It is roughly in the middle of February that marks the date when Canadians achieve what is called “food freedom.”
That milestone, according to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) and Statistics Canada, is has calculated as the date by which a Canadian of average income will have earned enough money to pay for food for the entire year.
As a country, Canadians usually spend anywhere from 10 per cent to 12 per cent of their disposable income on food (including alcoholic beverages, we should note) each year. The 2017 date, Feb. 8, was one day earlier than last year’s date.
Just as a point of comparison — and I select it only because it is a very large and similarly generally cold country like ours — Russians spend approximately 35 percent of their disposable income on food. That’s a pretty big difference.
For this relatively low cost, we need to thank our farmers in good part.
Canadian agriculture produces a lot of food for us and at the same time they help support one in every eight jobs in the country, which in turn make important economic contributions to our communities.
I believe it’s important to make choices for selecting Canadian foods as much as possible and when reasonable for us to do so, given specific demands and circumstances.
While we should also realize that our spending on food has only increased moderately over the past three decades, it is also true that the portion of spending returning to farmers for production, including unstable costs such as fuel and fertilizer is also relatively small.
The agricultural sector which puts bread on our table needs our continued support.