Canada: Quebec government supports organic industry
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Quebec Province´s liberal government recently unveiled a policy and a high budget to encourage the development of the food sector, including organic farming.
Over the next five years an amount of $5 billion will be invested in the “biofood” sector Premier Philippe Couillard announced, according to the Montreal Gazette. „Biofood“ or in French “Politique bioalimentaire 2018-2025 is a seven-year plan that will bring about a sea change in the industry; one that will put consumers and their health first“, Couillard said.
All food-related industries including agriculture, aquaculture (fish farming, algae and shellfish), fisheries, food processing, wholesale and retail food distributors, as well as hotel, restaurant and institutional food services are included in the program.
Besides selling more Quebec-sourced food at home and abroad, says the Montreal Gazette, the policy aims among others to:
• double the area of farmland devoted to organic food production in Quebec (from 49,000 hectares in 2015 to 98,000 hectares by 2025)
• increase the portion of aquatic products harvested in Quebec that are certified not to harm the ecosystem from 52 per cent to 70 per cent
• incite the agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries and food processing industries to invest $15 billion to improve and modernize by 2025
Reaction to the 108-page policy was mainly positive. In Canada as a whole the organic acreage has reached 2.9 million acres in 2016, 500,000 acres more than the year before.