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Food security, affordability and the economics of farming
The economics of food
Farming is a way of life for
Canada’s farmers. It’s also essential to food security, which means ensuring our country has enough to eat. But farms are also businesses, and they must
be able to make money if they want to keep producing food. And it takes more than farms to feed a country – a whole supply chain that is also economically viable is needed, including suppliers of feed, fertilizer, equipment, processors,
transporters, and more.
It takes money to make money
As with any business, there are many costs that go into producing food. Farmers need electricity, equipment, water, fertilizer, seeds, and people to help them raise livestock and poultry, and grow crops, whether outside (in the  eld) or inside a greenhouse. All these items cost money. On average, Canadian farmers spend 83 cents of every dollar they earn on operating expenses to grow food.32 And as the price of fuel, fertilizer, labour, and other inputs continue to increase, farmers have to become ever more productive and ef cient to stay in business. Even though input costs increase, it doesn’t mean that the prices they get for their products go up at the same rate.
A food policy roadmap for Canadians
Affordability and availability of food for all Canadians is a priority for farmers and consumers. In 2017, the Canadian government began developing a national food policy containing both long-term objectives and short-term actions on issues related to the production, processing, distribution, and consumption of food.33
Matt McRae
Anna Haupt
The Real Dirt on Farming

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