ICYMI: Sobeys’ parent company buys Longo’s, Meatless Farm opens facility in Calgary and more

Some major Canadian food news stories to get caught up on

Though Alberta is the heart of the Canadian beef industry, that doesn't mean there isn't room for some plant-based production too. In that vein, the successful England-based company Meatless Garms has just opened its Canadian flagship plant-based production facility in Calgary.

After its recent funding struggles garnered plenty of media attention, Edmonton’s Africa Center has received enough community support to continue its operations throughout 2021.

As vaccinations continue to roll out across the country, each province has a slightly different take on who's eligible and when. Unfortunately for the food and beverage industry, hospitality workers do not qualify for earlier vaccinations despite regular–and often front-line–exposure. Needless to say, thousands of people are not happy about this governmental oversight.

Lastly, the idea of a vaccine passport is causing much discussion in Canada and beyond...especially in regards to how it would be properly implemented on a provincial and national scale..

Here are six Canadian food news stories that you may have missed this week.

New food hall coming to Vancouver’s Amazon office

With food halls popping up in Canadian cities over the past couple of years (a la Chef’s Hall in downtown Toronto and Winnipeg's Hargrave St. Market), it's good to know that one is finally in development for downtown Vancouver.

QuadReal Property Group, the company that owns the building will be working alongside The Joseph Richard Group to create a food hall with a variety of food and drink concepts that will run the gamut from quick service to sit-down service. The food hall, which is currently in progress, will be located in Amazon’s Canadian office.

Read more about it on Daily Hive Vancouver.

Alberta Diaspora Food Bank secures funding for continued operations

Credit from the Africa Centre's Facebook page

A few weeks ago, Edmonton’s Africa Centre was on the verge of shutting down due to the lack of funding. Fast forward, the non-for-profit organization and food bank have received immense support from the community and recently announced that they will remain open.

The Alberta Diaspora Food Bank was created last spring and since its inception has been making cultural specific hampers for families in need across the province. With the big surge of donations, the food bank can now continue to provide and distribute hampers.

Read the full story over at the Calgary Herald.

UK-based Meatless Farm opens new flagship location in Canada

Though sales of plant-based proteins continue to rise across Canada, Alberta isn't typically seen as anything less than a meat-centric province. That may well change in the coming months as a new production facility has made Calgary its home.

Popular plant-based "meat" producer, the UK-based Meatless Farm, has opened a Canadian flagship location in Calgary's Northeast. The company’s subsidaiy, Lovingly Made Ingredients creates proteins that aim to mimic the texture of real meat. Yellow peas are one of the main ingredients in the production process and are sourced from both Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Go to CTV News for the full story.

Restaurant workers will not be part of phase 2 of Ontario's COVID-19 vaccination plan


A post shared by Bar Isabel (@bar_isabel)

When the Ontario government released their list of eligible people for phase two of the vaccine rollout, there is a particular group that was not included on the list: the food and beverage industry. Because of this, many restaurant owners and members of the industry are questioning why they weren’t included.

Read more about this point of contention on CTV News.

Split opinions from restaurant industry regarding vaccine passports

The idea of a vaccine passport to enter establishments across Canada would be a great idea if it is done correctly, but is it even feasible?

The proposal that a creating a physical or digital documentation that could offer proof that an individual has taken the vaccine was recently considered up to the federal level. However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed concerns regarding it during one of his daily announcements. That being said, it would ultimately be the province’s decision to implement the program.

There are many setbacks to the document and for many restaurant and bar owners, it may become a barrier for certain groups of people.

CBC News has the whole story.

Sobeys’ parent company purchases 50% Longo’s shares

Empire Company Limited–the parent company of Sobeys–recently purchased 51 per cent of the Ontario grocery store chain Longo's at the cost of $357 million. This will further strengthen the company’s presence in Ontario, alongside their acquisition of Farm Boy (2018).

Read more about the huge business transaction over on Global News.