Prof. Evan Fraser, the director of U of G’s Arrell Food Institute, spoke to the National Post about how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the cracks in Canada’s food system – particularly around the issues of vulnerable migrant farm workers and food costs.
Fraser said farms have struggled for decades under what is known as a “cost-price” squeeze, which he described as the steady rise in production costs concurrent with a drop in commodity prices for agriculture products.
He said the Canadian food system has become so concerned with keeping food prices low, it “rewards economic efficiency” over most other values at every level of the supply chain.
“I actually stay up at night worrying about this one… I don’t have an answer to it,” he said.
Fraser holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and studies food security, food prices, rural agricultural policy and how each is affected by climate change.