Category: Food

JBS Moves Forward on Ownership of XL Foods

JBS USA, a subsidiary of Brazil-based JBS S.A., has announced it is moving forward with purchasing XL Foods’s Canadian operations. JBS took over management of the Brooks-based plant in late October after E. coli contamination shut down operations at the plant. JBS, upon exercising this option, anticipates the purchase of XL Foods to be completed… Read more »

Puratone and Big Sky Sales to Proceed

Canada’s Competition Bureau has approved the sale of Puratone Corporation to Maple Leaf Foods and Big Sky Farms to Olymel in a major step towards consolidation of Canada’s and especially Western Canada’s hog industry. The bureau said in a statement: “the Bureau concluded that the mergers were unlikely to lead to a substantial lessening or… Read more »

Canada’s Organic Standard is Failing the Consumer and the Grower: Mischa Popoff

There’s no doubt that there are significant rules and regulations in place that farmers must follow in order to certify their production as organic. Canada has a rigourous organic standard, and organic farmers typically take several years to fully transition to the production system. In turn, Canadian consumers have more organic choices in supermarkets than… Read more »

What Consumers Seem to Forget: My Reaction to W5’s “Factory Farming” Episode

For those who didn’t tune in this weekend to an episode of CTV’s W5 on “factory farming”, let me sum it up for you: according to the episode hog farmers are heartless, sadist wretches that abuse and mistreat all their animals. While attacks and misinformation on and about farming practices aren’t rare, this particular program… Read more »

Saskatchewan to Host Global Institute of Food Security

The Province of Saskatchewan, the University of Saskatchewan and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (PotashCorp) have launched the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) to develop Saskatchewan-led solutions to feed a growing world population. With initial commitments of up to $35 million from PotashCorp and $15 million from the province over the next seven years,… Read more »

Brian Perillat On the Growth of the Canadian Cattle Herd & the XL Foods Hangover

Food safety in the beef industry was a topic that was front and centre at this years Canfax Cattle Market Forum. Producers and industry members were left questioning just how far the impact of the recall would reach and how long the hangover would last. As we found out when we sat down with Brian… Read more »

Canada’s Own Version of Prop 37 Already Exists

Last week I wrote about the demise of Prop 37, a California bill that called for, among other things, labeling of genetically modified ingredients in food products. It didn’t take long after I posted the story for someone to send me a Tweet containing a link to an online petition. The introduction for the petition… Read more »

Prop 37 Defeated But This is Not the End of the GMO Labeling Issue

Yesterday’s re-election of Barack Obama was the big news story, but tucked in amongst all the election fan fair and references to Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” was news of several bills being passed or defeated. Of particular note to agriculture was Prop 37, a Californian bill that would require labeling of products that… Read more »

Maple Leaf Foods to Buy Puratone Corp.

Maple Leaf Foods has announced it will buy the Puratone Corporation, the cash-strapped Manitoba hog production company, for approximately $42 million. The purchase includes Puratone’s livestock, facilities and interests in some joint ventures. The transaction is expected to close within a month, subject to court and regulatory approvals, according to a news release. . “This… Read more »

Beef Market Update – A Hurricane Hits the Beef Market?

The markets are volatile and could be described liked standing inside a hurricane at times.  Only this time the hurricane was real.  With Hurricane Sandy ripping through the east coast, the impacts on beef demand must be questioned. With the XL Foods hangover working its way out, feed yards and ranchers are trying to get… Read more »

4 Common Ag Myths and How to Dispel Them

We may live in the information age, but it seems it’s easier to spread misinformation than it is to share facts. Never does this seem so apparent than when we ask urbanites about where they think food comes from and what’s in it. Farmers Feed Cities recently released findings from a survey it had done… Read more »

Make the most of #farmerlove

We are in a battle. It may not seem all that bad right now as our combines roll and livestock gets sold. Sure, we hear talk about hormones and GMOs and animal treatment and all of that other stuff. But people keep lining up at the grocery store and buying food. After all, they need… Read more »

Bidding Begins for Big Sky Farms

Quebec-based Olymel has officially made a bid for Big Sky Farms, the Saskatchewan-based hog producer that recently entered receivership. Olymel has made a bid of $65 million to purchase the company. If successful, it’s likely operations would not change significantly, as Olymel processed much of Big Sky’s production. While this is the only current bid,… Read more »

The Five Pillars of Sustainable Food Production

If you had to, how would you rank the importance of food safety, the environment, animal welfare, the cost of food and health, as it relates to agricultural sustainability? Which is most important? Which matters less, relatively speaking? These are tough questions, certainly, but ones the agriculture industry needs to ask to better understand and… Read more »

Agriculture is getting dropped from our vocabulary

Each year my agricultural communications students prepare university-level speeches to compete with others from across the country in the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture contest, held annually in early November at the Royal in Toronto. Sometimes they win, and sometimes they don’t, but at the very least they get an all-too-rare platform to stand up… Read more »