ICYMI: Canada taps into maple syrup reserve, stall on single-use plastic ban, and more

Here are five stories you might have missed in food news this week

If you’ve had a look at news headlines over the past week, you’ve likely seen quite the kerfuffle being made about Canada tapping into its strategic maple syrup reserve, but fret not fellow Canadians, according to Quebec’s maple industry, this year’s harvest is flowing just fine.

The news week has produced some cause for concern, however, with Canada postponing its nationwide ban on single-use plastics and P.E.I. potato farmers currently seeing no end in sight to the indefinite suspension on exports to the U.S. 

In more positive news, it looks like the High River meat processing plant that is responsible for 35 per cent of Canada’s beef production will soon come to an amicable agreement with Cargill Inc., and a Canadian senator has begun pushing for national recognition of Food Day Canada.

Canada taps into maple syrup reserve

News outlets around the world have been reporting on Canada’s recent decision to tap into its strategic maple syrup reserve, however, according to a recent CBC article, many headlines have been misleading. 

Although this year’s maple syrup harvest hasn’t reached heights comparable to the previous two, Quebec’s maple industry has reported a relatively average yield in 2021, and the decision to utilize the reserve was made in response to increased international demand. 

Head to CBC News for the full story.

Delay on Canada’s single-use plastic ban

The federal government recently announced that its planned single-use plastic ban, which was poised to take effect by the end of this year, has now been delayed until sometime in 2022. 

Although some municipalities have begun implementing their own regulations independent of a national regulatory framework, organizations such as Restaurants Canada believe establishing a nationwide policy should take precedence, while environmental groups have expressed disappointment in the delay. 

Find out more at CTV News.

PEI urges officials to lift potato ban

P.E.I. Agriculture Minister Bloyce Thompson has been meeting with the federal government and the CFIA to emphasize the urgency of lifting the recent suspension of fresh potato exports from the province to the U.S. 

Although Thompson says the discussions provided some optimism, it appears that any Canadian-proposed exemption would rely heavily on cooperation from the U.S. government. 

Get the full breakdown at CBC News.

Alberta meat plant union reaches tentative deal with Cargill

With an impending strike looming at the site of one of Canada’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks, it now appears that a tentative agreement may be in place between Cargill Inc. and the union representing roughly 2,000 workers at the Cargill meat-packing plant in High River, AB.   

According to reports regarding the ongoing negotiations, the latest contract offer—a six-year collective agreement that includes retroactive pay, signing bonuses, improved health benefits, and a 21 per cent wage increase—would become the best food processing contract in Canada.  

Visit Global News for more.

Senator seeks national recognition of Food Day Canada

A Canadian senator is currently working to pass a bill that would officially recognize Food Day Canada on a national level. According to the senator, the official recognition would not turn the day into a national holiday, but would simply work to remind Canadians of the importance of both Canada’s food providers and the commendable efforts of late Food Day Canada founder Anita Stewart. 

Check out Guelph Today for more information.