Cultivating Opportunities: Canada’s Growing Appetite for Local Food

The Conference Board of Canada, 63 pages, August 2013
Report by Jessica Edge
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This report examines the economic impact of local food systems in Canada and the challenges and opportunities local food poses for consumers, governments, and industry; it highlights successes and recommends strategies for optimization.

Cette publication comprend un résumé en français.

Document Highlights

The increasing interest in local food in Canada has been driven by concerns about food quality, health and nutrition, food safety, local economies and farmers, and the environment. Local food systems have a significant economic impact in Canada. Local food can create opportunities for firms throughout the food system—for example, it can bring higher margins for producers and allow businesses to differentiate themselves from their competition. However, local food creates challenges for some businesses, particularly those that deal in large volumes of product and rely on economies of scale to be competitive. Cultivating Opportunities: Canada’s Growing Appetite for Local Food evaluates the drivers behind local food; examines the economic impact of local food systems in Canada and the challenges and opportunities local food poses for consumers, governments, and industry; highlights successful local food initiatives throughout the food supply chain; and recommends strategies to optimize local food systems.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

  • Purpose of the Report
  • Framing the Analysis
  • Methodology

Chapter 2—Understanding Canada’s Local Food Systems

  • What Is Local Food?
  • Why Local Food?
  • What Is the Size and Economic Impact of Canada’s Local Food Systems?
  • Conclusion

Chapter 3—Consumer Demand for Local Food

  • Consumer Preference for Purchasing Local Food
  • Reasons for Purchasing Local Food
  • Barriers to Purchasing Local Food
  • Conclusion

Chapter 4—Local Food: Challenges and Opportunities for Firms

  • Producers and Local Food
  • Food Processors and Local Food
  • Retailers and Local Food
  • Food Service Operators and Local Food
  • Conclusion

Chapter 5—The Role of Government in Supporting and Promoting Local Food Systems

  • Federal Government Initiatives
  • Provincial Government Initiatives
  • Local Government Initiatives
  • Conclusion

Chapter 6—Strategies and Solutions

  • Conclusion

Appendix A—Bibliography

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