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Quebec to invest $3.9bn in food industry over next five years

FBR Staff Writer Published 09 April 2018

The Canadian province of Quebec will invest CAD5bn ($3.91bn) in its food sector, including organic farming, as part of its new biofood policy.

In this regard, the Quebec government has drawn a plan called “Politique bioalimentaire 2018-2025” to boost the province’s biofood sector.

The new biofood policy is also expected to further help entrepreneurs and organizations engaged in all food-related industries such as agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries, food processing, wholesale and retail food distributors among others.

It has been prepared following a consultation process that began in 2016 and ended with an important food summit held in November 2017.

The summit had featured more than 200 consumers, food processors, distributors, retailers, farmers, nutrition and health experts and others.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said: “All the meetings we have held over the last year have allowed us to develop a shared vision and ambitions to meet the needs of the sector and the expectations of consumers. Co-constructing the policy with biofood sector partners gives it broad support and strengthens it.

“By focusing on the food supply, economic prosperity, responsible production and the vitality of the territories, this policy represents a long-term strategy.”

One of the key goals of the policy to see a C$10bn ($7.83bn) sales growth in homegrown food products in Quebec and also achieve a C$6bn ($4.7bn) increase in the province’s food exports by 2025.

The policy aims to double the area of farmland for organic food production in the province from 49,000ha in 2015 to 98,000ha in the next seven years.

It will also see that the quantity of aquatic products harvested in Quebec that are certified to be ecosystem friendly to grow from 52% to 70%.

With its new biofood policy, the Quebec government also wants an improvement in the nutritive value of foods processed in the province through lowering of salt, sugar and saturated fats.

The government also plans to push the agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries and food processing sectors to invest C$15bn ($11.74) on improvements and modernization by 2025.

Image: Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard. Photo: courtesy of The Premier of Québec’s Web site – www.premier-ministre.gouv.qc.ca.