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Food & Drug

Canada to benefit from growth in food, agribusiness sectors

Amouzgar, Arash
Stevenson, Michael 2008 MDS-P02

In the coming year, growth in the global food and agribusiness sector fuelled by improving global economic conditions is anticipated, and Canada continues to be well-positioned to benefit from such developments, a recent report written by the Blakes Food, Beverage & Agribusiness Group states.

Stevenson, Michael 2008 MDS-P02“There is a lot to be excited about when it comes to Canada’s food, beverage and agribusiness sector. It is a resilient sector that has responded positively to challenges and opportunities of increasing globalization, advancing technologies and evolving consumer demands,” says the report. “In 2013, the Canadian food and agribusiness sector was the subject of a number of high-profile transactions. Canada continues to be a leading exporter, and a significant importer, of agricultural and agri-food products.”

In Food Report 2014, the group highlights notable M&A transactions in this sector, both globally and in Canada, along with providing an update of regulatory and legislative developments affecting the food, beverage and agribusiness sector in Canada. The report also presents several feature articles discussing an important U.S. law, a decision related to natural food claims on consumer food labels, and the resurgence of ag-gag laws in the U.S.

“In 2013, the food, beverage and agribusiness sector benefited from modest improvements in global economic conditions and showed signs of recovery from the effects of the global financial crisis,” the report says. “The announcement of a number of high-profile transactions signalled a revival of deal activity in the sector. Looking ahead, we expect increased financial and strategic investments along the food and agribusiness value chain to drive increased transaction activity.”

The group also continues to watch relevant regulatory and legislative news, with highlights in the report including amendments to the Seeds Regulations; upcoming amendments to Ontario’s meat regulation under the Food Safety and Quality Act; labelling and advertising of dietary fibre-containing food products; the reintroduction of the Local Food Act, 2013; new Canadian Food Inspection Agency guidelines and policies surrounding the use of “local” in food labelling; and amendments to the Fertilizers Regulations.

The report also mentions two bilateral agreements to make note of – the Canada-Costa Rica Organic Equivalency Arrangement and the Animal Disease Zoning Agreement between Canada and the United States.

Three feature articles round out the 40-page report, with the first discussing the country of origin labelling (COOL) law in the U.S. and its effects on the Canadian and U.S. livestock industry; the second highlighting key takeaways from the recent Vigianno v. Hansen Natural Corporation decision relating to “natural food” claims on consumer food labels; and the third considering the resurgence of ag-gag laws in the U.S. and reviews comparable protections available to the food and agribusiness sector in Canada.

To read the full report, visit the Blakes website.

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