Food Freedom Day: hug a farmer and give thanks

Each year, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) raises awareness of the agriculture and food industry by celebrating Food Freedom Day: the date when the average Canadian has earned enough income to pay for their annual grocery bill.

In 2015, it’s estimated that Canadians will spend just 10.6% of their disposable income on food. This year, that places Food Freedom Day on Friday, February 6.

“Farmers are very proud that we are productive enough to make an abundant supply of safe, nutritious food available for a small portion of the average Alberta family’s income. It wasn’t too long ago that Canadians were spending closer to 18% of their disposable income on food,” says Grace MacGregor, AFA Board member who farms near Hughenden, Alberta.

The 2015 theme for Food Freedom Day explores the importance of soil in the production of our food. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has also named 2015 the International Year of the Soils.

MacGregor notes that in addition to providing the foundation for wholesome food production, soil filters our water, it can lessen the impact of flood and drought, and healthy, productive soil is ultimately needed for a sustainable future for us all.

Alberta producers – and farmers across Canada – have been leaders in sustainable soil practices. The move towards conservation tillage practices that improve soil erosion and the quality of the soil has greatly improved cultivated land. Other technologies – like using GPS systems in cropping – are also helping to successfully manage soil conditions on the farm.

MacGregor notes that as Alberta farmers look ahead to the 2015 planting season, they are as focussed as ever on producing safe, high-quality food for Albertans and export customers around the world.

For more information on Food Freedom Day, visit the CFA website: http://www.cfa-fca.ca/programs-projects/food-freedom-day-2015, or join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ffd2015.

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