ICYMI: BC’s first saffron crop, produce supply chain problems, and more

Here are five food stories you might have missed this week

It seems as though the era of seeking out saffron from across the ocean may soon be behind us. An Abbotsford farmer recently became the first in B.C. to produce the world’s most expensive spice, joining a small but growing group of Canadians who have taken advantage of the warmer weather in recent years.

The amount of Albertans enjoying the great outdoors could also be on the rise in the near future should the Red Tape Reduction Implementation act be passed, while further east, a Canadian cashierless convenience store company has been expanding its way throughout Ontario and Quebec.    

Catch up on these stories and more in this week’s roundup of Canadian food news.

Abbotsford farmer produces B.C.’s first saffron crop

An Abbotsford berry farmer recently became the first in B.C. to produce and sell locally-grown saffron. Similar to Coastal Grove Farm’s successful experiment in Nova Scotia, Ramsar Berry Farm discovered that the Fraser Valley’s rainy climate and rich soil is ideal for growing the rare spice. 

Visit Vancouver Island Free Daily for the full story.

Supply chain issues disrupt produce industry

Although rising food costs have been problematic in Canada for some time now, a joint statement issued last week by 21 North American produce industry signatories suggests that the issue is only getting worse. 

According to the statement, disruptions such as congestion at ports, labour shortages, panic buying, and “exploding costs” in container shipping will likely lead to potential bankruptcies, legal disputes, industry consolidation, inflation, inaccessible food supplies and more.

Find the full story at CTV News

Alberta’s Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act

A newly-proposed piece of provincial legislation had its first reading in Alberta’s Legislative Assembly last week that, if passed, would allow municipalities to create entertainment districts that allow drinking alcohol in public. The bill would also permit mobile food service operators like food trucks or kiosks to sell alcoholic beverages, which would likely be a big help during an otherwise dismal time for the industry. 

Head to CBC News for more.

Self-serve convenience stores popping up in Canada


A Canadian company has created cashierless convenience stores that allow customers to shop, scan, and pay for items by themselves. Aisle 24’s convenience stores resemble the traditional model, however, the doors can only be opened via registration through the company’s app. 

Check out CTV News to read the full story.

Coffee chains serving up significant amounts of sugar

CBC’s Marketplace recently compiled the nutritional information of popular beverages available at Starbucks, McCafé, and Tim Hortons locations across the country and found that many among them contain a surprising amount of sugar. 

In addition to determining that many of the beverages are unhealthy, Marketplace found multiple cases of misleading marketing, including labelling sugar-dense drinks as being “light” and referring to fruit juice concentrates and purees as “real fruit”. 

Head to CBC News for the full report.