Jim Wadleigh introduced our speaker for the day, Crystal MacKay, for a return visit to our club Until she was about 7 years old, Crystal was raised on a farm near Dixon Road and Kipling in the Greater Toronto area (the airport, hwy. 401, industry and business now but no farms). That’s not long ago and points to one of the problems that people have understanding food production. Without daily experience of food production, any opinion or voice can seem believable. Crystal’s job is to lead an organization which supports bringing us the facts about food production.
She began as a communications specialist with Ontario Pork. She has been Executive Director of the Ontario Farm Animal Council, of AGCare, of Farm and Food Care Ontario and now is President of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI), which is helping Canada’s food system earn trust with research, resources, dialogue and training. CCFI is new , is a charity, and is backed by many groups including A & W, ShurGain, Grey Ridge, Dow and many others.
Is the food system heading in the right direction? Roughly 40% of those surveyed think so and about 40 % are unsure. Of those surveyed 62% were concerned about the rising cost of food and 61% were worried about keeping healthy food affordable. There were also concerns about safety of imported food, climate change, humane treatment of farm animals and having enough food to feed Canada. People were concerned about the use of hormones in farm animals, the use of pesticides in crop production, drug residues in meat, milk and eggs and genetically engineered crops. We’re generally more concerned about issues such as the rising cost of food and keeping healthy food affordable than about other issues.
CCFI defines transparency as ”providing the type and amount of information, using language and terms that are easily understood, that helps one make informed decisions “. Some of the elements of trust building transparency are disclosure, relevance, clarity, credibility and accuracy. All stakeholders in the food system play a part in providing information to their customers since transparency is pervasive through all parts of the supply chain. Millennials are less likely to seek out or share information about food issues than are others groups of consumers.
So, what are Canadians looking for? They are looking for accuracy of information about food and they are looking for the motivation behind the disclosure of food facts. About 90% of the population admit to knowing little about farming. Who do Canadians believe? Farmers are at the top of the list for most topics, veterinarians for animal welfare, university faculty for environmental issues, and so on.
Where can one go to get credible information? Two websites may help:bestfoodfacts.org andfoodintegrity.com. Another source is best food facts on all TV channels.
Bill Stevens thanked Crystal.
Ron Hearnden- guest of Mahmud
Michael von Keitz- guest of Mahmud
Austin Brigden- guest of Peter McSherry
Crystal MacKay- guest speaker and guest of Bill Stevens
Reny Pietrobon introduced Peter Turner who was to be inducted as our newest member. Peter was born in Calgary and has lived all over the world. He is a graduate of Waterloo and is a teacher and taught for the Dufferin-Peel school board for 28 years, as well as being involved in many of the extra curricular activities that go along with school. Peter and his wife of 35 years have a son and a daughter and will be celebrating the anniversary by travelling around various parts of Europe.
Bill Stevens, Justin Funk, Richard Broadwith, Crystal MacKay and President Marty Fairbairn.
Peter McSherry reminded us to sign up for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (sheets on the table). Karen Whylie sent your Editor a note saying that anyone who wants to host or be a guest and missed the sign-up or was not at the meeting they could contact Karen at: email@example.com
Jim MacKenzie has just returned from the West coast where he visited his son and grandchildren. A highlight was his attending a spelling be in which the boys were competing; the youngest boy came in at 6th place and the older boy ended up in 4th place, which made for a happy and proud grandpa. Jim was still happy when he thought that 2 weeks from now he’ll be back in Scotland.
Sue Ricketts is happy because Bill Stevens has asked Rotary International to mandate that no Rotarian shall come to a meeting packing heat (carrying a firearm).
Paul Dredge is asking for help in mentoring at College Heights on April 10th. This is helping at exam time, acting mostly as scribes. He needs 15 or 16 people.
While he was on his feet, Paul also told of an all-day meeting in Cambridge on the 14th of April for incoming chairs and directors. Contact Paul for more information.
Also, Paul wants each committee to let him know who the incoming chair will be on July 1st. If you’re not meeting soon, decide on a chair by email and let him know ASAP.
Helmuth is still peddling beer and it sounds as if it is going down well. Orangeville, Simcoe and Port Dover are in the fold and there will probably be more.
The 50/50 draw this week was won by Paul Truex
Ray Funnell—43 years
Graham Knowles—38 years
Joe Valeriote—44 years
Paul Demarco on the 25th of February