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For the first time, food becomes a political priority

Source: Globe & Mail, April 11, 2011

For the first time in Canadian electoral history, the edible is political.

Each of the country’s federal parties have included strategies in their electoral platforms that, to varying degrees, highlight food as a distinct priority separate from agriculture.

The Conservative policy, announced Sunday, most closely resembles a traditional agriculture policy, with its focus on efforts to sustain the family farm and boost exports, while the Liberals and New Democrats aim to foster unprecedented co-operation between government departments dealing with the production, distribution, sale and consumption of food.

Building on a growing middle-class awareness of the pressures on the global food system, all parties acknowledge the need for some sort of long-term national strategy. What separates them are their degrees of willingness to expand their focus beyond the farm.

The fact that food is mentioned across all five electoral platforms is being hailed as a victory for the global food movement, which has already nudged a handful of European nations to implement long-term policies.


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