and benefits of addressing the gaps in order to inform evidence-collecting will be analyzed.
  • Food data will be shared with interested individuals and organizations.
  • The Annual Report Card on Food in Canada will address each of the five Canadian Food Strategy elements (healthy food and diets, industry prosperity, food safety, household food security, and environmental sustainability).
  • The Annual Report Card on Food will be published annually, alternating between international and provincial coverage.

Why The Conference Board Of Canada

  • Since 2010, CFIC’s accomplishments include developing and launching the Canadian Food Strategy, organizing three highly-successful national food summits, completing 20 research reports, and managing an extensive series of national food strategy consultations and presentations involving thousands of food stakeholders across Canada and the supply chain.
  • The Strategy and reports generated hundreds of news stories and more than 100 million media impressions.
  • Uniquely suited with the skills and experience required to undertake quantitative and qualitative analysis and monitoring and reporting of Canada’s food systems and the food sector.
  • Experienced facilitators to foster dialogue and collaboration among the investors and stakeholders to achieve the vision and implementation of the Canadian Food Strategy.
  • Independently funded and non-partisan; not an advocacy organization.
  • Demonstrated track record of informing and influencing dialogue on key issues affecting the nation.
  • Multi-disciplinary team of experts.
  • Extensive experience bringing together groups to build partnerships; has earned a reputation for high-impact research and reporting through its impartial and rigorous approach.

Deep Experience

The Conference Board of Canada has 18 years’ experience in developing and monitoring indicators and rankings tracked over time that have helped leaders identify strengths and weaknesses in performance, such as:

  • national rankings available through CBoC’s website, with data and analysis on Canada’s performance relative to 16 peer countries in six performance categories;
  • impact indicators to inform and influence industry and public policy and programs and individual, organizational, and community efforts.

Upcoming Events

1st Newfoundland & Labrador Food Forum. May 8, 2018, St. John's, NL

7th Canadian Food & Drink Summit. Winter 2019, Venue TBD

Please contact us if you are interested in partnering with us for the summit as as a sponsor, exhibitor, speaker.

Previous Summit Agendas

6th Canadian Food & Drink Summit
December 5–6, 2017, Calgary, AB

Canadian Food Summit Sponsorship cover
Download the Canadian Food & Drink Summit 2017 Sponsor Opportunities Package (PDF)

5th Canadian Food & Drink Summit
November 28–29, 2016, Toronto, ON

4th Canadian Food & Drink Summit
October 26–27, 2015, Toronto, ON

Social Media

Stay up to date on the Centre’s latest news, projects, research reports, events and activities and more.

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Contact Us

For more information on how you can participate in one of our food related initiatives, or to request a guest invitation to a meeting, contact:

Jean-Charles Le Vallée
Associate Director, Food Horizons Canada

Melissa Lalonde
Research Associate II