Growing Resilience and Equity

MAY 14, 2020 – 

The pandemic is magnifying the structural inequalities in our food systems, the insufficiencies of our social protection programs, and the challenges with the dominant food supply chains. Food insecurity in Canada is expected to double from the most recent statistics of 4.4 million people, before the end of the year. In response, Food Secure Canada has published a policy action plan for renewing the country’s food system in response to Covid-19.

This moment clearly calls for visionary and bold structural change rather than piecemeal approaches based on the status quo. Food Secure Canada’s “Growing Resilience And Equity: A Food Policy Action Plan in the Context of Covid-19” charts a way forward, grounded in proposals developed through a process of information gathering, listening, consultation and convening with individuals and organizations involved in “food movements” (social movements advancing food-system transformation). 


Within an inclusive public-interest based approach to food policy, programming and governance, FSC proposes that Canada focus on the following:

  • Address the root cause of food insecurity through establishing a universal livable income floor beneath which no one can fall, while ensuring that everyone in Canada has access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food;
  • Build resilient, ecological local food systems that shorten and diversify food chains, revitalize communities, ensure greater access to healthy and fresh foods, support lower-emissions food systems, build greater resiliency to shocks and reduce food loss and waste;
  • Support Indigenous food sovereignty where First Nations, Métis and Inuit determine their own place-based food systems, advancing policies that will best support self-determined resilient futures;
  • Champion decent work and justice for all workers along the food chain by ensuring decent pay and conditions for every Canadian and international food worker, and meeting the specific demands of migrant workers;
  • Ensure everyone is at the policy-making table through immediately convening, resourcing and empowering the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council. Resources to ensure that wider civil society voices, above all those most marginalized by the present food system, should be included;
  • Harmonize Canada’s national and international food policies, prioritizing food sovereignty approaches, supporting family farms and low-input, low-emissions agroecological food production as well as sustainable processing and distribution, and
  • Immediately advance a National School Food Program, as promised in Budget 2019 and in the Food Policy for Canada, ensuring that it meets health outcomes, is universal, and is developed in collaboration with provinces, territories, key stakeholder groups and Indigenous leaders.


The time for healthier, more just and more sustainable food systems is now.

Click here for the press release

Click here for the executive summary

Click here for the full policy action plan


  • June 10, 2020: Migrant workers policy priority (p. 18)


This policy action plan is grounded in analysis and policy proposals from "food movements,” social movements advancing food-system transformation. The policy proposals above have been developed through a process of information gathering, listening, consultation and convening with individuals and organizations involved in food movements. The main sources of evidence for each section are listed in the footnotes. A more comprehensive listing of emerging proposals from food movements in the context of Covid-19 are curated in this spreadsheet. The longstanding policy positions of Food Secure Canada, including the People’s Food Policy and advocacy towards a Food Policy for Canada provide important foundations. Recent webinars and other conversations and convenings have also been key to the analysis.

This action plan will necessarily be a living document, as the impact of Covid-19 unfolds. It is important to note that Food Secure Canada understands the various aspects of food systems to be interconnected and interdependent. As such, the priorities above are intended to be considered as of a whole, in relation to one another.


Spread the word

As the government prepares recovery plans, we need as many people as possible to share the message with their MP, Minister Bibeau, and Prime Minister Trudeau. Here's a message you can copy and paste:

Tell your MP you want real change. The time for healthier, more just, and more sustainable food systems is now. Check out the Food Secure Canada food policy action plan on how to get there. #healthyjustsustainable #covid19  

If you share on social media, don't forget to tag us:

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