By Wendy Ell - From February 9 to February 12, AdFarm Canada brought messages of food freedom to Canadians encouraging them to thank Canada’s agriculture system for producing affordable, safe, nutritious and high quality food.
Canada’s Food Freedom Day marked the calendar date by which the average Canadian had earned enough money to pay their entire year’s grocery bill. This year, that date fell on Sunday, February 12, 2012. This year’s calculations once again showed Canada as exhibiting one of the most affordable food systems of all industrialized countries. “As a comparison, Food Freedom Day in Iceland is in late February, while in Mexico it doesn’t come until early March,” Ontario Federation of Agriculture executive member Keith Currie, an AdFarm client, said in a separate statement.
Approximately 12 per cent of our yearly budgets go toward food. Farmers and supply chain dynamics keep food readily available and at a low cost for the vast majority of Canadians.
“Canadians can take pride in having some of the safest and most affordable food in the world. Farmers work hard to ensure the highest quality food is produced with exemplary food safety, animal welfare and environmental standards,” said Canadian Federation of Agriculture president Ron Bonnett.
Just a couple of generations ago, Canadians spent around 40 per cent of their budgets on food. While this decline in food pricing can be attributed to a few things, we know for sure improvements to food chain dynamics were a big part of that.
AdFarm has seen dramatically improved efficiencies in operations through the years – from technology to producers, processors and retail. It is these chain-wide efficiencies that made Food Freedom Day fall only 43 days into the calendar year. Congratulations to us all!
AdFarm’s Calgary staff went out into the city on February 9, with support from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology’s Culinary School, Sunterra Market, Kingsland Farmers’ Market and Bankers Hall, and through the generosity of Calgarians helped to draw in 430 pounds of food donations for the local food bank.
AdFarm’s Guelph staff sourced fresh food from area farmers on February 10 and drove up to Guelph’s local food bank with 200 pounds of potatoes, 10 bushels of apples, 6 jugs of maple syrup, 6 jars of honey, 27 pounds of cheese, 40 pounds of ground beef and 42 pounds of sausage. A special thank you to Maple Crisp Orchard, Thornloe Cheese and Wellington Country Marketplace for your exceptional product and participation!
Our nation’s less fortunate don’t have the luxury of choice in their diet. Any program that is able to draw in healthy food for those in need is a success, in my mind’s eye!
In addition to the food pulled in for those in need, there was a good stream of social media activity for Food Freedom Day. AdFarm, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture worked to navigate discussion on media platforms, Facebook and Twitter leading up to Food Freedom Day. Our collective efforts appear to have paid off as we saw excellent engagement on the issue.
AdFarm will continue to look for opportunities to engage our audiences in discussion about topics that we feel are instrumental in helping to improve upon a healthy North American food model. If you have ideas for programs/areas of discussion, please share.
For more photos from Food Freedom Day visit www.flickr.com/photos/adfarm.