Canada’s Food Price Report adds Saskatchewan, B.C. collaborators

Canada’s Food Price Report, currently jointly released by Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph, will go national in 2021, with members of the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and the University of British Columbia (UBC) added to the project team.

“When we started this project a decade ago, we always wanted to make it fully Canadian and have institutions across the country contribute,” says Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, senior director at the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie and the report’s lead author. “We now have four very strong institutions joining forces. With COVID-19, it’s going to be challenging to forecast food prices this year, so we need all the help we can get.”

Now in its 11th year, the annual Food Price Report research team uses historical data sources, machine learning algorithms, and predictive analytics tools developed over many years to make predictions about food prices in Canada.

“The report gains national recognition and attention year after year. It’s an exciting opportunity to collaborate and bring our expertise in crop production to the table,” says University of Saskatchewan project lead Dr. Stuart Smyth, associate professor, and USask’s Agri-Food Innovation and Sustainability Enhancement Chair. “Innovation in food is such a fascinating subject — people love food but they fear innovation, so these are conversations that everyday consumers want to have.”

“Our Food and Resource Economics team will include faculty members with expertise in commodity markets and international trade, and students from the Masters of Food and Resource Economics program with expertise in econometric analysis,” says UBC project lead Dr. James Vercammen, professor, food and economics group with the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. “British Columbia’s unique determinants of regional and national food prices will now be emphasized in the report, broadening its scope and accuracy.”

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