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Quebec Leads All Provinces On Food Security

Ottawa, May 18, 2017— Quebec gets an “A” and leads all Canadian provinces on household food security, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s first provincial food report card. Canada’s Food Report Card: Provincial Performance presents data and analysis on five categories: industry prosperity, healthy food and diets, food safety, household food security, and environmental sustainability.

“Overall, Quebec is a middle-of-the-pack performer on the food report card, but the province is a standout performer on food security,” said Jean-Charles Le Vallée, Associate Director, Centre for Food, The Conference Board of Canada. “Food in the province is highly affordable and readily accessible.”


  • Quebec is a middle-of-the-pack performer receiving mixed grades for its food performance.
  • Quebec leads all provinces in household food security, with an “A” grade.
  • Saskatchewan is the best performing province with “A” grades in four of the five categories.

Quebec Scores Best on Food Security

Quebec receives an “A” grade household food security and leads on many indicators in this category. The province has the lowest percentage of moderate or severe food insecurity among single parents, the third-lowest rate of indigenous food insecurity, and the fourth-lowest rate of child food insecurity. It ranks high on food affordability, with some of the lowest percentages of people who said they could not afford balanced meals, and of people who ran out of food and could not buy more. With slightly more than 0.7 grocery stores per 1,000 people, Quebec is the province with the second highest access to a grocery store. The province also has one of the lowest rates of food bank usage among adults and children in Canada.

Province Top Performer on Healthy Food and Diets

The province also gets an “A” on healthy food and diets. Quebec has low rates of youth and adult obesity, and scores well on six out of eight indicators on diet-related health conditions. However, like most Canadians, Quebecers consume more calories and sodium than they need, and do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish.

Quebec Among Top Three on Environmental Sustainability

On environmental sustainability, Quebec earns a “B”, placing third behind British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Approximately 40 per cent of Quebec food businesses rank improving environmental performance as a very important or extremely important success factor. While Quebec households throw out more grocery bags of food than many of their provincial peers, Quebec performs well on other metrics related to household food waste.

Mixed Results on Food Safety and Industry Prosperity

Quebec receives its lowest grades on food safety and industry prosperity, receiving “C”s in both categories. While Quebec has the lowest number of food recalls per 100,000 inhabitants, its overall performance on food safety is brought down by high rates of hog and cattle condemnation, and high incidences of some food-borne illnesses.

On industry prosperity, Quebec tops all provinces on investment in food manufacturing innovation. The province is an important centre for food manufacturing innovation and is home to two world-leading dairy processors. However, Quebec ranks poorly on food manufacturing exports, government payment for animal programs, and farm area and size.

In all, 63 food performance metrics were used to evaluate the overall food performance of the provinces. Definitions for the indicators and the full report are available from our e-Library.

Canada’s Food Report Card: Provincial Performance was prepared for The Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Food Observatory. Canadian Food Observatory (CFO). The Observatory monitors progress on improving food performance, spurs the required changes, and encourages action to make the Canadian Food Strategy a reality.

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